Local Crafters Needed for Holiday Craft Party for Unhoused Women, Children

A volunteer helps a woman and child make jewelry

Local crafters are needed to lead projects at Women’s Empowerment’s upcoming Holiday Craft Party for unhoused women and children on Dec. 17. Volunteers will create a craft project, provide the supplies, and lead women and children through the project as they create holiday gifts for their loved ones. For each craft project table, supplies are needed for approximately 200 people, and Women’s Empowerment can provide additional volunteers as needed. Volunteers are needed by Dec. 2. For more information or to sign up, visit womens-empowerment.org.

“This is a season when most people get to experience the dignity of giving, but for women and children who are experiencing homelessness, this is often not an option,” said Lisa Culp, executive director, Women’s Empowerment. “Our craft volunteers give women and children the opportunity to create meaningful gifts for people they love. We are so grateful for our volunteers who come up with such creative ideas for craft projects, from scented sachets and bookmarks to bracelets, dreamcatchers and picture frames.”

As part of the Holiday Craft Party, each woman and child also receives a holiday gift package donated by the community, including gloves, hats, socks, art supplies, water bottles, journals, holiday candy, gift cards and more. The average cost of a gift package is $40, and items are needed by Dec. 12. Gift cards are especially needed, including $20 cards for Target, Walmart or Amazon, and $10-$15 cards for fast food restaurants, Jamba Juice and Starbucks. For the wishlist of items needed or to make a donation, visit womens-empowerment.org.

Women’s Empowerment provides a two-month employment-readiness and empowerment program, paid job training, childcare and support services so women and their children can break the generational cycle of homelessness. Women’s Empowerment offers the most comprehensive job-readiness program in the Sacramento area designed specifically for women experiencing homelessness and their children. On average, 70% of women in the program find housing despite the ongoing housing crisis. Last year, 142 job placements were achieved by Women’s Empowerment graduates. Since its founding in 2001, the award-winning organization has graduated 1,781 women and their 3,893 children. Women’s Empowerment is funded through private donations from the community and grants. To make a donation: Womens-Empowerment.org.

United Way Seeks Volunteers for Free Tax Prep Program

Volunteers are needed to help families across the region file their taxes and apply for tax credits as part of United Way California Capital Region’s Free Tax Prep program. No experience is needed, as participants receive training to become IRS-certified volunteers. The training includes five full-day sessions and an open-book test at the end of training for certification. Volunteers must be signed up by end of November. Tax preparation certification training begins Nov. 5. For more information or to sign up to volunteer: YourLocalUnitedWayFreeTaxPrep.org.

“Our Free Tax Prep volunteers play a big role in ensuring local families receive help applying for the maximum tax benefits for which they are eligible,” said Dr. Dawnté Early, president and CEO, United Way California Capital Region. “Many families in our region have earned these tax credits, but do not know they are eligible. These are important funds they can use to meet immediate needs and increase their household’s financial stability.”

Each year, United Way and hundreds of volunteers help families and individuals earning less than $66,000 annually file their taxes for free. Last tax season, our Free Tax Prep program helped more than 4,000 families receive more than $9.5 million in tax refunds, including CalEITC.

United Way California Capital Region has been working to fight poverty for nearly 100 years by creating stronger, healthier, more compassionate communities, now serving Amador, El Dorado, Placer, Sacramento and Yolo counties. The local United Way has found one place in each community to reach the most families in need: School is square one for ending family poverty. United Way uses its Square One approach to end poverty for local families by helping children excel in school, investing in families, and strengthening schools with resources to address increased poverty and deep roots of racial inequality. To learn more and make a donation: YourLocalUnitedWay.org.

Volunteers Needed to Help Kids Read with United Way

Volunteers are needed in person at schools in Woodland and Sacramento, as well as virtually, to help children improve their reading through United Way California Capital Region’s STARS program. No prior tutoring knowledge is needed, as United Way provides training for volunteers, all of whom commit to at least one hour each week split into two 30-minute sessions of small group tutoring for three months. In-person volunteers are especially needed, and teens are welcome to apply. For more information or to sign up to volunteer: YourLocalUnitedWay.org/STARS.

“Our STARS volunteers play such an important role in helping kids get on track with reading, but they also become role models for the kids and help them build confidence,” said Dr. Dawnté Early, president and CEO, United Way California Capital Region. “We know that if kids aren’t reading at grade level by fourth grade, they will have a much harder time keeping up in all school subjects. We also know that education is a ladder out of poverty. Our STARS volunteers can truly change the course of a child’s life.”

