SCNA approached this year’s Big Day of Giving with a steep goal and deep financial need after more than 14 months of the Sierra 2 Center’s closure due to COVID-19. More than 400 donors this year contributed more than $82,000, exceeding the $75,000 goal.
With concern for the short-term finances of Sierra 2, SCNA set a particularly high goal for the May 6 fundraising event. Board members are expressing their gratitude for their neighbors’ generosity.
This year’s generous giving was aided by nearly 200 lawn signs around the neighborhood, 250 phone calls, hundreds of emails, social media posts and graphics with the theme of Help Us Gather Again, plus an easy-to-use donation link through the Sierra 2 website. Donors gave from $15 to $5,000 with two-thirds of donations over $100, up from 60% last year.
Board members were each asked to raise $1,000. Some did this by contributing that amount themselves and using it as a challenge to raise another $1,000 from friends.
SCNA board member Jessica Bivens of Ninth Avenue vowed to raise $5,000. She was able to reach that goal and even surpass it, due to generous donations from friends and family who contributed to her first fundraising event.
“I am a generous person and it didn’t surprise me that my friends are generous as well, even if the cause did not benefit them directly,” said Jessica, who raised more than $5,000 from Curtis Park neighbors as well as personal friends as far away as New York.
“This year it was time for them to send their money to my cause,” said Jessica. She matched her fundraising with $5,000 of her own money. Donors were asked what propelled their donation. All lauded the role of Sierra 2 in the neighborhood. Marshall Way’s Jillian Rich’s response was particularly poignant. Jillian grew up on the street where she still lives two doors away from her parents.
“Whether it was a Girl Scout troop meeting, a community theater production or a quick trip to the playground after school, Sierra 2 was a central part of growing up in Curtis Park for me,” said Jillian. “I donated to the Big Day of Giving because I now have kids of my own and I want them to have the same experience I had.”
Also responding were several new residents, such as Lynette Komar of Portola Way who moved to Curtis Park in 2019. “Before the pandemic, I went to the Wine Tasting and Holiday Craft Fair,” said Lynette. “Those two events showed me how special Sierra 2 is to the community. I donated because I want to preserve this special place.” Kathy Sananikone of Coleman Way also had praise for her new neighborhood. “We looked for a neighborhood that has a great sense of community and Curtis Park is that perfect place,” she said. “One of Curtis Park’s many charms is Sierra 2 and all the programs it offers to the community.”