Society for the Blind Receives $15K from Wells Fargo

Society for the Blind in Sacramento recently received a $15,000 grant from Wells Fargo to provide education, training and assistive devices to Sacramento-area seniors who are blind or have low vision. The funding will support Society for the Blind’s Senior IMPACT Project that empowers people age 55 and older with alternative, non-visual techniques and skills that enable them to perform daily tasks and activities so they can maintain or increase independence.

“As the senior population in Sacramento continues to expand, so does the need for services like our Senior IMPACT Project that help seniors not only cope with vision loss, but also regain their independence,” said Shari Roeseler, executive director, Society for the Blind. “We are so thankful that Wells Fargo has invested in active aging and vitality of older adults in our region.”

Society for the Blind’s Senior IMPACT Project includes an eight-day retreat offered monthly at Society for the Blind that gives seniors an immersion experience where they learn alternative techniques and skills to travel safely, efficiently and independently. They practice techniques and use adapted tools to perform tasks of daily living including cooking, cleaning, shopping, home maintenance, organization, personal finance and more. They learn how to use the latest in assistive technology to operate computers and mobile devices for home, school and work, and they learn Braille. Participants receive individualized attention from instructors and mentors who are blind or low vision, can join discussion groups with peers on issues around vision loss, participate in community activities, attend monthly peer support groups in English and Spanish, and attend workshops throughout the year. For those unable to attend retreats, Society for the Blind sends instructors to their homes to teach skills and offer resources.

“Wells Fargo understands the importance of empowering individuals who are in need of critical community resources,” said Kären Woodruff, community affairs senior consultant. “Our investment in this program builds confidence and independent living skills for these seniors and goes a long way to strengthen and reinforce the efforts of Society for the Blind’s overall programming.”

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 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, visit SocietyfortheBlind.org.

Wells Fargo provides monetary support, expertise and volunteers to national and local nonprofit organizations and causes that align with their business priorities, values, business expertise and geographies. The company focuses its philanthropic activities on creating long-term strategic relationships with nonprofits and other organizations to create innovative, sustainable solutions to meet local needs. Wells Fargo supports thousands of national and community-based nonprofits annually to help revitalize and strengthen communities. The company is among the top corporate cash donors among U.S. companies, donating $286.5 million to 14,500 nonprofits in 2017 to support critical social, economic and environmental challenges. To learn more, visit WellsFargo.com.

Women’s Empowerment Receives $45K From Wells Fargo

Wells Fargo & Company recently granted $45,000 to Sacramento nonprofit Women’s Empowerment for job training for formerly homeless women through the group’s Get A Job Kit Training, which provides paid stipends to participants. Funds also will support Women’s Empowerment’s on-the-job training in customer service and office administration, as well as transportation in partnership with Paratransit.

“The Get A Job Kit Training provides formerly homeless women with a unique opportunity to begin immediately building a financially stable home – something most other organizations serving homeless women are not able to offer,” said Lisa Culp, executive director, Women’s Empowerment. “We are grateful to Wells Fargo for its steadfast support as we empower women once homeless to find a steady job and a stable home for their families.”

Women’s Empowerment launched The Get A Job Kit Training with the help of Wells Fargo in 2014 to train women in the production, customer service, shipping and receiving industries. The program includes four-week paid training sessions with education and training in the field, assembly instruction and work with employment specialists. Trainees assemble the Get A Job Kits and send to customers, and receive training on safety in the workplace, conflict resolution, quality assurance and inventory management. Forty graduates have completed the training, with 70% now employed with local businesses. In the first year, 24 graduates sold and shipped 5,000+ Get A Job Kits across the country. For more information: www.getajobkit.com.

“I’m 44 and I felt like I missed out on life until I came to Women’s Empowerment,” said Lisa Costabile, one of the first Get A Job Kit Training graduates. “Now I feel like my life is just starting. And with the training we’ve received,  we can walk into any employer and be more of an asset. Now I’m ready to start a career. Whatever I need to do, I’ll do it.”

The award is part of Wells Fargo’s targeted commitment to strengthen communities challenged by the highest levels of unemployment. Wells Fargo awarded $2.3 million to 59 nonprofits across California, Oregon, Washington and Alaska. The organizations offer people advancement opportunities by providing services focused on small- and micro-business development, workforce development and job creation. For more information: www.wellsfargo.com/about/csr.

By directing $2.3 million to communities that are challenged by the highest levels of unemployment, it is our hope that we can change the economic prosperity of communities – one person at a time,” said Kevin Barri, community foothills area president of Wells Fargo. “Hearing the success stories from formerly homeless women now gainfully employed and stable confirms our investment in their future is paying off.”

Celebrating its 15th anniversary this year, Women’s Empowerment was recently featured on NBC’s TODAY Show and on CNN.com 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 1,349 homeless women and their 3,500 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.

Wells Fargo & Company (NYSE: WFC) is a diversified, community-based financial services company with $1.8 trillion in assets. Founded in 1852 and headquartered in San Francisco, Wells Fargo provides banking, insurance, investments, mortgage, and consumer and commercial finance through 8,800 locations, 13,000 ATMs, and the Internet and mobile banking, and has offices in 36 countries to support customers who conduct business in the global economy. With approximately 269,000 team members, Wells Fargo serves one in three households in the United States. Wells Fargo & Company was ranked number 27 on Fortune’s 2016 rankings of America’s largest corporations. For more information: www.wellsfargo.com.