November 23, 2020 We’re thrilled to announce that we’ve partnered with Pacific West Communities, Inc. and Novin Development Corporation to co-develop Sunflower Hill at Lafayette Lane in Lafayette, California. This proposed residential community would include approximately 38 affordable rental units for people with developmental disabilities. Working in collaboration with Miramar Capital, which along with Pacific West Communities owns the land, and with its partners and architects, Ward-Young Architects, we will advise on the design of the 38 rental units as it relates to optimal residential design for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities. If the project is approved and completed, we will provide person-centered programs and activities for residents with developmental disabilities living in the community and the greater community. We anticipate this project will go before the Planning Commission and City Council in 2021 and, if approved, construction would begin in 2022 with a 2023 completion date. For future announcements related to Lafayette Lane and other Sunflower Hill news, please sign up to receive our newsletter.
November 20, 2020 We’re excited to announce that longtime volunteer and current Sunflower Hill Board President, Kathy Layman has been selected to receive Diablo Magazine’s 2020 Threads of Hope Award! The award is given annually to five local volunteers who provide vital services in a variety of fields, and whose “selfless dedication to volunteerism is strengthening the fabric of our community.” Congratulations to Kathy and the other four award winners, who are heroes in our community.
“We’re thrilled that Diablo Magazine has recognized Kathy for her ongoing willingness to devote her time, expertise and energy to Sunflower Hill,” said Edie Nehls, Executive Director of Sunflower Hill. “Kathy’s volunteer efforts have had a profound impact not only for Sunflower Hill, but also the East Bay community, and more specifically, on the lives of hundreds of adults with developmental disabilities.”
Watch Kathy and the other four award winners receive their award during the virtual awards ceremony which was held on December 10, 2020.
June 11, 2020
Dear Sunflower Hill Community,
Our hearts are heavy with the tragic deaths of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor and countless other victims of senseless violence against Black people. As an organization, we are joining in grief and solidarity with the Black community and all others who are speaking out against injustice. These past few weeks have been a time of reflection and conversation among the staff and leadership of Sunflower Hill as we look deeper into the racial injustices inflicted upon the Black community, and what we can do within the organization to strive towards greater racial equality.
We know that change begins with each of us as individuals. Sunflower Hill is comprised of deeply caring individuals who strive to create supportive environments where people thrive. I know that our organization will bring the same tenacity to this conversation. I have been incredibly inspired by the conversations that have transpired over these past few weeks; they are raw and real as this is not an easy topic.
As a result, we have created a Diversity Taskforce to assess and implement real, tangible change within our organization. Sunflower Hill’s mission of supporting adults with development disabilities will guide us as we identify ways to improve as an organization. We commit to deepening our understanding of this important issue and to pursue specific ways we can change to better serve the Black community and all people of color. We are committed to continuing to embrace change and create spaces and places where people thrive.
Edie Nehls, Executive Director
Kathy Layman, Sunflower Hill Board President
May 12, 2020
We are heartened by your generosity! You helped us raise $11,437 on #GivingTuesdayNow! All of us at Sunflower Hill are humbled by your compassion and desire to support programs for adults with developmental disabilities. Your efforts will enable us to continue providing our Online Activities programming for free to our program participants and the greater community! Thank you so much for supporting Sunflower Hill and helping adults with developmental disabilities thrive!
March 18, 2020
At this uncertain time, we hope that you and your loved ones are healthy and safe. These moments cause us to pause and reflect on what is truly important in life; our health, our loved ones and our sense of greater purpose in the world. We are very grateful to all of you for being a part of Sunflower Hill.
As part of the county-wide order to shelter at home, we have closed both the Sunflower Hill Garden and Sunflower Hill at Stable Cafe Programs to program participants and volunteers for the foreseeable future. Our administrative offices are closed as well, however staff are working from home. Once the order has been lifted, we will communicate dates for reopening.
As Sunflower Hill donates produce to local nonprofits who provide meals and food to the community, the garden is considered an “Essential Business,” as determined by the Health Officer of the County of Alameda. To that end, our Garden staff will continue to maintain the Sunflower Hill Garden for the purpose of harvesting produce. Although our program participants won’t be on-hand to help, their hard work over the winter will enable us to donate 100% of the produce to Open Heart Kitchen and Culinary Angels.
Our Garden staff are employing all suggested precautionary measures and will follow Alameda County Health Department guidelines to limit exposure and to ensure their health and well-being. Please note that the Garden will not be open to the public or volunteers at this time.
Despite working remotely, our team continues to work on the opening of Sunflower Hill at Irby Ranch. Construction will continue during this time as Sunflower Hill at Irby Ranch is deemed “Essential Infrastructure” for affordable housing.
Our Programs team is also brainstorming ways to plan virtual activities for our program participants to keep them engaged and energized during this challenging time.
As a nonprofit, these are especially difficult times. Now more than ever, Sunflower Hill needs your support! Please consider making a donation today.
We will miss sharing time with our volunteers and the community whether it be in the Garden or at Stable Cafe, but look forward to seeing everyone happy and healthy in April. In the meantime, we welcome you to follow us on Facebook or Instagram where we will be posting pictures from our programs and past events that we hope will brighten your day.
Wishing you health and joy,
The Sunflower Hill Team
March 12, 2020
Sunflower Hill is taking a proactive approach to ensuring that we mitigate any potential spread of Coronavirus (Covid-19) to our staff, volunteers and community. After much thought and discussion, we have decided to close the Sunflower Hill Garden to all Programs and volunteers beginning Saturday, March 14, 2020. As the situation evolves we will assess the date that we reopen the Garden and will communicate that via social media and email.
In addition, we are canceling our March 15, 2020 Breakfast at the Stable Cafe date. We will miss sharing this special morning with many of you, but look forward to seeing everyone – happy & healthy – in April.
We wish you all health during these uncertain times.