Nevada City, CA July 13, 2020 – The Nevada County Relief Fund announced its second round of grant awards, totaling $200,000, supporting eleven “safety-net” nonprofits in western Nevada County, who are all providing a life line to our neighbors most in need, and twenty-five small businesses from throughout the county heavily impacted by COVID-19. 

The Relief Fund received 102 applications from small businesses for its micro-grants up to $5,000 each, and over two dozen applications for the “safety-net” grants ranging from $5,000 to $20,000 each. The combined requests totaled over $850,000. To date, the Relief Fund has raised $447,218 and disbursed $410,000.

Pause from the daily chaos

When Kellie Swallow, owner of Beauty by Kellie, a licensed esthetician and permanent make-up artist in Penn Valley, realized the shelter in place order was lasting longer than expected, she knew she had to figure out a creative way to deliver her services.  With her $1500 grant, she can put together home facial kits customized with detailed instructions that her clients can pick up at the salon or can be shipped to their home. 

Kellie loves helping women feel comfortable in their own skin. “The community aspect of our salon is so important as we get to be a big part of our clients’ lives.   One of the most important things I can provide is a pause from the daily chaos. I am super grateful that our community is so incredibly supportive of small businesses and its one of the big reasons that I love living here and having my business here.”

Azriel and Michael LaMarca are the owners of Sierra Theaters, which have been operating in Nevada County for 41 years. “Our mission is to bring the best in the world in film to Nevada County.  We work hard to make sure we are bringing in movies from a spectrum of the industry including live events and theatre as well as the Nevada City film series showing independent documentaries.”

Their $5,000 grant award will be used to help them pay their utility bill at the Del Oro, which averages $5,000 per month.  Michael said, “It’s a giant building with a giant air conditioner and whether we have five people or five-hundred, we still have to run the air conditioner.” 

Azriel noted, “For the community to step up is a gigantic help.  It may seem like a small thing, but those utility bills have been one of the hardest things to cover during this closure and we are incredibly grateful for this.”

Meeting basic human needs

Laura Harter, Coordinator for Partners Family Resource Centers, wanted to find a way to meet the increased demand for her families’ basic needs during this challenging time.  “A lot of people have been laid off and had their hours cut.  My clients are really struggling with the stress of their kids at home in a distance learning model with no reliable internet connection. Families are trying to pay bills with lost income while simply coping with staying at home.  We are just doing our best to provide the basics.” 

Last year, the three resource centers in the county received over 7,000 visits and calls where families and community members could get connected to resources for English language learners, mental health education, parenting classes, permanent housing for homeless families, playgroups and more.

Their $18,000 grant will make sure families in need have improved access to technology and food along with other basic supplies like laundry vouchers and hygiene products. “We are so excited about this grant because it will make a huge difference to the families we serve to provide them with concrete supports and this is exactly what they need right now,” said Laura. 

More than a human service agency

Amee Medeiros, Executive Director of Neighborhood Center of the Arts (NCA), finally felt like she had done something right.  “During the shelter in place, many of us felt helpless as we are limited with what and how we can provide services. Our artists come to our studios to make art, learn living skills, work in the garden and hang out with their staff and friends. At NCA we take the ‘Dis’ out of Disability by focusing and highlighting what our friends at NCA can do,” she relayed. The artists Amee and her staff work with have disabilities that include, but are not limited to Down Syndrome, Autism, Spina Bifida, Traumatic Brain Injury and Mental Illness. 

NCA is more than a Human Service Agency.  They provide the tools needed to continue the rhythm of a working artist and supporting their successful career development.  Their $7,000 grant will provide their artists with neededsupplies so they can continue to create work.

“A huge thank you to those community members who donated to the relief fund as well as a big thank you to the community members who volunteered to make a difference in the lives of so many,” remarked Amee.

