Be a Baby’s First Santa: Donate to Sacramento Life Center’s Baby Basket Drive

Local residents are invited to be a baby’s first Santa as Sacramento Life Center holds its annual Baby Basket Drive for local women and teens spending the holidays preparing to become new moms in the coming year. The drive runs through Dec. 31 so the Sacramento Life Center can provide a basket of needed items to every patient who gives birth in 2018. Donations can be made online at www.saclife.org. Gifts can be made in any increment, but a donation of $50 buys one basket, which includes formula, diapers, newborn clothes, pacifiers and more.

“One of the most overwhelming feelings is learning that you’re pregnant and fearing you won’t have the resources to care for your vulnerable baby,” said Marie Leatherby, executive director, Sacramento Life Center. “Sometimes something as simple as a gift of diapers and newborn clothes can give expecting mothers the confidence that they have a support system to help raise their child. Gifts to our Baby Basket Drive give expecting mothers proof that they will always have a family here at the Sacramento Life Center and cheerleaders out in the community rooting for their family.”

The Sacramento Life Center’s mission is to offer compassion, support, resources and free medical care to women and couples facing an unplanned or unsupported pregnancy. The Sacramento Life Center’s licensed Sac Valley Pregnancy Clinic includes a primary clinic and two Mobile Medical Clinics that provide all services for free, including pregnancy tests, STD tests, ultrasounds, peer counseling for men and women, education and resource referrals. The nonprofit also offers a school-based teen education program, a 24-hour hotline and a program for women seeking support after having an abortion. For more information about the Sacramento Life Center’s Sac Valley Pregnancy Clinic, visit www.svpclinic.com. For more information about the Sacramento Life Center or to make a donation, visit www.saclife.org.

Holiday Stockings Needed for Formerly Homeless Women and Kids

Bring smiles to formerly homeless women and children this holiday season by contributing to Women’s Empowerment’s annual Holiday Stocking Drive. The group is seeking 250 unstuffed stockings and specific fillers for local infants and toddlers, children, teens and adult women.

“The women and children in our program have known the coldest, loneliest holiday seasons. The community’s simple gift of stockings brings immeasurable joy along with warm winter accessories as they celebrate their first holiday season in a home they can call their own,” said Lisa Culp, executive director, Women’s Empowerment.

For the list of items needed, visit www.womens-empowerment.org. Those interested also can donate $35 to have a volunteer elf fill a stocking or donate $15 Target gift cards. Items are needed by Dec. 6 and can be dropped off at 1590 North A Street, Sacramento.

Women’s Empowerment was featured on NBC’s The TODAY Show in 2015 for offering the most comprehensive job-readiness program in the Sacramento area designed specifically for women who are homeless and their children. The award-winning organization has graduated 1,457 homeless women and their 3,500 children. Last year, 92 percent of graduates found homes and 81 percent found jobs or enrolled in school or training. The program combines self-esteem courses, job training, health classes and support services to help homeless women across diverse ages, races and cultures. Women’s Empowerment is funded through private donations from the community and receives no government funding except for in-kind rent from the County of Sacramento. To make a donation, visit www.womens-empowerment.org.

Society for the Blind Launches Mobile Low-Vision Services and Vision 2020 Campaign

Society for the Blind is launching mobile low-vision services as part of its effort to meet the growing need for low-vision care in outlying counties throughout Northern California. The mobile clinic was donated by VSP Global, whose mission is to increase access to eye care. The mobile clinic services officially launched today at an event where VSP Global handed over keys to the donated van that will carry the donated mobile eye equipment across the region. Guests at the event heard from Society for the Blind optometrists and other representatives and had the opportunity to view the mobile equipment up close. Patient exams took place all morning.

The launch also kicked off the public phase of Society for the Blind’s Vision 2020 campaign that aims to raise $5 million by 2020 to expand services across the region as the need for low-vision eye care continues to rise. The campaign has raised $3 million toward its efforts to build capacity to reach more rural areas, expand services within the onsite Low Vision Clinic, update infrastructure and launch an endowment.

“There are 100,000 people with low vision living in the Sacramento area, but Society for the Blind is working at capacity serving 6,000 children, adults and seniors each year,” said Shari Roeseler, executive director, Society for the Blind. “Through this donation of the mobile clinic and equipment, we can bring our Low Vision Clinc to people in some of the most rural communities in Northern California who would not otherwise be able to travel to Sacramento. This is an example of partnerships we need to make Vision 2020 a reality.”