The local United Way has been helping children improve literacy for more than five years, including through its AARP Experience Corps program that paired retirees with children in schools before the pandemic hit. United Way’s STARS uses the BookNook platform to virtually work through literacy curriculum with participants and build their vocabulary, fluency and comprehension skills through a variety of games, books and lessons provided in the online portal during the pandemic. The program is now offering in-person opportunities alongside its virtual platform.

United Way California Capital Region has been working to fight poverty for nearly 100 years by creating stronger, healthier, more compassionate communities, now serving Amador, El Dorado, Placer, Sacramento and Yolo counties. The local United Way has found one place in each community to reach the most families in need: School is square one for ending family poverty. United Way uses its Square One approach to end poverty for local families by helping children excel in school, investing in families, and strengthening schools with resources to address increased poverty and deep roots of racial inequality. To learn more and make a donation: YourLocalUnitedWay.org.

United Way Seeks Free Tax Prep Volunteers

Volunteers are needed to help local families file their taxes and apply for refunds as part of United Way California Capital Region’s Free Tax Prep program that will open again in early 2022. No experience is required, and training is provided through a combination of self-study and online live sessions to become an IRS-certified volunteer with the program. To learn more: YourLocalUnitedWay.org/freetaxprep-volunteer.  

“After a tumultuous year, it’s more important than ever that local families receive help applying for the maximum tax benefits for which they are eligible,” said Amber Lovett, interim president and CEO, United Way California Capital Region. “Our Free Tax Prep volunteers play a big role in ensuring families have the financial resources for their kids to succeed in school and career.”

Each year, United Way California Capital Region works with hundreds of volunteers to help households earning less than $66,000 annually file their taxes for free. Last tax season, the program helped more than 4,000 families receive $7.5 million in refunds.

“United Way’s Free Tax Prep program helps put tax dollars in people’s pockets,” said Katherine Green, program volunteer. “As a Free Tax Prep program volunteer, I look forward to meeting new people and helping them think beyond daily survival so they can have greater control over their resources and their life. I believe in strengthening vulnerable communities to reduce poverty, and this program opens doors for the community.”

For nearly 100 years, United Way California Capital Region has brought local people together to make community change happen. With a mission to build stronger, healthier and more compassionate communities, the local United Way starts at square one: helping every family succeed so their community can too. Serving Amador, El Dorado, Placer, Sacramento and Yolo counties, the local United Way is working to meet its 20-year commitment to significantly reduce poverty in the region by building capacity in undervalued communities, creating meaningful partnerships, seeking equity in education and making social justice investments in families. For more information or to make a donation, visit YourLocalUnitedWay.org.

Online Reading Volunteers Needed for United Way’s STARS

Volunteers are needed to help local kids learn to read through United Way California Capital Region’s STARS program that pairs volunteers and students up through sixth grade for online literacy tutoring so they can succeed in school. No prior tutoring knowledge is needed, as United Way provides training for its volunteers, all of whom commit to at least one hour each week split into two 30-minute sessions for three months. Volunteers are especially needed during the hours of 3-5pm. For more information or to sign up as a volunteer: YourLocalUnitedWay.org/STARS.

“We know that if kids aren’t reading at grade level by fourth grade, they will have a hard time keeping up across multiple subjects for years to come,” said Amber Lovett, interim president and CEO, United Way California Capital Region. “Our STARS volunteers make a world of difference in a child’s life by giving just one hour a week. Our tutors not only help them read, they act as positive role models that improve children’s overall confidence in school.”

United Way’s STARS, an acronym for Students and Tutors Achieving Reading Success, has 65 volunteers enrolled to work with nearly 100 students in Robla School District, CHOC housing sites in Yolo County and Woodland Joint Unified School District to provide online tutoring through the platform Book Nook so kids can reach grade level reading. Together, the tutor and student work through the literacy curriculum and build vocabulary, fluency and comprehension skills through a variety of games, books and lessons provided in the online portal.

The local United Way has been helping children improve literacy for more than four years, including through its AARP Experience Corps program that paired retirees with children in schools before the pandemic hit.

For nearly 100 years, United Way California Capital Region has brought local people together to make community change happen. With a mission to build stronger, healthier and more compassionate communities, the local United Way starts at square one: helping every family succeed so their community can too. Serving Amador, El Dorado, Placer, Sacramento and Yolo counties, the local United Way is working to meet its 20-year commitment to significantly reduce poverty in the region by building capacity in undervalued communities, creating meaningful partnerships, seeking equity in education and making social justice investments in families. For more information or to make a donation, visit YourLocalUnitedWay.org.

United Way Launches Shine Your Light Holiday Drive

At the end of a year that has been dark for many communities across the country, United Way California Capital Region is asking residents across the region to join its Shine Your Light holiday campaign, which includes opportunities for community giving and safe volunteering during the holiday season. Visit YourLocalUnitedWay.org/Holiday-Giving.

