Bank of the Sierra Announces $3 Million Sierra Grant Donation Milestone, Awards Over $221K to Central Valley Nonprofits in Mid-2021
December 23, 2021
Porterville, Calif. – Bank of the Sierra is proud to announce that it has donated more than $3 million to nonprofits in its communities through its Sierra Grant program. Since the program’s inception in 2004, over 1,500 grants have been awarded. Bank of the Sierra awards $1,000-$5,000 grants to 15-30 nonprofit organizations each quarter as part of the program. Nonprofits who wish to apply for a Sierra Grant can pick up an instructional brochure at any Bank of the Sierra branch or visit the Bank’s website at BankoftheSierra.com/SierraGrant.
More than $221,000 were given to 31 nonprofits in the Central Valley in mid-2021 through the Sierra Grant Program. The Bank will continue to prioritize Sierra Grant funding to nonprofit organizations that are fighting or have been affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. Overall in mid-2021, Bank of the Sierra awarded more than $310,000 to nonprofits in the seven counties it serves.
United Way Fresno and Madera Counties will use its Sierra Grant to provide free tax preparation services to low- to moderate-income families and individuals. The organization’s program has been serving communities for over 15 years, and over the last two years, more than 11,000 households have been served. United Way is helping many families who would not normally file taxes due to their income but must now file in order to access COVID-19 related stimulus and credits.
As part of its 38th homeownership project in Visalia, Habitat for Humanity of Tulare/Kings Counties will build a new house for a local family. The organization works with low-income families, local businesses, and volunteers to build homes to sell to family-partners at zero interest. Habitat for Humanity also operates a Home Repair Program that helps low-income homeowners fix and maintain their homes.
A Sierra Grant will help the Jim Burke Education Foundation award four college scholarships to low- to moderate-income student leaders in Kern County. The foundation awards scholarships to students from schools where more than 50 percent of students are on a free or reduced-price lunch program. The foundation’s Dream Builders leadership development program focuses on life skills and civic responsibility.
Grid Alternatives Central Valley will use funds from its Sierra Grant to support its basic training program. Students interested in working in the solar industry will receive tools and a starter bag after graduation or receiving their first job offer. The organization installed solar electric systems for low-income families throughout the Central Valley.
A Sierra Grant will help Arts Visalia’s Youth Art Education Program continue to support at-risk or underserved low-income families. Funding goes toward scholarships for children from low-income families who may not otherwise be able to attend an after-school program. Art Visalia’s program offers a year-around selection of art activities for children and the organization subsidizes the total cost of each class by 50 percent.
Special Olympics Southern California will support its Kern County program with a Sierra Grant. The organization changed its programming to virtual alternatives during the COVID-19 pandemic, but is now helping its athletes, coaches, and staff return to the field of play. Additional funding will help the organization pay for rising costs related to facilities, insurance, personal protective equipment, athletic equipment, training, and more.
“These wonderful organizations have supported to our communities for several years,” said Kevin McPhaill, Bank of the Sierra President and Chief Executive Officer. “We’re thrilled that Sierra Grant Program donations have reached the three-million-dollar mark and we’ll continue to help these organizations make a difference!”
About Bank of the Sierra
Bank of the Sierra is in its 44th year of operations and is the largest independent bank headquartered in the South San Joaquin Valley. Bank of the Sierra is a community-centric regional bank, which offers a full range of retail and commercial banking services with full-service branches located within the counties of Tulare, Kern, Kings, Fresno, Ventura, San Luis Obispo and Santa Barbara. The bank also maintains a loan production office and an online branch and provides specialized lending services through an agricultural credit center and an SBA center. Bank of the Sierra is recognized as one of the strongest community banks in the country with a 5-star rating from Bauer Financial.