The Boys & Girls Club of Saint Helena and Calistoga receives a North Bay GIVES award

Name of CEO or leader of charitable efforts or your group: Trent Yaconelli

Their title: Executive Director

Address of the company’s head office: 1420 Tainter Street, Saint Helena CA 94574


As an organization, there is clearly a determination to encourage employees and the company to support nonprofits and their causes. How is this culture embedded in your organization?

Our organization takes great pride in fostering and maintaining healthy relationships with every volunteer, staff member and board member.

Many of our employees are former Boys and Girls Club members and have an investment in their community and the families we serve that cannot be replicated.

We understand the power that nonprofits, especially those that are relationship-based, can have over individuals and communities. We actively seek to partner with and support other nonprofits that serve their communities, and especially those that empathize with the people they serve.

Partnering up with these other nonprofits reminds us that we all have something to offer to those who need us, and when we’re connected it’s easier to help everyone. the necessary levels.

Internally, we empower our staff to work on strong relationships with our children and their families, and our programs are all focused on the emotional well-being of children.

Not only is building strong relationships part of our culture, it happens at all levels of our organization.

Our staff are connected to the families we serve, the administrative staff all foster healthy relationships with our floor staff, and our Board of Directors is kept abreast of how these relationships are fostered and nurtured. We are all connected to our community, and we practice it in our daily actions.

How did you and / or your employees perceive the benefits of this investment in the company? These may be specific examples or generally comments you have received.

Especially over the past 18 months, we have seen that the community comes together with our staff and our organization when we work from the heart.

Children and families come to our staff when needed, and we are a trusted resource in the community for more than child care.

In general, families often express their gratitude, and many come to our staff for emotional support, advice and friendship. The benefits we see are in the trust we have built with our community.

After the complete reopening of our Calistoga Clubhouse, our footfall has been higher than it has been since our site opened in 2017.

This tells us that our investment in supporting the community has paid off, families trust us with their children and children trust that we will provide a safe, fun and emotionally stimulating environment.

As difficult as the pandemic has been for all of us, it has been difficult for families and young people. Describe some of the ways your group responded to the challenge.

Immediately after the onset of the pandemic, we came together as an organization to strategize on the challenges unique to the communities we serve.

The kids couldn’t attend the club, but needed engagement, so we created interactive online activities and learning opportunities. We immediately started providing free mental health services to children (and our staff), and we also partnered with our local school districts to make sure we were aligned in supporting students who were struggling academically or emotional.

When the children were able to return to school and / or distance learning, we hired accredited teachers to help them with the challenges of distance learning and back to school.

Since our region employs a large number of people in the hospitality industry, we also knew there would be a big financial impact on our families, and started the Feed our Families program, which ended up serving more 40,000 free meals for families of children in our communities.

We have partnered with many local restaurants including Charter Oak, PRESS and Gotts, as well as World Central Kitchen to distribute meals on a larger scale.

During all of this, the local fires affected families as well, and we ended up collecting and distributing over $ 200,000 in monetary gifts to families who had lost their homes.

In short, we adapted as the needs of the community changed during the pandemic and did everything we could to make sure we could support those who needed it most.

This wasn’t the biggest example of the work your group did during the pandemic, but please explain how each child in the Calistoga clubhouse received a free pair of shoes.

While running the Feed our Families program, a Bay Area organization – My New Red Shoes, saw a story about our organization’s efforts and asked if we would like to collaborate in some way. other.

They were starting a pilot program where children in need could buy and select free clothes online and asked if we would be willing to become the pilot organization. We then helped 150 Boys and Girls Club members choose a pair of shoes online and have them delivered to their homes.

For some members of our Club, this was their first online shopping experience, and for some, their first experience choosing new clothes.

Overall, outside of the pandemic, what is the greatest need of families and especially children in the region served by your organization?

Going forward, continued attention to the social and emotional well-being of our children and their families will continue to be needed most.

Children’s lives have changed dramatically over the past two years, and many are still adjusting to changes in schooling, family life and personal relationships. Access to mental health services, a variety of healthy outlets, and opportunities for self-reflection and exploration will be paramount over the next several years as children return to “normalcy”.

The Boys and Girls Clubs have a number of programs that will be focused on providing these opportunities, including a return to our annual Oregon Teen Retreat where high school and high school students have the opportunity to problem-solve in Oregon. through a variety of workshops and exercises, led by BGCSHC staff and mental health specialists.

About Richard Chandler

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