“This is a year no one will forget – a year filled with deep pain, division and hardship,” said Stephanie Bray, president and CEO, United Way California Capital Region. “Children are being asked to attend school virtually and help younger siblings. Parents have lost jobs that support their family’s needs. Neighbors are struggling to stay afloat while small businesses close around them. During this dark year as we enter the holidays, we are asking residents across the greater Sacramento area to join our Shine Your Light campaign by contributing to our nonprofit partners’ gift drives, volunteering and making financial donations.”

For the Shine Your Light campaign, United Way has gathered the needs of nearly 50 local nonprofits across the region on its website, including which need clothing, blankets, shelf-stable food, hygiene items, winter items, holiday gifts, gift cards and volunteers this holiday season. Shine Your Light participants also can make a financial donation to United Way California Capital Region to help lift up neighbors who are struggling, including children, foster youth, students impacted by COVID-19 and families trying to make ends meet. As part of the campaign, United Way’s Women United action group that supports local foster youth is matching new donations to the group until they reach $35,000, giving donors the opportunity to double their gift.

“In these difficult times, your gift can be a much-needed light in someone’s life during the holidays and in the months to come,” Bray said.

For nearly 100 years, United Way California Capital Region has brought local people together to make community change happen. Today, the nonprofit is bringing people together across Amador, El Dorado, Sacramento, Placer and Yolo counties for its Square One Project, a 20-year promise to significantly increase the number of students in our region who graduate from high school ready for success in college and beyond. United Way believes ending poverty starts in school and is working to ensure kids meet important milestones and their families receive support and resources. To learn more and make a donation, visit YourLocalUnitedWay.org.

United Way Seeks Holiday Gifts for Low-Income Families and Foster Youth

Volunteers stuff holiday stockings at United Way

This holiday season, Sacramento-area residents can donate and volunteer with United Way California Capital Region to make sure all families in their community have the support they need for kids to have a bright future. The local United Way is seeking gifts for its upcoming holiday markets for families in need, as well as local youth in foster care. Gifts are needed by Dec. 6 and can be purchased through United Way’s Amazon Wish Lists at YourLocalUnitedWay.org/Holiday. 

 “We talk a lot about the holidays being merry and bright, but for too many families in our community, it’s hard to feel merry when your future is uncertain and your kids don’t even have a warm coat to get through the winter,” said Stephanie Bray, president and CEO, United Way California Capital Region. “All children deserve a bright future, and that’s why our Square One Project works to ensure all kids in our community have the support they need year-round so they can focus on school and succeed in life.”

United Way also is seeking volunteers to help with the holiday markets for families in need where parents can shop the market and select gifts for their children. Volunteers are needed for shifts at the Robla Elementary School holiday market on Dec. 10 from 8 a.m.-noon and 12:30-4:30 p.m., and at St. Luke’s Church in Woodland on Dec. 12 from 9 a.m.-12:30 p.m. and 3:30-7 p.m. Volunteers are needed to help set up the markets, assist parents with shopping, wrap gifts and close the events. For more information and to sign up, visit YourLocalUnitedWay.org/Holiday.

For nearly 100 years, United Way California Capital Region has brought local people together to make community change happen. Today, the nonprofit is bringing people together across Amador, El Dorado, Sacramento, Placer and Yolo counties for its Square One Project, a 20-year promise to significantly increase the number of students in our region who graduate from high school ready for success in college and beyond. United Way believes ending poverty starts in school and is working to ensure kids meet important milestones and their families receive support and resources. To learn more and make a donation: YourLocalUnitedWay.org.

United Way Needs Seniors to Help Kids Read

Local residents age 50 and up are needed this fall to help kids in kindergarten through third grade improve their reading through AARP Experience Corps, managed locally by United Way California Capital Region. To learn more and sign up to volunteer, visit YourLocalUnitedWay.org/Experience-Corps-Literacy-Program.

“Kids who are not reading at grade level by fourth grade are more likely to fall behind in all subjects, including math and science, making them less likely to graduate from high school,” said Stephanie Bray, president and CEO, United Way California Capital Region. “This corps of volunteers is essential to ensuring our community’s kids are successful.”

Volunteers serve at local schools approximately two days per week for two to three hours a day throughout the school year, tutoring and tracking progress for groups of two to three students for the year. Volunteers meet monthly to share best practices and receive literacy and classroom management experience. They receive training to become mentors and role models and to hone their skills to help students reach their reading goals.