The van will transport the equipment and the Society for the Blind eye care professionals across the region. VSP Global also donated the mobile low-vision eye exam equipment that will make it possible to expand access to eye care. The mobile clinic will begin services in Sacramento to meet the needs of a long waitlist of patients in the city, and by end of the year will begin traveling up the Highway 99 corridor to bring care to the Redding and Yuba areas. Through the clinic, patients will have access to a Society for the Blind optometrist providing low-vision exams, an occupational therapist and an instructor for in-home trainings. Staff also will conduct outreach to optometrists in the areas where the van is serving.

“VSP Global is honored to support Society for the Blind and their optometrists in increasing access to eye care for those with low vision throughout Northern California,” said Les Passuello, senior vice president at VSP Global and Society for the Blind board member. “We look forward to seeing the new opportunities that Society for the Blind is able to create for individuals living with low vision or blindness.”

For more than 60 years, Society for the Blind has created innovative ways to empower individuals living with low vision or blindness to discover, develop and achieve their full potential. Society for the Blind has grown from a dedicated group of volunteers that included the Lions Clubs of America to a nationally recognized agency and the only comprehensive rehabilitative teaching center that provides services for a 27-county region of northern California. The nonprofit provides low-vision eye care, life and job skills training, mentorship, and access to tools to maintain independence for 6,000 youth, adults and seniors experiencing vision loss each year. For more information or to make a donation to the Vision 2020 campaign, visit www.SocietyfortheBlind.org.

As a doctor-governed company, VSP Global® exists to create value for members and opportunities for VSP network doctors. VSP Global’s complementary businesses include VSP® Vision Care, the only national not-for-profit vision benefits company, which provides access to eye care for its 84 million members around the world through a network of 40,000 eye doctors; Marchon® Eyewear, Inc., one of the world’s largest designers, manufacturers and distributors of high quality eyewear and sunwear; VSP Optics Group, industry leaders in ophthalmic technology and lab services, providing custom lens solutions for the vision and lifestyle needs of patients; Eyefinity®, the eye care industry’s largest electronic health records and practice management software company, and VSP Omni-Channel Solutions, which creates connected consumer experiences designed to strengthen the relationship between VSP members and their eye doctors. To date, VSP network doctors have provided eye exams and eyewear at no-cost to over a million people in need through a partnership with VSP Global’s Eyes of Hope®.

Tickets on sale for Women’s Empowerment’s Annual Gala

Community members are invited to the 16th Annual Celebration of Independence Gala that benefits Women’s Empowerment, a local nonprofit job training and empowerment program for women who are homeless and their children. The event, which raises funds for the organization and honors the group’s 1,411 graduates, will take place 5:30-8:45 p.m. on May 17 at the DoubleTree by Hilton, 2001 Point West Way, Sacramento. Guests will mingle with graduates from the program and enjoy a formal dinner, live and silent auctions, live music and presentations from the graduates.

Tickets are $125. Those who cannot attend, or wish to contribute more, can sponsor a graduate to attend the event. For tickets or sponsorship opportunities, call (916) 669-2307 or visit www.womens-empowerment.org.

“This event is like no other in Sacramento,” said Lisa Culp, executive director of Women’s Empowerment. “Rarely will you attend a fundraiser where donors and community members have the chance to meet and talk with women who have overcome homelessness. It’s our largest fundraiser of the year, but it’s also a night filled with laughter, tears and joy as we celebrate the incredible women who have shared their journeys with us.”

Women’s Empowerment was featured on NBC’s The TODAY Show in 2015 for offering the most comprehensive job-readiness program in the Sacramento area designed specifically for women who are homeless and their children. The award-winning organization has graduated 1,411 homeless women and their children. Last year, 92 percent of graduates found homes and 81 percent found jobs or enrolled in school or training. The program combines self-esteem courses, job training, health classes and support services to help homeless women across diverse ages, races and cultures. Women’s Empowerment is funded through private donations from the community and receives no government funding except for in-kind rent from the County of Sacramento. To make a donation: www.womens-empowerment.org.

Heroes Walk for Life to Raise Funds for Low Income Pregnant Women

Local residents are invited to dress up as their favorite superheroes and join Sacramento Life Center’s Heroes Walk for Life on May 20 at Maidu Park in Roseville from 8:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m. The 2K and 5K walk and fun run will raise funds for free pregnancy services at the Sacramento Life Center, benefiting low-income pregnant women and teens. The family-friendly event will include a rally, toddler dash, bounce house, face painting, crafts, magic show, and capes and masks for kids. Registration is $30, but free for kids ages 12 and under. For more information, to sign up or to make a donation, visit www.walkingheroes.org.

