San Geronimo Valley Community Center
March 25, 2020
The collaborative response across the County and within our Community Center team has been swift and innovative. In just 10 days we have drastically shifted how we are delivering services and continue to build community while practicing responsible social distancing–an effort to be proud of! With all of this said, and on behalf of the entire Community Center team, we miss seeing you in person! We appreciate your continued support, patience, and compassion as we all adjust to this “new normal.” We thank you for being diligent in your social distancing practices and for working as a community to flatten the curve and stop the spread of COVID-19.
Community Center’s Food Bank Update:
The SF/Marin Food Bank in partnership with the San Geronimo Valley Community Center and the Lagunitas School District will provide a “Pop Up” Food Bank Distribution on Thursday, March 26, 2020, from noon to 3 pm in the Lagunitas School Parking lot.
This Food Bank distribution will be a full drive-up operation. All recipients of food will remain in their cars and their food box will be placed in their trunk or backseat. If food recipients do not have a car and walk-in or ride their bicycles they will be served and will be asked to move on right away.
The SF/Marin Food Bank staff will be handling the distribution and they are experienced and well-trained to provide this food in the healthiest and safest way. The SF/Marin Food Bank began these “Pop Up” Food Bank distribution sites in both San Francisco and Marin County last week. Sign-ins or income eligibility will be waived.
We recognize that the COVID-19 crisis will hit our food insecure and lower-income families the hardest. Additionally, many people in our community are facing new hardships due to the pandemic—loss of work, income, and benefits. This is why we are working so hard to get our most needed safety net service, the Food Pantry, up and going, safely. While the way that we deliver services must change, we are committed to being there for our most vulnerable.
At this time, the Community Center is not ready to receive volunteers, though we appreciate the generosity of offers. Please visit the Volunteer Information page to learn more. There is a volunteer self-screening tool that will allow you to make a responsible choice when choosing to volunteer during this time.
Even with the uncertainty we are all living in, love and compassion continue to shine through. Countless community members have left voice messages at the Community Center and emailed us, all asking how they can help. We’ve seen neighbors learning how to safely check in on our elders, Community Center volunteers asking to return, local businesses offering supplies and food. That is love. That is our amazing community. We are all grateful for the many demonstrations of goodness and compassion we see during this unbelievable time.
The safety and health of our community means everything to us, so lastly, we ask that you please continue to wash your hands, stay home, especially if you’re sick, and continue to practice social distancing so we do not spread the COVID 19 virus.
- Our Community Center Team continues to work closely with the San Geronimo Valley Emergency Fund and San Geronimo Valley Affordable Housing to create a COVID-19 Emergency Fund to support vulnerable community members with rental assistance and financial support for basic needs. We will be announcing the application process for this in the coming days.
- We are also in communication on a daily basis with West Marin Senior Services to coordinate regular check-ins with Seniors who are at home. West Marin Senior Services continues their home food delivery program. Community Center staff members are making phone calls to our volunteers and clients to say hello, especially those who do not use social media. The phone calls have been greatly appreciated.
- Our Community Center’s emergency preparedness team continues to be in daily contact with the Lagunitas School District, Marin County’s Public Health officers, the Office of Emergency Services, and local disaster coordinators at VERG and Marin VOAD. Across the County, coordinated efforts are underway to provide food, financial assistance, resources, and community building.
- We continue to look for additional ways to support our community during this time–some ideas include streaming exercise classes, workshops, cooking classes, arts and events, an online chess club and more. Our website has new resources for individuals and families during this time that support our mission of fostering a healthy community. Please visit the following pages for more information: Stay Healthy, For Families, Arts and Events, and Mental Health. We will continue to corral useful and compelling information for all families in the San Geronimo Valley and Nicasio as we update our site often. If you have an idea to engage the community please let us know how we can support you.
March 20, 2020
The San Geronimo Valley Community Center stands with you, committed to supporting our incredible community during this extraordinarily challenging time. Our team is working diligently in coordination with the County of Marin, the Lagunitas School District, VERG, West Marin Senior Services, the Marin Community Foundation, and many local organizations and nonprofits to provide a safety net during this unprecedented moment. Collaboration, coordination, and communication have never been more important.