Abundance in action

Judi Funk knows how challenging it can be to be involved in a start-up of a small business and make it work even without a pandemic in the equation.  From the small beginnings of Mountain People’s Warehouse came the understanding of the challenges in growing a business and the responsibility you feel in having employees. 

Judi has lived in Nevada County since 1973 and has been involved in helping our furry friends and the less fortunate in our community for decades. She has enjoyed serving on the board of Hospitality House and Animal Save to see first-hand the impact these organizations make.

With the onset of the pandemic, she saw a dire need with some of her favorite small businesses and non-profits at risk of closing for good. “It made the decision easy to make a $50,000 gift to help others in need.  For me that’s just how it all works, and I am honored to be in this position to help.”

About the Nevada County Relief Fund

The Nevada County Relief Fund was created through a partnership between the County of Nevada, Sierra Nevada Memorial Hospital Foundation (SNMH Foundation, the Fund’s fiscal sponsor), Tahoe Truckee Community Foundation (TTCF), the Sierra Business Council (SBC), Center for Nonprofit Leadership (CNL), and the Economic Resource Council (ERC). In conjunction with TTCF’s Emergency Response Fund, the purpose of this effort is to mitigate the impacts of the COVID-19 crisis by directing vital resources to our most vulnerable neighbors, and support our small, rural businesses.

The Fund was established in April with a $100,000 “challenge grant” from the Nevada County Board of Supervisors. Since then, it has gained traction as a reliable way to give back to our unique small businesses and nonprofits that have been stretched to meet extreme community needs. 

Please consider making a tax-deductible gift today that goes directly to assist Nevada County’s invaluable nonprofits and small businesses. For more information and to make a gift, please visit,


$100,000 to “Safety-net” nonprofits:

  • Child Advocates, $2,500
  • Community Beyond Violence, $7,500
  • The Food Bank of Nevada County, $13,500
  • FREED Center for Independent Living, $8,000
  • Interfaith Food Ministry, $10,000
  • tkMomentum, Inc., $8,000
  • Neighborhood Center for the Arts, $7,000
  • Nevada County of Schools PARTNERS Family Resource Center, $18,000
  • Special Olympics Northern California, $2,500
  • SPIRIT Peer Empowerment Center, $5,000
  • United Way of Nevada County, $18,000

$100,000 to Small Businesses:

  • 49’er Fun Park Inc., Grass Valley, $5,000  
  • Arts For The Schools, Truckee, $5,000
  • Beauty With Kellie, Penn Valley, $1,500
  • Betts Fit LLC, Truckee, $5,000
  • Broad Street Inn, Nevada City, $5,000
  • California Heritage: Indigenous Research Project, Nevada City, $2,500
  • Carrie Ann Smith, L.AC., Grass Valley, $2,000
  • Casey Bridges, Nevada City, $2,500
  • Del Oro Theatre (Sierra Theaters), Grass Valley, $5,000
  • Dreams in Motion/Shari Brookler Enterprises, Nevada City, $2,500
  • Flop House Creations, Grass Valley, $2,500
  • Full Circle Press, Grass Valley, $5,000
  • Gallery 5830′, Truckee, $5,000
  • Ike’s Quarter Café, Nevada City, $4,000
  • J. J. Jackson’s, Nevada City, $5,000
  • Marjorie McDougal, CMT, LMT, Nevada City, $2,500
  • Miners Foundry Cultural Center, Nevada City, $5,000
  • Mountain Stream Meditation, Nevada City, $5,000
  • Namaste Holistic Healing & Yoga Center, Truckee, $4,000
  • Nevada City Community Broadcast Group dba KVMR, Nevada City, $4,000
  • South Pine Café, Grass Valley, $5,000
  • SRC Party Rentals & Supplies, Grass Valley, $5,000
  • Tahoe Truckee School of Music, Truckee, $5,000
  • The Curious Forge LLC, Nevada City, $5,000
  • VitalLiving Ayurveda Massage & Wellness Spa, Nevada City, $2,000