top of page

December 2017 Newsletter


Shop Amazon, Support Hands4Hope. Sign up now, and every time you make a purchase, Amazon donates .05% of your total to Hands4Hope - Youth Making a Difference. It doesn’t cost anything to join!

Will you please make sure the correct info for Hands4Hope is included in the ad.

Giving Tuesday

To all who donated on #GivingTuesday, thank you! We are so grateful for your support in empowering youth to create positive change in their community!

Carriage Rides

Saturday, December 2nd & 9th

Town Center, El Dorado Hills

3:00 - 6:00 pm & 7:00 - 9:00 pm

Support the Hands4Hope Youth Board

Volunteer or Participate

Both adults and youth volunteers needed

Learn more at

National Philanthropy Day

The National Philanthropy Day of El Dorado County was held on Tuesday, November 14th, at the Boys & Girls Club in Placerville. The event, organized and hosted by the Association of Fundraising Professionals (AFP), California Capital Chapter, showcased the philanthropic work of local volunteers and donors in the 2017 year.

This year, Hands4Hope youth participant, Taylor Smith, was selected as the recipient of the Outstanding Youth in Philanthropy Award, and was recognized at the luncheon for her service. Jennifer Bassett, Hands4Hope Founder & Executive Director, introduced Taylor and presented her with the award. Taylor then delivered a speech on her experiences with Hands4Hope, the growth she has undergone through her participation, and how grateful she is to live in a community that encourages her learning and passion for giving back.

The Shingle Springs Band of Miwok Indians was also recognized for its continued work in the community as the Outstanding Corporation in Philanthropy, and, for their dedication to the Boys & Girls Club, Jim and Maureen Carter received the award for Outstanding Philanthropist.

Several other individuals and organizations were honored for their contributions this past year, including: the Assistance League of Sierra Foothills, Joe Harn, Tom McCready, Commander Kim Nida, Don and Katy Peek, Chris Sanders, Danielle Slater, and Councilmember Wendy Thomas.

Congratulations to all of the award recipients, and thank you to all of the volunteers and donors for your generosity and commitment!

Want to know more about this outstanding youth? Read on to learn about Taylor's many accomplishments (and those yet to come) from her write-up in the programat the awards ceremony.

Taylor is a 15-year-old sophomore at Oak Ridge High School. Growing up, Taylor became increasingly involved with Hands4Hope, and she began to grow in every aspect of her life because of it. She learned to talk to anyone she encountered, and found what she was truly passionate about.

Through Taylor's dedication to service, countless people in need have received important resources in the form of clothing, toiletries, and food. She also works hard to provide safe and engaging activities for youth, sits down and regularly eats meals and talks with local senior citizens and homeless women. Her impact in serving the community is immeasurable! Taylor helped to hand-make 100 new blankets for local foster children and children in need. She also helps a student in Uganda learn English as a pen pal. Taylor regularly helps to make lunches for over 400 homeless individuals, and she collected enough toys to provide 30 children living in local low-income housing with birthday presents.

Taylor sees a great importance in living simply and finding happiness. Taylor wants to shine a ray of positivity on the world, and hopes that she can make a difference. Today, she is an impressive leader who motivates other youth to be active in serving their community through philanthropy.

Winter Boutique

The clothing is washed, sorted, and folded; the storefront is decorated as a Candy Cane Forest; and the flyers are distributed to local nonprofits and schools - the Winter Boutique is open for shoppers!

Hands4Hope’s annual Winter Boutique is set to open December 1st and run the first and second weekends of the month. Geared towards individuals and families in need, this outreach event offers attendees the opportunity to “shop” for new and gently-used winter clothing without having to pay for anything!

The planning for this event began at the end of October, and is led by the Winter Boutique Committee, a group of committed youth and adult volunteers who collect and solicit donations, decide on and create a holiday theme for the boutique space, design and distribute flyers to organizations from Placerville to Folsom, and host the actual event. Hands4Hope Outreach Coordinator, Yoko Kono, also planned and lead the Warm & Fuzzy Drives and Blanket Making Party to collect more donations from the community.