The health and safety of our community members, our staff, and volunteers is our priority. We have taken measures to keep people safe and are constantly reevaluating as new information becomes available. Our entire team is committed to modeling the necessary and challenging behaviors of social distancing and staying at home so we do not spread the Covid 19 virus. We ask you to join us in this effort.
- We are in daily contact and collaborating with the SF Marin Food Bank to open a “pop up” food distribution site for our most vulnerable community members. The SF Marin Food Bank is working very hard to have this distribution take place late next week, but they have to ensure that the food distribution will be safe for both the people distributing the food and the community members receiving the food. We will let you know the day and time as soon as it is confirmed.
- Deep appreciations to the Honor Pantry at the San Geronimo Valley Presbyterian Church who had a very successful and well-planned food distribution on March 18 and are planning a distribution on Sunday, March 22 from noon to 5 pm. This food distribution is intended for seniors and families who are experiencing economic challenges in buying food.
- Our Team is working closely with the San Geronimo Valley Emergency Fund and San Geronimo Valley Affordable Housing to put in place a Covid 19 Emergency Fund to support vulnerable community members with rental assistance and financial support for basic needs. Watch for updates as this plan develops.
- The Community Center website www.sgvcc.org has been revamped to become a hub of information, including updates on our Food Bank, where to apply for unemployment, ways to help your kids stay engaged in learning, and resources for families and individuals to stay healthy while responsibly practicing social distancing.
- Many of our programs have moved online. The NextGen program held its first virtual meeting this week, the 6th and 7th grade Empowerment group also met virtually earlier this week, and our tutoring program (VAST) is gearing up to offer online tutoring and learning. We are closely in touch with our local schools who have made an amazing transition to online learning. All of our elementary, middle school, high school, and college students are completely engaged in their online classes.
- We continue to look for additional ways to support our community during this time – some ideas include streaming exercise classes, workshops, cooking classes, arts and events, an online chess club and more. If you have an idea to engage the community please let us know how we can support you.
People always find a way to be points of light and will continue to do so. We know this virus cannot stop the human spirit. While the way that we come together must change, the Community Center will serve our community with creativity and kindness, as we always have.
With much warmth,
San Geronimo Valley Community Center
Tuesday, March 17, 2020
Like so many of you, the staff at the Community Center are doing everything we can to “flatten the curve,” and to keep ourselves and our families healthy. At the same time, we remain fully committed to supporting our community members’ needs and to react to the extraordinary circumstances in a way that’s true to who we are and to our mission to serve the community.
- The Community Center and Community Gym will remain closed to April 7, 2020 for all programming as we follow the Shelter-In-Place Order to combat the spread of COVID-19.
- We fully understand that a critical service for residents in need is our Food Bank program. Because of the Shelter in Place requirements, our Food Bank will not be open this week. We are working closely with the SF/ Marin Food Bank and the Lagunitas School District to provide food next Thursday March 26, 2020. We know that food is of utmost importance, but we want to ensure that we can distribute food safely.
- If you are in need of food now, please call 211 or 415-457-INFO.
- As an organization, we are committed to our staff and every resident in our community. Our Board of Directors have assured our staff members that they will not go without pay during this challenging, quickly changing time. Our staff members are working “outside of the box” to use online tools such as chat rooms, Instagram, and other social media tools to bring community together and create a sense of belonging and safety for everyone. Examples include our VAST program gearing up for online tutoring, our youth empowerment team having an online Girls and Nonbinary Group, the West Marin NextGen supporting each other through sharing resources and online activities, our collaboration with West Marin Senior Services to contact seniors to support their needs, and our arts team sharing art book and film recommendations with patrons to enjoy while at home.
- Our Community Center’s emergency preparedness team members are in conversation daily with the Lagunitas School District, Marin County’s Public Health officers, the Office of Emergency Services, local disaster coordinators, and the SF/Marin Food Bank. As we navigate the ever-changing normal, the Community Center is working on ways to keep our community healthy and if we can, help everyone feel a sense of belonging even if we can’t be together physically.
Please check www.sgvcc.org for regular updates. We are committed to creating a sense of community even as we shelter in place.
For COVID 19 updates:
Dave Cort, Executive Director