Last year, United Way’s AARP Experience Corps helped 415 students with reading – 62 percent of those who were reading below grade level improved their reading and literary performance. In 2018, program participant Robla School District reported more students meeting and exceeding standards in English Language Arts compared to 2017 – the rate of annual increase was three times higher than state and county averages.

“The results are encouraging and worth the work,” said Experience Corps volunteer Mary Ann Rider. “I never felt like I was cut out to be a teacher, but I felt prepared by the curriculum I had learned in our training. Plus getting to know the kids is fun. If you’re looking for volunteer work, what’s more important than helping a child learn to read?”

United Way California Capital Region is one of only seven nonprofits across the country helping to grow Experience Corps, the evidence-based AARP Foundation literacy program that improves the reading skills of children, enriches the lives of volunteer tutors and strengthens schools in local communities.

For nearly 100 years, United Way California Capital Region has brought local people together to make community change happen. Today, the nonprofit is bringing people together across Amador, El Dorado, Sacramento, Placer and Yolo counties for its Square One Project, a 20-year promise to significantly increase the number of students in our region who graduate from high school ready for success in college and beyond. United Way believes ending poverty starts in school and is working to ensure kids meet important milestones and their families receive support and resources. To learn more and make a donation: YourLocalUnitedWay.org.

Thousand Volunteers Needed for United Way’s Day of Caring

One thousand local residents are needed to spend a day caring for the community Sept. 21-22 by signing up for more than a dozen volunteer projects happening at nonprofits and schools across the region during United Way’s annual Day of Caring, sponsored by Nationwide. As part of Day of Caring, United Way and Robla School District will host the Robla I Care Fair for families on Sept. 22 at Robla Community Park, 625 Bell Avenue in Sacramento. The event will include family activities and resources for United Way’s Square One Project that is working to increase the number of students who graduate from high school prepared for college or career. To sign up to volunteer for a Day of Caring project or become a sponsor: http://www.yourlocalunitedway.org/day-caring.

Since United Way California Capital Region held its inaugural Day of Caring in 2013, 3,692 volunteers have donated 18,054 hours of service for 182 projects benefiting nonprofits and schools across the region.

“This is the single largest volunteer day in our region,” said Stephanie Bray, president and CEO, United Way California Capital Region. “This is our opportunity to volunteer our time and energy as we dig our hands in to help the nonprofits and schools that do so much for our community every day.”

Day of Caring is part of United Way California Capital Region’s Square One Project, 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, United Way believes ending poverty starts in school and is working to ensure kids meet important milestones for success in college or career. To donate or volunteer: www.yourlocalunitedway.org.

Volunteers Needed for United Way’s Day of Caring Sept. 22-23

More than 1,000 local residents are needed to spend a day caring for the community Sept. 22-23 by signing up for one of dozens of volunteer projects happening at nonprofits, schools and community parks across the region during United Way’s Day of Caring. The event, sponsored by Nationwide, will begin with a kickoff breakfast and rally at Cal Expo. To sign up for Day of Caring: http://www.yourlocalunitedway.org/day-caring.

Last year, volunteers gave 5,450 hours through the event, which equated to more than $128,000 in volunteer time that many nonprofits, schools and groups could not have otherwise afforded.

“This is the single largest volunteer day in our region, and we hope people will be as enthusiastic about it as they are about Big Day of Giving,” said Stephanie Bray, president and CEO, United Way California Capital Region. “This our chance to give big through our time and energy as we dig our hands in to help the hardworking nonprofits, parks and schools that do so much for our community every day.”

As part of Day of Caring, United Way is holding its Stuff the Bus campaign to collect school supplies for Robla School District in Sacramento through Sept 22. All donated school supplies will be placed in a school bus and driven to Robla School District at the end of the day. To donate to Stuff the Bus: http://www.yourlocalunitedway.org/StufftheBus2017.

Nationwide is the presenting sponsor for Day of Caring and Stuff the Bus, and Cal Expo is the kick-off rally sponsor. Project sponsors include Dr. Pepper Snapple Group, ESM Prep, KPMG, Law Offices of Deon R. Stein, Nelson Staffing, SAFE Credit Union, SMUD, Social Interest Solutions, Sutter Health, Syzmanowski Orthodontics, TaxAudit.com and Zurich. Media partners include Entercom Radio’s ESPN Radio 1320 AM, 98 Rock, Eagle 96.9 FM and 106.5 The End. To sponsor: www.yourlocalunitedway.org/day-caring.

Day of Caring and Stuff the Bus are part of United Way California Capital Region’s Square One Project, 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, United Way believes ending poverty starts in school and is working to ensure kids meet important milestones for success in college or career. To donate or volunteer: www.yourlocalunitedway.org.