Women’s Empowerment Receives $25K From US Bank

U.S. Bank Foundation’s Community Possible program has awarded a $25,000 grant to Women’s Empowerment. The grant will support classes and programs that help homeless women gain the skills and confidence they need to secure a job and create a brighter future for their children.

“We are so impressed with U.S. Bank’s commitment to breaking the cycle of homelessness in our community,” said Lisa Culp, executive director, Women’s Empowerment. “This generous donation will ensure homeless women can get a job, become financially self-sufficient and provide their children with a safe, stable home. We are very grateful to U. S. Bank for their investment in ending homelessness.”

In Women’s Empowerment’s initial nine-week program, women who are homeless receive free onsite child care in the group’s child development center and transportation assistance. Each woman works with a master’s level social worker to address her root causes of homelessness. She attends classes on job-readiness, financial literacy, confidence building, health and empowerment, as well as support groups for domestic violence and substance abuse. Women then focus on job placement with their employment specialist and volunteer career mentor.

Women who have graduated from the nine-week program can enroll in the group’s graduate services at any point in their lives when they need assistance. Services include paid job training, vocational certifications, counseling with a social worker and employment specialist, access to a professional clothing closet, and job retention services for employer and employee. 

“The building blocks of a thriving community where all things are possible include stable employment opportunities, a home to call your own and a community connected through a culture of arts, recreation and play,” said Jessica Cook, product manager with U.S. Bank and Women’s Empowerment board member. “Women’s Empowerment provides the most comprehensive solution in Sacramento for women and children who are homeless. At U.S. Bank we believe in Community Possible and are proud to have Women’s Empowerment as one of our partners in 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 1,437 homeless women and their 3,500 children since 2001. 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. 

Community Possible is the corporate giving and volunteer program at U.S. Bank, focused on the areas of Work, Home and Play. The company invests in programs that provide stable employment, a safe place to call home and a community connected through arts, culture, recreation and play. Philanthropic support through the U.S. Bank Foundation and corporate giving program reached $54.2 million in 2016. Visit www.usbank.com/community.

Minneapolis-based U.S. Bancorp, with $464 billion in assets as of June 30, 2017, is the parent company of U.S. Bank National Association, the fifth largest commercial bank in the United States. The company operates 3,088 banking offices in 25 states and 4,826 ATMs and provides a comprehensive line of banking, investment, mortgage, trust and payment services products to consumers, businesses and institutions. Visit U.S. Bancorp on the web at www.usbank.com

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.

Sac Singers and Artists Go Underground to Raise Funds for Women’s Empowerment

From the newly opened basement at Capitol Plaza Ballrooms on K Street will rise the voices of some of Sacramento’s most renowned musicians on Sept. 9. The Cabaret on K fundraiser, sponsored by Capital Public Radio, will benefit homeless women and children at local nonprofit Women’s Empowerment and will include performances of cabaret and jazz favorites with a mix of classical and musical theatre pieces. Artwork from local artists will be on display and for sale, with 50 percent of the proceeds going directly to Women’s Empowerment.

Cabaret on K will take place from 7:30-9:30 p.m. at Capitol Plaza Ballrooms, 1025 9th Street in Sacramento. Guests will enjoy complimentary desserts and drinks for purchase. Tickets are $50, and guests must be age 21 and older to attend. For tickets, visit www.womens-empowerment.org

“Some of Sacramento’s most notable voices will literally speak for those who are voiceless – the homeless women and children in our community,” said Lisa Culp, executive director, Women’s Empowerment. “These singers and local artists will transform the basement of Capitol Plaza Ballrooms, a perfect metaphor for how women and children are transforming their lives every day here in Sacramento as they work to break the cycle of homelessness. We hope everyone will come out to celebrate these hard-working women and our thriving local arts scene.” 

Participating musicians include Carrie Hennessey, Omari Tau, Jen Reason, Sarah Fitch and Capital Public Radio’s Kevin Doherty. Artists Michele Knight, Whitney Lofrano, Art Street’s Angela Tannehill and Wide Open Walls muralist Norm Ayles will have pieces for sale.

