Sierra Foothills Village closes |

Sierra Foothills Village closes

After coping with COVID-19 and its ongoing challenges for more than a year, Sierra Foothills Village is closing its virtual doors.

The young Nevada County nonprofit advocates for adults and connects them to each other, the larger community and resources they need to live and age well and enjoy independent, engaged lives in the places they call home.

The organization had only been operating for three months when the pandemic hit.

“Our village staff, leaders and a small corps of volunteers worked nonstop to make adjustments to the demands of sheltering in place and physical distancing,” said Executive Director Valarie Bush in a news release.

Bush gave special kudos to Office Manager Wendy Banestoki for her talents, commitment and compassion. “We were able to help members through the pandemic, but COVID prevented us from growing our member or volunteer base, or meeting our fundraising targets. We were like a young plant just establishing roots when the COVID storm hit.”

Bush regularly attends monthly meetings of other community executive directors hosted by the Center for Nonprofit Leadership. Throughout the past 15 months, all have talked about their common challenges related to volunteers, fundraising and leadership.

A smooth closure for the village members has been of utmost importance. “Our motto has been ‘be personal and proactive,’ so we are working with each member to arrange ongoing support and, where needed, warm hand-offs to other community organizations,” says Bush.

Village leaders recognized the many individuals, donors and sister nonprofits that have supported the organization as it developed.

“We couldn’t have opened our virtual doors without the generosity of community donors and the active support of so many other nonprofits,” said Bush. “This support network is a community treasure.”

The pandemic has not just taken down Sierra Foothills Village, but it remains a threat to other organizations in the greater community that are struggling to remain open.

“This is a cautionary tale,” Bush said. “We need to take care of our valued institutions and nonprofits because they define this community and enrich all of our lives. We must tend to them, especially at this difficult time or we will risk losing them.”

Source: Sierra Foothills Village

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