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25 North Bay nonprofits receive $700,000 in grants from Bank of America

Bank of America has announced more than $700,000 in grants to 25 nonprofit organizations in Sonoma, Napa and Marin counties.

The grants support programs ranging from workforce development and basic needs to neighborhood revitalization and small businesses, according to an August news release.

Sonoma County nonprofits chosen to receive grants include the Boys and Girls Clubs of Sonoma-Marin, Career Technical Educational Foundation of Sonoma County, Social Advocates for Youth, La Luz Center, Redwood Empire Food Bank, Santa Rosa Community Health Centers, Santa Rosa Junior College Foundation, YWCA of Sonoma County and Petaluma Ecumenical Properties.

The bank doesn’t disclose how many organizations apply for grants each year.

The Boys and Girls Clubs of Sonoma-Marin received $35,000 to support its summer jobs program for teens from the Charlotte, North Carolina-based bank. The program helps teens gain practical job skills, including how to fill out a job application, write a cover letter and dress for an interview. The money will go toward creating team-building activities, leadership observations and counselor trainings.

The bank and the Boys and Girls Clubs have a shared interest in education, according to Michelle Heery, chief development officer and executive vice president of Boys and Girls Clubs of Sonoma-Marin.

“Bank of America is a good partner for us because we really want to address barriers to workforce development and education together and our program is designed to grow future leaders for our organization, and more broadly, for the whole community,” Heery said.

The bank, founded in1922 by an Italian immigrant in San Francisco, has long been active in their local communities.

“Investing in nonprofits, addressing basic individual needs like health access and hunger relief to larger community development opportunities is part of our approach to driving economic opportunity and social progress in the North Bay,” according to Bank of America North Bay President Jason Foster said.

Since 2017 the bank has given out over $3.5 million to North Bay organizations and its employees volunteered 20,000 hours locally, according to Santa Rosa-based Foster.

“What I love about Bank of America is they want to invest dollars, but they also invest time. I know they volunteer all over the community, including with Boys and Girls Clubs. Their teammates come and help young people learn how to be financially stable and help our team learn some of those important skills, too,” Heery said.

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