“This is a great opportunity for families, individuals and teams to be heroes for mothers and babies in need of care,” said Marie Leatherby, executive director, Sacramento Life Center. “This will be a fun day celebrating the amazing work being done in our community to ensure low-income pregnant women and teens are well cared for.”

The Sacramento Life Center’s mission is to offer compassion, support, resources and free medical care to women and couples facing an unplanned or unsupported pregnancy. The Sacramento Life Center’s licensed Sac Valley Pregnancy Clinic includes a primary clinic and two Mobile Medical Clinics that provide all services for free, including pregnancy testing, STI testing, ultrasounds, advocacy for men and women, education and resource referrals. The nonprofit also offers a school-based teen education program, a 24-hour hotline and a program for women seeking support after having an abortion. For more information about the Sacramento Life Center’s Sac Valley Pregnancy Clinic, visit www.svpclinic.com. For more information about the Sacramento Life Center or to make a donation, visit www.saclife.org.

Donate Towels, Toiletries and Luggage for Foster Youth Today!

Local residents can donate new towels, toiletries and luggage for local foster youth through United Way’s Women in Philanthropy Spring Drive happening through end of today. Items will be donated through Sacramento County’s Foster Youth Emancipation Basket program to more than 260 local foster youth preparing to leave the system and live on their own for the first time. Donations can be purchased from the Amazon wishlist at www.yourlocalunitedway.org/spring-drive or can be dropped off at United Way’s office at 10389 Old Placerville Road in Sacramento before 7:30 p.m. Volunteers are needed from 5-7:30 p.m. at United Way’s office to package the donations.

United Way’s Women in Philanthropy brings local women together to end poverty for local foster youth by helping them become financially prepared for life after foster care. This focus is part of the Square One Project, United Way’s 20-year promise to significantly increase the number of local students who graduate from high school ready for success in college and beyond. Through nine decades of work and research across Amador, El Dorado, Sacramento, Placer and Yolo counties, the local United Way believes ending poverty starts in school and is working to ensure kids meet important milestones to prepare for success in college or career. To learn more about United Way’s Women in Philanthropy, visit www.yourlocalunitedway.org.

Sacramento Life Center’s Baby Basket Drive Raises Most Funds Ever

The Sacramento Life Center’s third annual Baby Basket Drive for new moms raised the most funds of all three years, totaling $8,470, which will buy 170 baskets in 2017. The drive is held each December to kickstart the 500 baby baskets needed so that every Sacramento Life Center patient who gives birth in the coming year can receive a basket of needed items, including formula, diapers, newborn clothes, pacifiers and more.

Donations will be accepted throughout 2017 and can be made online at www.saclife.org by writing Baby Basket Drive in the message box on the donation page. Gifts can be made in any increment, but a donation of $50 buys one basket.

“Many of our patients come in scared that they might be pregnant, and it’s our job to provide them with a warm, caring support system and resources that will sustain them long after the baby comes,” said Marie Leatherby, executive director, Sacramento Life Center. “We want to encourage women, teen girls and their partners that they are capable of caring for a child. These baskets give new parents a boost of confidence along with much needed supplies.”

The Sacramento Life Center’s mission is to offer compassion, support, resources and free medical care to women and couples facing an unplanned or unsupported pregnancy. The Sacramento Life Center’s licensed Sac Valley Pregnancy Clinic includes a primary clinic and two Mobile Medical Clinics that provide all services for free, including pregnancy tests, STD tests, ultrasounds, peer counseling for men and women, education and resource referrals. The nonprofit also offers a school-based teen education program, a 24-hour hotline and a program for women seeking support after having an abortion. For more information about the Sacramento Life Center’s Sac Valley Pregnancy Clinic, visit www.svpclinic.com. For more information about the Sacramento Life Center or to make a donation, visit www.saclife.org.

Baby Baskets Needed for New Moms at Sacramento Life Center

Sacramento Life Center client receives a baby basket donated by the community.

As local women and teens spend the holidays preparing to become new moms in the coming year, the Sacramento Life Center is holding its annual Baby Basket Drive through Dec. 31 so it can continue to provide a basket of needed items to every patient who gives birth in 2017. Donations can be made online at www.saclife.org. Gifts can be made in any increment, but a donation of $50 buys one basket, which includes formula, diapers, newborn clothes, pacifiers and more.

