Five hundred guests at Women’s Empowerment’s 17th Annual Celebration of Independence Gala raised more than $214,000 to support the organization’s job training program for women and mothers experiencing homelessness in Sacramento. The event, which took place at the DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel in Sacramento, had 75 graduates of the program in attendance dressed in ballgowns donated by the community. The evening included a formal dinner, live and silent auctions, live music and inspiring speeches from program graduates.
Mayor Darrell Steinberg presented Amanda Buccina and Rennie Jemmings of Sutter Health with the 2018 To Heal the World Award, created in honor of Women’s Empowerment’s founding social worker Erie Shockey. The award recognizes a local hero who inspires others to engage in social change and make Sacramento a better place for all. The two nurses were honored for providing street medical care to people who are homeless in Sacramento.
“This event is a powerful reminder that when we come together as a community we can break the cycle of homelessness,” said Lisa Culp, executive director, Women’s Empowerment. “From the generosity of our donors to the inspiring words of our program graduates, the Gala was a magical night of celebration. The critical donations raised that night will fund our vital mission of ending homelessness through empowerment and employment.”
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 1,527 homeless women and their 3,684 children. Last year, 92 percent of graduates found homes and 77 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.