With the Winter Boutique ready to open, and all of the preparations finished, Oak Ridge Sophomore and Winter Boutique Committee Member, Kealani Kuykendall describes her thoughts on the outreach: “I feel like the event will be a success [...] we put in a lot of hard work, and the decorations look really festive! I hope the event is as well attended as last year!”

Kenzie Misso, Oak Ridge Junior and committee member as well furthered “I’m really excited for the Winter Boutique! The committee worked hard to put this on, and I’m so excited for the families to come and get the clothes they need. Personally, I’m really looking forward to just seeing people getting to pick out warm winter clothes because I know what a big difference this makes.”

For more information on this great event, please contact Yoko Kono at or visit our website at

Youth Spotlight - Marina Village Hands4Hope Club Leaders

This month’s Youth Spotlight focuses on the Marina Village Middle School Club Leadership Team! At the beginning of this school year, the Marina Village leaders and their club members jumped immediately into their “Howl-O-Ween” Doggie Costume Show to fundraise for the El Dorado County Canine Association during Hands4Hope’s Fall Festival. They also hosted games at the Marina Village Fright Fest to fundraise more for the Canine Association, and then met with a Canine Association representative to donate all of the money to their organization.

Through these projects, the Marina Village leaders have been engaging, encouraging, and passionate about their club and giving back to the community - all while still in seventh and eighth grade! Read on to learn about these impressive youth and their experiences with Hands4Hope.

Ian Hunt - President

  1. What is your grade? 7th grade

  2. How long have you been involved with H4H? 1 year

  3. Why did you join H4H? I was looking for an after-school activity and decided to try it and I liked it.

  4. What have you liked most about H4H? I like that the school clubs are run by the youth, not an adult.

Samantha Carter - Vice President

  1. What is your grade? I’m in 7th grade.

  2. How long have you been involved with H4H? I’ve been in Hands4Hope for a year.

  3. Why did you join H4H? I saw the Hands4Hope posters, and I was like “Hey, that sounds like a fun club!” And here I am!

  4. What have you liked most about H4H? The thing I like most about Hands4Hope is helping others and hanging out with my fellow leaders (who happen to be my friends).

  5. Is there anything else that you would like to add? I love Hands4Hope and I hope many others will get involved with the community!

Hannah Cirimele - Treasurer

  1. What is your grade? I am in 7th grade.

  2. How long have you been involved with H4H? I have been involved with H4H for about 1 year.

  3. Why did you join H4H? It has always occurred to me that I want to help people in need, and when I got the opportunity, I took it.

  4. What have you liked most about H4H? Probably the thing that I like most about H4H is getting other people involved with the program too.

  5. Is there anything else that you would like to add? One of my friends helped me get into this organization, and I’m really glad he did.

Committee & Team Hope Updates

Team Hope at Silva Valley Elementary recently completed its first project of the year, a Warm & Fuzzy Drive to collect clothing for the Winter Boutique. The club created posters, set up bins around their school, ran the drive, and sorted all of the donations, collecting over 500 items of clothing in total!

Team Hope meets the first and third Monday of every month to develop and create projects to benefit local organizations. The club is lead by four high school leaders who plan the meetings and guide participants through the different steps of Service Learning.

The Homeless Committee hosted a fundraiser at Chipotle on November 15th to fundraise for upcoming outreach events. Chipotle, who agreed to donate 50% of its proceeds raised between 5:00 and 9:00 pm, collected $219 that the committee will use for future projects!

The Homeless Committee is also coordinating with New Morning Youth & Family Services to help the organization distribute toiletries supply bags to homeless youth in the Placerville area. The committee will be meeting with the new Shelter Director, Annah Wilson, later in December to discuss the next steps of this project.

