Bank of Sierra donates $33K to local nonprofits

Bank of the Sierra funds 13 nonprofits in the first quarter of 2020 through its Sierra Grant Program

PORTERVILLE – When students go back to school, hopefully this fall, there will be enough money for one local nonprofit to continue providing low income students with school supplies.

The Assistance League of Visalia lost thousands of dollars this spring when it had to cancel its largest fundraiser of the year. The event raised money for the organization’s Operation School Bell, a program that provides clothing, backpacks with school supplies, hygiene kits, and books for home libraries to local students. Even without the event, the program will continue when the school bell’s sound thanks to a recent grant from a local bank.

Assistance League of Visalia was one of 13 Central Valley nonprofits to received a portion of the $33,500 Bank of the Sierra awarded on Monday, May 11 as part of its ongoing Sierra Grant Program. The program awards $1,000-$5,000 grants to 15-25 nonprofit organizations each quarter. Overall in the first quarter, the Porterville-based bank awarded a total of $60,000 to nonprofits in the eight counties it serves.

Central California Food Bank will use a Sierra Grant to support its Neighborhood Market fresh produce distributions in Tulare County. There are normally 24 Neighborhood Markets every month, and each event serves an average of 650 people. The organization will continue to fight food insecurity throughout the Central Valley during the coronavirus pandemic.

The Kaweah Delta Hospital Foundation was also awarded a Sierra Grant to support Pink Tea, its primary fundraiser for breast cancer community education and care services. The Tulare County-based organization is also asking people to donate masks, gowns, gloves, and other medical gear, give blood, and to contribute to its COVID-19 relief fund.

The Bank also announced that it will prioritize funding to nonprofit organizations that are fighting or have been affected by the COVID-19 pandemic through its Sierra Grant Program.

“We want to help our communities in the fight against COVID-19, and we knew the Sierra Grant Program would be the perfect way to do it,” said Kevin McPhaill, Bank of the Sierra President and Chief Executive Officer. “We’re in this together!”

Since its inception in 2004, the Sierra Grant Program has been responsible for donating over $2.2 million to organizations that improve local communities. 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 web site at

Now in its 43rd year of operations, Bank of the Sierra 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, Los Angeles, 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 and top-performing community banks in the country with a 5-star rating from Bauer Financial.

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