Community Partners in Caring driver

Community Partners in Caring volunteer Sandy Nordhal donates her time and her vehicle to give seniors rides to medical appointments and to deliver groceries in this photo from early March.

Community Partners in Caring was named a 2021 California nonprofit of the year on June 23 by the California Association of Nonprofits and 37th Assembly District representative Steve Bennett, D-Ventura.

The organization was one of more than 100 nonprofit agencies honored on California Nonprofits Day by individual state Senate and Assembly members for contributions to the communities they serve.

Community Partners in Caring provides Santa Barbara County seniors, age 62 and older, with transportation to both medical and nonmedical appointments, food deliveries, wellness check-ins, friendly visits and more, an organization spokeswoman said.

“Staff and volunteers at Community Partners in Caring transform the lives of homebound seniors every day, and we are deeply humbled to be recognized by Steve Bennett as a 2021 nonprofit of the year,” said Vilma Contreras, executive director.

Through volunteer support, the organization helps seniors live independently while maintaining dignity, respect and quality of life, the spokeswoman said.

Currently, more than 800 seniors receive services from Community Partners in Caring, and the number continues to grow.

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“The pandemic and shelter-in-place orders of the past year and a half have put nonprofits — usually hidden in plain sight — in the spotlight,” said Jan Masaoka, chief executive officer of the California Association of Nonprofits.

“California nonprofit of the year is an opportunity for our elected officials to celebrate the good work they see nonprofits doing in their districts, and for everyone to appreciate the collective impact of nonprofits in our communities,” Masaoka said.

Each year, legislators from across California choose a nonprofit of the year in their districts for California Nonprofits Day.

Now in its sixth year, California Nonprofits Day was formally recognized by 2021 Assembly Concurrent Resolution 80, authored by 39th Assembly District representative Luz Rivas, D-North Hollywood, and co-authored by 19th District Sen. Monique Limón, D-Santa Barbara.

Traditionally, honorees and legislators are invited by CalNonprofits, chair of the Senate Select Committee on the Nonprofit Sector, who is currently Limón, and chair of the Assembly Select Committee on the Nonprofit Sector, who is currently Rivas, to a celebratory luncheon on California Nonprofits Day.

This year, as in 2020, the luncheon was canceled due to pandemic restrictions, but legislators still honored the nonprofits doing outstanding work in their districts, the spokeswoman said.

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