FOCUS-Hands Helping Children

Enriching the Lives of Our Local Youth

2019 Newsletter

September 2019

Dear FOCUS Friends,

This has been a year of great need in our community. In addition to the many youth programs FOCUS continues to support, we felt compelled to join in and help the many displaced Camp Fire victims. Their needs were so overwhelming, FOCUS members decided the best way our organization could assist was to provide additional funding to Gridley’s food closets. We also donated books to Paradise students who lost their school and were relocated at Bird Street Elementary School in Oroville. Members also volunteered at the Camp Fire Distribution Center in Gridley. In the tragic aftermath of the disaster, many of our FOCUS members welcomed fire victims into their homes. It has been an incredible journey for so many of us, but FOCUS is determined to continue to support these new children who are now part of our community.

It has always been the goal of FOCUS to give service to children in our local community. We wish we could be everywhere, but our capabilities are limited. Our number one priority is focused on the children in Biggs, Live Oak, Gridley, Manzanita and Richvale. It is our hope that by reaching out to these children we can help to enrich their lives, which in turn will help to make our community an even better place for all of us.

It is through your generosity that we are able to give a little something extra to our youth. We thank and congratulate you for making a difference here at home and for helping to make our mission possible.

Your 2018 tax deductible donations to FOCUS are what have made the following support of local children possible.

Our New Scholarship Program: This award is given to local high school students attending Biggs, Gridley and Live Oak high schools. Two students from each school receive an award. The award is based on academic achievement, community service and need.  Awards are presented in June.

Literacy Program: Each year FOCUS spends thousands of dollars for books which are given away to children through our literacy program. Each child is given his or her own free book to take home and read. This year we have increased our budget for book selections, so we can have even better choices for our children. We also were able to give a special donation of books to the Camp Fire children attending Bird Street School in Oroville. As you may know, the Paradise children not only lost their town and their homes, but they also lost their schools. Many of these students were sent to schools in Butte County. Some schools were makeshift with few supplies. FOCUS helped to fill their classroom libraries with new books.

Tech Trek: Two full scholarships were given for Tech Trek Science and Math Camp in Davis which is open by application to seventh grade girls who excel in STEM subjects from Gridley, Live Oak, Biggs and Manzanita. FOCUS participates in this program in conjunction with the American Association of University Women who also send two girls.

Live Oak Parks & Recreation: Swim lessons for children.

Mi Casa in Gridley: School supplies and educational activities.

Biggs Hometown Celebration & Fireworks

Live Oak, Gridley and Biggs High School Sober Grad Night

Live Oak High School Booster Club

Gridley Barbarian Rugby Team

Children’s Hope Color Run

Little Hats & Big Hearts: Crocheted hats for newborns. Several ladies in FOCUS crocheted caps either by hand or on a loom. The hats are made for area hospitals and given out to newborns. The homemade hats are special moments and gifts to newborns.

Gridley Friends of the Library: Provide children’s books, primarily in Spanish. This year FOCUS was awarded the Don Wiley Award for our support of our local community libraries. This award is usually given to an individual, so we are especially proud to receive it.

Three Area Food Closets: Grace Lutheran Food Closet, Sacred Heart Food Closet and the First Presbyterian Food Closet.

Gridley Moose Lodge: Helped provide free Thanksgiving dinners to local families.

Gridley High Boys Soccer Team

Wilson School Gold Rush Days

Gridley High Basketball Tournament (GIBT)

Gridley High Clay Target ShootingTeam

Gridley Chamber of Commerce: Red Suspenders Day Parade

Gridley Parks & Recreation: Children’s Fishing Derby at Gray Lodge

Camp Fire Victims

Society of Vincent De Paul: Christmas toys for local children.

With your support, FOCUS is able to contribute to supporting the children in our community.

Volunteering at Local Events

Gridley Museum: Focus members are frequently on the go and often seen volunteering at local events and helping other service organizations. This past year we helped the Gridley Museum by making desserts and helping to serve meals at their sidewalk dinner. The dinner which was also hosted by Quota Club, Knights of Columbus, and the Gridley Lions Club helped to raise quite a bit of money to keep the museum open. Our members were also docents at the museum for local school field trips. FOCUS members greeted the children, told them about the items displayed at the museum, and shared some of the history of our community.

Camp Fire Distribution Center: Our members volunteered at the Camp Fire Distribution Center in Gridley where we sorted and hung clothes, packaged various food and toiletry items and more. We reached out to as many victims as we could manage, and we were happy to help them.

Butte County Fair: Members have also volunteered to help the Gridley Lions at the Butte County Fair. Focus volunteers helped serve the Knights of Columbus Tri Tip dinner as well. This year we had our own booth where we shared information about FOCUS and our services.

Events: The March 2019 Spring Tea was beautifully presented and very well attended. It is a labor of love for our members. Our purpose is not only to raise funds but also to bring families and community members together over a good meal which is elegantly served. Our Tea has been a great success for us, but unfortunately we will no longer be able to have it. With our active membership aging, it will now be more than we can handle; our hope is another organization will take it up. We will be happy to show someone how to do it. Thank you to the Gridley Masons and all of you who attended and supported us. We really appreciate you. We do have some ideas for new fundraisers that we are working on and hope you will enjoy. More on that topic in the months to come.

2018-2019 Sponsors: We are so appreciative of the generous support of the following FOCUS sponsors:

Hibers Inc.
Jan & Walt Meyer
Jason & Cynthia Soares
Patti Meyer
Martha & Brud Soares
Maxine Farrar
Raenna Correa
Margaret Hughes
William H. Cilker Family Foundation
Joan Mardesich
Dowd Interiors
Continental Athletic Supply
Rabobank of Yuba City

Active Members: Our active members keep the business end of FOCUS running.

Nancy Bill, President
Ernestine Chambers, Vice President
Cathie Slota, Secretary
Linda Sormano, Treasurer
Pauline Abbott
Jan Lechtaler
Joan Brock
Debbra Murphy
Gail Jenkins
Donna Long
Beverly Smith
Janet Smith
Kitte Gold
Groverlee Dahl
Virginia Faulk
Martha Soares
Nancy Schouten
Jean Rudd
Myra Patane
Susan Zito
Shiela Huffman
Maxine Hamblin
Kathie McKenzie
Cindy Davis

Our active members wish to thank all who donate and support us. We cannot do it alone, and we cannot do it with out you. 

FOCUS-Hands Helping Children PO Box 1141 Gridley, California 95948

Phone: (530) 868-5949

Email us at

Our Web Site . Our website now has PAY PAL

Thank you to all of our sponsors, active, and angel members and friends of FOCUS. YOU ARE MAKING A DIFFERENCE !