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 1,437 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

Sacramento Life Center Raises $1M for New Medical Clinic

Sacramento Life Center exceeded its original goal of $750,000 by raising $1 million toward the purchase and renovation of its new medical clinic in the Arden area that serves low-income women and teens, particulary those who are pregnant. The capital campaign, which began in June 2016, raised funds to purchase and renovate the building, add two ultrasound rooms, a new patient bathroom, a main classroom and a baby needs closet. The move and renovations allow Sacramento Life Center to officially apply for accreditation from the Accreditation Association of Ambulatory Health Care.

“We are overwhelmed by the generosity of this community, as well as the clear understanding that these services are vital to the health of our community,” said Marie Leatherby, executive director, Sacramento Life Center. “Through our new clinic, we can double the number of patients we see so that all low-income women and teens in the Sacramento area will have access to the medical care they need and deserve, especially those who are pregnant with nowhere else to turn.”

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.

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®.

Women’s Empowerment Receives $25K From Kaiser, Arata Brothers Trust

Arata Brothers Trust and Kaiser Permanente recently gave grants to Sacramento nonprofit Women’s Empowerment’s comprehensive job-readiness programs for women experiencing homelessness. Arata Brothers Trust donated $15,000 to Women’s Empowerment’s nine-week program that helps women who are homeless overcome barriers so they can find homes and jobs. Kaiser Permanente donated $10,000 to Women’s Empowerment’s domestic violence and substance abuse support groups that help women who are homeless overcome the effects of domestic violence and substance abuse so they can find safe homes, steady work and a healthy lifestyle.

“We know that employment is the best way to end homelessness,” said Lisa Culp, executive director, Women’s Empowerment. “But it takes more than just a resume to secure a job. The majority of women we serve are survivors of domestic violence and are also seeking help as they maintain a clean-and-sober lifestyle. With funding from Arata Brothers Trust and Kaiser Permanente, we are able to help homeless women regain the skills they need to get and keep a job so they can create a safe future for their families. Thank you to Arata Brothers Trust and Kaiser Permanente for their lasting impact on the lives of homeless women and children in this community.”

In Women’s Empowerment’s initial nine-week program, women who are homeless receive free onsite child care in the group’s child development center and transportation assistance. Each woman works with a master’s level social worker to address her root causes of homelessness. She attends classes on job readiness, financial literacy, confidence building, health and empowerment, as well as support groups for domestic violence and substance abuse. Women then focus on job placement with their employment specialist and volunteer career mentor.

Women who have graduated from the nine-week program can enroll in the group’s graduate services at any point in their lives when they need assistance. Services include paid job training, vocational certifications, counseling with a social worker and employment specialist, access to a professional clothing closet, and job retention services for employer and employee. 

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 1,437 homeless women and their 3,500 children since 2001. 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.

Women’s Empowerment Named California Nonprofit of the Year

Women’s Empowerment, along with 100 nonprofits from across the state, was honored recently at the second annual California Nonprofits Day celebration. Assemblymember Kevin McCarty (D-Sacramento) named Women’s Empowerment Nonprofit of the Year. The award recipients were honored at a luncheon at Sacramento’s Convention Center.

“Women’s Empowerment is thrilled to receive this award from Assemblymember Kevin McCarty, who truly supports our vision of breaking the cycle of homelessness for women and children in Sacramento,” said Lisa Culp, executive director, Women’s Empowerment. “We also are proud to receive this award with other nonprofits across the state that are working hard to improve the lives of Californians. Partnership is vital in this sector, and we were honored to stand with so many valuable organizations.”

The annual California Nonprofits Day event was formally recognized by Assembly Concurrent Resolution 54, authored by the chair of the new Assembly Select Committee on the Nonprofit Sector Assemblywoman Monique Limon (D-Santa Barbara).

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 1,437 homeless women and their 3,500 children since 2001. 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. To make a donation: www.womens-empowerment.org.