The Project Birthday Committee hosted its first big fundraiser of the year at Barnes & Nobles in Folsom. The committee encouraged shoppers to mention Hands4Hope at the cash register to receive 10% of shoppers purchase totals, and also hosted a craft table in the children’s section to raise awareness for Hands4Hope and their committee.

Project Birthday will be hosting its next birthday party at the White Rock Village Apartments on Friday, December 8th. They will also begin planning their next fundraiser to supply the presents, decorations, and cake that they use each month.

The Kids’ Oasis Committee hosts Kids’ Oasis at Green Valley Community Church on the second and fourth Saturday of each month. The committee is currently planning for its two December events, one of which will be holiday-themed and include a visit from Santa.

The Youth Board is currently planning their first project of the year - a holiday party to benefit the families of Lilliput Families. After hearing from several guest speakers about different needs in the community, the Youth Board decided to support Lilliput because they do not have funding for their kinship program. The board is partnering with Blue Shield of El Dorado Hills to put on the event, complete with a Santa Claus!

The Youth Board will also be hosting carriage rides this month to fundraise for their holiday event with Lilliput Families. The carriage rides will be held from 4:00 - 6:00 pm and 7:00 - 9:00 pm on Saturday, December 2nd, 9th, and 16th in Town Center.

If you are interested in joining one of these committees as a youth participant or adult mentor, please email Yoko Kono at

Teacher Advisor Spotlight - Mr. Skjelbred

Hands4Hope would like to recognize all of the teachers who support our Club Programs, and act as mediums between our staff and the school administration. This month’s Teacher Advisor Spotlight focuses on Geoff Skjelbred at Herbert Green Middle School. He has been a great support to the Hands4Hope 5/6 Grade Club!

What school do you teach at and which club do you advise?

I teach fifth grade at Herbert C. Green School in Placerville. I allow the fifth/sixth grade Hands4Hope group to use my room as a meeting place.

What is your impression/experience with Hands4Hope youth?

I am impressed at how well trained the leaders are and how independent they are when running the meetings. Equally impressive is how well the other students respond to the leaders. There is always a high participation rate at the meetings.

Is there anything that you've enjoyed most/been most surprised by in interacting with the club?

I now have a higher awareness of Hands4Hope and quickly tune in when I hear about it while in the community. The other day I was in a line and I overheard one woman telling another that her daughter was accepted into her first choice college. This was because of a solid resume that included Hands4Hope. The mother had nothing but praise for Hands4Hope. I was surprised at the positive reputation that Hands4Hope has in the greater community. At the fifth grade level, Hands4Hope is still an entry-level program. After overhearing that conversation, I understand how it provides the foundation for students who continue in the program through high school.

Outreach Highlights - Homeless Outreach

Hands4Hope hosted its quarterly Homeless Outreach at Sacramento Loaves & Fishes on Friday, November 10th. Lead by several Homeless Committee members, the youth and adult volunteers assembled over 400 sack lunches at the Hands4Hope Youth Center, from making ham and cheese sandwiches to bagging homemade brownies and cookies.

Once at Loaves & Fishes, the volunteers set up tables outside with the lunches, condiments, fresh fruit, and toiletries for attendees to choose from. The event ran from 11:00 am to 1:00 pm, roughly, and while there was a downpour of rain, the volunteers held strong and served all who visited Loaves & Fishes during that time, knowing they would soon get to go home and change while the homeless would be stuck in cold and wet.

The Homeless Outreaches are held every three months, and are open to all ages. For more information, please contact Yoko Kono at

Outreach and Service Learning Opportunities

Please note: To register for an event, you must activate your annual registration, if you haven't already. If you need to pay, click here.

Winter Boutique

Town Center, El Dorado Hills

December 1st, 2nd, 9th & 10th

9:45 am - 1:00 pm or 3:15 - 6:30 pm

This event helps families in need (from several walks of life) stock up on some warm clothing for the winter months. We will be distributing socks, jackets, pajamas, jeans, and all warm items along with blankets, some toys, and games.