“Many of our patients come in scared that they might be pregnant, and it’s our job to provide them with a warm, caring support system and resources that will sustain them long after the baby comes,” said Marie Leatherby, executive director, Sacramento Life Center. “We want to encourage women, teen girls and their partners that they are capable of caring for a child. These baskets give new parents a boost of confidence along with much needed supplies.”

The Sacramento Life Center’s mission is to offer compassion, support, resources and free medical care to women and couples facing an unplanned or unsupported pregnancy. The Sacramento Life Center’s licensed Sac Valley Pregnancy Clinic includes a primary clinic and two Mobile Medical Clinics that provide all services for free, including pregnancy tests, STD tests, ultrasounds, peer counseling for men and women, education and resource referrals. The nonprofit also offers a school-based teen education program, a 24-hour hotline and a program for women seeking support after having an abortion. For more information about the Sacramento Life Center’s Sac Valley Pregnancy Clinic, visit www.svpclinic.com. For more information about the Sacramento Life Center or to make a donation, visit www.saclife.org.

Give Holiday Stockings to Formerly Homeless Women and Children

Women's Empowerment graduate receives holiday stocking

You can bring smiles to formerly homeless women and children this holiday season by contributing to Women’s Empowerment’s annual Holiday Stocking Drive. The group is seeking 200 unstuffed stockings and specific fillers for local infants and toddlers, children, teens and adult women.

“There is nothing like hearing the squeals of joy from children and their mothers who have gone from having nothing to now having a place to call home during the holidays and cheerful stockings to hang in their homes,” said Lisa Culp, executive director, Women’s Empowerment. “But these stockings not only bring joy, they give these families necessary items so they can stay healthy and warm this winter as they rebuild their lives.”

For the list of items needed, visit www.womens-empowerment.org. Those interested also can donate $35 to have a volunteer elf fill a stocking or donate $15 Target gift cards. Items are needed by Dec. 7 and can be dropped off at 1590 North A Street, Sacramento.

Celebrating its 15th anniversary this year, Women’s Empowerment was recently featured on NBC’s The TODAY Show for offering the most comprehensive job-readiness program in the Sacramento area designed specifically for women who are homeless and their children. The 2014 Organization of the Year has graduated 1,367 homeless women and their 3,700 children. Last year, 93 percent of graduates found homes and 83 percent found jobs or enrolled in school or training. The program combines self-esteem courses, job training, health classes and support services to help homeless women across diverse ages, races and cultures. Women’s Empowerment is funded through private donations from the community and receives no government funding except for in-kind rent from the County of Sacramento. To make a donation: www.womens-empowerment.org.

Holiday Opportunities Abound at United Way’s Online Volunteer Center

Looking for holiday donation and volunteer opportunities? Visit United Way California Capital Region’s online Volunteer Center at www.yourlocalunitedway.org to find more than a dozen needs in one place. Holiday volunteers and donors are encouraged to post photos of their work on social media using #happy2help.

“The Sacramento region is filled with generous people wanting to give back during the holidays, so we’ve gathered numerous opportunities in our online Volunteer Center to make it easy to choose the project you’re most passionate about,” said Stephanie Bray, president and CEO, United Way California Capital Region.

Anyone can sign up to volunteer or donate, and most nonprofits across the region are eligible to add their volunteer opportunities, and can do so through the website. For questions, contact volunteer@uwccr.org.

United Way launched its online Volunteer Center in 2014 to provide an organized, community-wide portal that connects the Sacramento region’s volunteer and donor base with United Way’s 160 local nonprofit partners and other local organizations. The center is designed to connect individual donors and volunteers, as well as corporate or group volunteers, with opportunities of all sizes and commitments throughout the year. Community members can log onto the website and create a profile that lists their interests, become fans of participating nonprofits, join volunteer groups, donate unused materials and household items to nonprofits in need, learn about upcoming special events and fundraisers, and advocate for causes. The center was partly launched in response to United Way’s 450 corporate partners looking for a coordinated way to engage employees in corporate social responsibility through volunteer work, donation opportunities and events.

United Way’s Volunteer Center is part of United Way’s Square One Project, which recognizes the importance of volunteers in making sure nonprofits and schools are equipped to provide a full support system for kids. The Square One Project is a 20-year promise to significantly increase the number of local students who graduate from high school ready for success in college and beyond. Through nine decades of work and research across Amador, El Dorado, Sacramento, Placer and Yolo counties, the local United Way now believes ending poverty starts in school and is working to ensure kids meet important milestones for success in college. To donate or volunteer, visit www.yourlocalunitedway.org.