More than 200 Tour Sacramento Life Center’s New Medical Clinic

More than 200 people toured Sacramento Life Center’s new medical clinic in the Arden area for low-income women and teens at an Open House that included free Leatherby’s ice cream, music, appetizers, wine and a ribbon cutting by Sacramento Metropolitan Chamber of Commerce.

“This much larger facility will allow the Sacramento Life Center to serve even more low-income, pregnant women and teens that need our services,” said Marie Leatherby, executive director, Sacramento Life Center. “We are thrilled to be able to expand the vital services we provide to this community.”

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.

One More Week of Free Summer Meals for Sac Area Kids Through United Way

Local kids through age 18 have been enjoying free lunches this summer at locations across Sacramento County, thanks to United Way California Capital Region’s summer meals program. Several Sacramento-area sites will continue to serve free summer meals through Aug. 11:

  • Washington Square Apartments, 4018 10th Street, Sacramento
  • Glen Ellen Mutual Housing Community, 2394 Glen Ellen Circle, Sacramento
  • Mutual Housing on the Greenway, 6311 Sampson Boulevard, Sacramento
  • Mutual Housing at Lemon Hill, 6000 Lemon Hill Avenue, Sacramento
  • Fruitridge Community Collaborative, 4625 44th Street, Sacramento
  • West Sacramento Recreation Center, 2801, Jefferson Boulevard, West Sacramento
  • Arthur F. Turner Community Library, 1212 Merkley Avenue, West Sacramento (through Aug. 10)

“We already have too many kids struggling with food insecurity in our region, and that number gets even higher during summertime when kids don’t have after-school meals as an option,” said Stephanie Bray, president and CEO, United Way California Capital Region. “We’re encouraging all families to take advantage of this great opportunity to make sure kids have enough to eat this summer.”

United Way and its partners are providing summer literacy activities at the meal sites to ensure kids do not experience what Bray refers to as “summer slide.”

“Kids who don’t read during the summer can go back to school in the fall up to three grade levels behind where they were when they left for summer break,” Bray said. “So we’re working with our summer meals sites to also provide educational activities while kids are already there for food. With bellies full of healthy food, and brains full of fun learning activities, kids will return to school in the fall ready to keep learning.”

In the capital region, one in five children struggles with food insecurity. United Way’s healthy meals program increases local children’s consumption of well-balanced, nutritious meals after school and throughout the summer. Meals are made with high-quality, minimally processed ingredients that are nutrient dense, low-sodium, have minimal preservatives and no high fructose corn syrup. The focus on local produce helps expose kids to a variety of fresh, seasonal fruits and vegetables. For more information about United Way’s summer meals program: www.yourlocalunitedway.org/summermeals.

United Way’s healthy meals program is part of its Square One Project, United Way California Capital Region’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 or make a donation: www.yourlocalunitedway.org.

Sacramento Life Center Receives $5K from Sierra Sac Valley Medical Society Alliance

Sierra Sacramento Valley Medical Society Alliance has awarded a $5,000 grant to the Sacramento Life Center to fill 100 baby baskets for low-income new moms in the Sacramento area. Baskets are filled with needed items including formula, diapers, newborn clothes, pacifiers and more, and are given to every Sacramento Life Center patient after her baby is born.

“Low-income mothers face many hurdles after giving birth, often worrying that they won’t be able to afford basic items like diapers or formula,” said Marie Leatherby, executive director, Sacramento Life Center. “We are so grateful to the Sierra Sacramento Valley Medical Society Alliance for this grant that will support women, teens, and their partners, with the vital supplies they need—while also boosting their confidence.”

Monetary donations and new items for baby baskets are accepted year-round. For more information, visit www.saclife.org.

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.

The Sierra Sacramento Valley Medical Society Alliance is a nonprofit dedicated to improving the quality of health in the community through education, funding and volunteer support. The group has contributed to the well-being of the community for more than 80 years, granting more than half a million dollars to community organizations throughout the Sacramento region. The alliance also contributes thousands of dollars annually to support medical school and nursing scholarships. Alliance membership is composed of physicians, medical students, staff, spouses and domestic partners. For more information or to make a donation, visit www.ssvmsa.org.