Volunteers will be assisting with check in and check out, helping our shoppers find clothing in their sizes, restock shelves, entertain kids, and fill in where needed.

**All Ages Welcome**

Beary Special Playdate at

Sacramento Children's Museum

Just 15 Minutes from EDH

Wednesday, December 13th

5:00 p.m. - 7:00 p.m.

NEW! The museum is closed to the public and only open to children with autism and their caretaker. This event occurs on the 2nd Wednesdays of every month from 5-7pm. Looking for 4 high school volunteers to reset exhibits, assist at different stations/exhibits and interact with children and their families.

**High School Students Welcome**

Explorability at Sacramento

Children's Museum

Just 15 Minutes from EDH!

Sunday, December 3rd & 17th

10:00 a.m. - 11:00 a.m.

NEW! This is a program for children with special needs and their family and friends. This event occurs on the 1st and 3rd Sunday of the month from 10-11am. Volunteers will help lead various stations, help set and reset exhibits, and interact with the children and their caretakers.

**High School Students Welcome**

Kidszone at White Rock Village

Friday, December 1st

3:30 p.m. - 5: p.m.

Come join the young residents of White Rock Village playing ping pong, video games, board games, foosball, as well as various outdoor play. Volunteers will assist with supervision, encourage teamwork and cooperation, gain leadership and communication skills, and have fun!

**8th Grade and Older Welcome**

EDH Senior Center Crafts & Games

El Dorado Hills Senior Center

Monday, December 11th

3:00 p.m. - 4:00 p.m.

Volunteers will spend time socializing, helping with arts and craft activities, and playing games with seniors with various levels of dementia, at Ramona "Moni" Gilmore Senior Center in El Dorado Hills.

**All Ages Welcome**

Carriage Ride Ticket Sales

Town Center, El Dorado Hills

Saturday, December 2nd, 9th & 16th

3:00 - 6:00 pm & 7:00 - 9:00 pm

Come help Twin Lakes Food Bank at their biggest fundraiser! They would like 5 Hands4Hope High School Youth Volunteers to help with event check-in.

**8th Grade and Older Welcome**


Mercy Senior Dinner


Tuesday, December 19th

10:00 a.m. - 2:00 p.m.

at the New H4H Office (873 Embarcadero Drive, Suite #5)

Donate food items to feed low income seniors at Mercy Creekview Housing.

You will receive volunteer credit for your items.

**All Ages Welcome**

Mercy Creekview Manor Senior Dinner

Wednesday, December 20th

4:00 p.m. - 6:00 p.m.

Come prepare and serve dinner for seniors. The volunteers will also help with crafts before dinner.

**All Ages Welcome**

GVCC Saturday Cafe

Green Valley Community Church

Saturday, December 9th & 23rd

8:15 a.m. - 11:15 a.m.

Hands4Hope volunteers work the 2nd and 4th Saturday of the month helping distribute food and run carts.

**All Ages Welcome**

GVCC Kids Oasis

Green Valley Community Church

Saturday, December 9th & 23rd

8:45 a.m. - 11:00 a.m.

Hands4Hope volunteers work the 2nd and 4th Saturdays of each month, reading books, playing games and doing craft projects with the young children in the Kids’ Oasis. The Kids' Oasis provides a safe and fun place for the children to wait while their families shop for free groceries and clothing at the Saturday Cafe.

**Middle School and Up Welcome**

Hope House Mentoring

Hope House of Placerville

Monday, December 4th

3:45 p.m. - 5:15 p.m.

Hope House is a transitional home for women, dedicated to breaking the cycle of homelessness through empowerment, encouragement and love. H4H youth mentor the children at Hope House while their moms are in meetings offsite.

**8th Grade and Older Welcome**

Click here to find out more information or to register for any of these events.

*Please note: Elementary aged participants must be accompanied by a registered parent or guardian at all Hands4Hope outreach events.

bottom of page