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Marjaree Mason Center Gets $50K Grant, ‘Neighborhood Champion’ Recognition

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The Marjaree Mason Center received the 2021 Bank of America Neighborhood Champion award and a $50,000 grant. (Marjaree Mason Center)
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Fresno’s Marjaree Mason Center has been named a 2021 Bank of America Neighborhood Champion for its work empowering adults and children affected by domestic violence.

Portrait of Nicole Linder

Nicole Linder

The award comes with a $50,000 grant.

“The generous grant secures Marjaree Mason Center’s ability to provide uninterrupted crisis and emergency shelter services to adults and their children when they need it most,” said MMC’s executive director, Nicole Linder.

In addition to the grant, the Neighborhood Champions award will enable the nonprofit to participate in virtual leadership training delivered by experts on topics like human capital management, increasing financial sustainability, and storytelling.

“Marjaree Mason Center serves some of the most vulnerable in our community. To have the distinct privilege for our staff to receive quality leadership training from some of the best in the business increases our threshold of providing excellent, trauma-informed services,” said Linder.

Pandemic Increased the Need For MMC Services

Mark Riley, president of Bank of America Fresno/Visalia, says the pandemic increased the need for services that organizations like MMC offer.

“While our community is continuing to recover from the pandemic, nonprofits are still experiencing significant demands and are in need of resources to help meet important needs such as family services and emergency shelter,” said Riley

“Now more than ever, there is an increased need for diverse and equitable services, and the funding and training that Neighborhood Champions provides will help MMC continue to meet the most urgent needs.”

A CalVEX study conducted by researchers at the University of California San Diego and the University of Chicago analyzed the impact COVID-19 had on California residents.

The study found that 3% of internet users reported sexual harassment in 2020 and that doubled to 6% the following year. Reports of physical violence, including threats with a weapon, also increased from 4% in 2020 to 7% in 2021.

MMC  has provided critical, life-saving services to people affected by domestic violence for more than 40 years. In 2020, it delivered services to 9,600 adults and children, and provided nearly 90,000 nights of shelter. Five years ago, those numbers were nearly half as big.

Watch: A Marjaree Mason Success Story

Marjaree Mason Center Feature from GV Wire on Vimeo.

About The Neighborhood Champions Program

According to Bank of America’s website, the Neighborhood Champions program is invitation-only for nonprofits positioned to take their work to the next level.

“We are very honored knowing we are part of a select group of nonprofits throughout the country,” said Linder. “It definitely means a great deal to know we are part of such an elite group that has the opportunity to partner so closely with Bank of America.”

Since the program’s inception in 2019, Bank of America has invested $6.3 million into 126 nonprofits located in 42 communities.

Liz Juarez joined GV Wire in July, 2021 as a Digital News Producer. She has experience working for publications around the Central Valley including the Clovis Roundup, Porterville Recorder and Hanford Sentinel. While in college, she interned for Mountain West Athletics and served as Outreach Chair for the Fresno State Radio and Television Digital News Association (RTDNA). Liz earned a bachelor's degree in Media Communications and Journalism at Fresno State and a master's degree in Communications from Arizona State University. In her down time, she enjoys reading, drawing and staying active by playing basketball, taking trips to the coast and visiting national parks. You can contact Liz at liz.juarez@gvwire.com