Photo of donation from Bank of the Sierra via Habitat for Humanity Tulare and Kings Counties website.
Written by The Business Journal Staff
The Sierra Grant has been helping nonprofits since its inception in 2004. This year, it reached a $3 million milestone.
Bank of the Sierra has officially donated more than $3 million to nonprofits in its communities through the Sierra Grant program. Since 2004, the program has awarded over 1,500 grants. Through the program, it awards 15 to 30 grants per quarter, ranging from $1,000 to $5,000.
The Sierra Grant program has donated to organizations that help improve local communities. This year alone, the program issued more than $221,000 to 31 nonprofits in the Central Valley by mid-2021, reaching its $3 million milestone.
The program has especially benefitted community organizations during the pandemic.
Outside of the grant program, Bank of the Sierra has awarded more than $310,000 to nonprofits in its service area. The grants were awarded to nonprofit organizations that have been heavily affected by Covid-19.
Since Covid-19, organizations like St. Anne’s Food Pantry in Tulare County, have benefitted from the program. It received a $5,000 grant through the Sierra Grant program, but it was also matched by the Federal Home Loan Bank of San Francisco. The food pantry initially received its grant in the third quarter of 2020. The money went toward the purchase of a three-door refrigerator to store perishable food.
St. Anne’s Food Pantry serves Porterville, Lindsay, Terra Bella, Strathmore and Springville. The food pantry is volunteer-run and has seen a substantial increase in the need for food during the pandemic, according to a press release from Bank of the Sierra. The release stated the food pantry serves over 700 families per month.
This year, the $3 million milestone has touched local organizations across the Central Valley.
Habitat for Humanity of Tulare and Kings Counties will build a new house for a local family with its Sierra Grant money. United Way Fresno and Madera Counties will be using its Sierra Grant money to provide free tax preparation services to low-to-moderate-income families and individuals. United Way is helping many families who would not normally file taxes due to their income, but will now need to file in order to receive Covid-19 relief, including stimulus and tax credits.
Grid Alternatives Central Valley will put money back into its training program, which supports students interested in working in the solar industry. Arts Visalia’s Youth Art Education Program, which supports at-risk and underserved families, helps award scholarships for families who cannot afford to place their children in after-school programs.
“These wonderful organizations have supported our communities for several years. We’re thrilled that Sierra Grant program donations have reached the $3 million mark and we’ll continue to help these organizations make a difference,” said Bank of the Sierra President and CEO Kevin McPhaill.
Instructional brochures to apply are available at any bank branch or at bankofthesierra.com/sierragrant.