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Top 10 Reasons Why St. John's Works… and Why We Are A Worthwhile Investment
10. St. John's definition of success moves well beyond "housed, fed, and clothed" to include economic reintegration… without a job, independence cannot be achieved.
St. John's provides the structure and the support homeless families need to gain control of, and begin to rebuild, their lives.
8. St. John's offers homeless mothers and their children a hand up and out of poverty. We have developed an 18-month, three-phased continuum of care that provides the education, supportive services and employment training needed for mothers to become independent providers for their family.
7. St. John's believes that each mother who comes through the door is "capable of becoming a productive and contributing member of society" and a "positive example" in the lives of their children.
St. John's believes that we shouldn't ask our clients to do something we are not willing to do ourselves. Accordingly, we, too, have reduced our reliance on government funding over the past five years, moving from 80% reliance to under 30%.
The ability to gain and maintain employment is at the core of St. John's principles--from the moment a mother walks into St. John's doors, we are preparing her to be successful in the workplace.
St. John's believes that employment training for our client population cannot be successful in the classroom alone. Thus, we started two "real world" employment training programs, Plates Café & Catering and First Steps Child Development Center, where our mothers learn what it takes to manage the daily challenges and expectations of employers, coworkers and customers. In spite of this economy, St. John's has thus far placed over 85% of its employment-training program graduates in jobs.
Each family that enters St. John's program receives up to 170 hours of education and services each month they are with us.
Through our in-house Mental Health services, St. John's helps families address the root causes that led to their becoming homeless to better ensure they don't repeat the behaviors that led them there.
St. John's breaks the multi-generational cycle of poverty and homelessness by helping mothers to model achievement, success and independence to their children.
Now turning away up to 450 women and children each day, we need your support now more than ever to launch the rapidly-growing numbers of homeless families in our community on paths to self-sustainability. Your investment in St. John's is an investment in single-mother-led families becoming independent and primary providers for their families. We thank you for all you have done and continue to do for them!
To learn more, visit www.stjohnsshelter.org or call us at 916-453-1482.
A True Coming Together of Community!
Our most recent Guest Chef Dinner kicked off the SacTown Dining Collective (SDC) on June 7, 2012, resulting in the largest attendance we've had to date--350 guests! This monumental night brought together restaurant owners, chefs, purveyors, consultants and community members, all united to support two great causes: the launch of the SacTown Dining Collective and the two-year anniversary of Plates Café. Rick Kushman's emceeing shined, while Michael Mervine's acoustics gave us reason to tap our feet. Guests dined in the open air on a multi-course meal created by a group of nine chefs who jointly collaborated on each of the courses. The list of chefs, wineries, breweries, and coffee roasters included:
Adam Pechal, Tuli Bistro, Restaurant Thir13en
Aimal Formoli, Formoli's Bistro
Billy Ngo, Kru
David Hill, The Chef's Table
Edie and Andy Baker, Chocolate Fish Coffee Roasters
Lagunitas Brewing Company
Oliver Ridgeway, Grange Restaurant and Bar
Patrick Mulvaney, Mulvaney's B&L
Pedro Depina, Ettore's
Mike Thiemann, Ella Restaurant and Bar
Sean Minor Wines, Four Bears Winery
The dinner also attracted many celebrities from the Sacramento food community, including the Selland family, Deanya Batista and Jonathon Martinez of Ettore's, Nguyen Pham of Sunh Fish, Chef Pajo Bruich, and Taro Arai of Mikuni. All meat and produce was generously donated by Feeding Crane Farms, Lucky Dog Farms, Passmore Ranch and Produce Express.
Founded in January 2012, the SDC is dedicated to highlighting the depth and diversity that the Sacramento food culture has to offer. Their intent is to raise expectations for the local dining community and educate community members so that our region will become recognized as a food city and destination. Plates Café was honored to be able to host this unforgettable evening for the Sacramento dining community!
Upcoming Guest Chef Dinners:
Aug 2: Aimal Formoli, Formoli's Bistro, Naggiar Vineyards and Drizzle Cupcakes
Sept 6: Molly Hawks, Hawks Restaurant and Moniz Family Vineyards
Oct 4: Placer County Real Food Authors Joanne Neft and Chef Laura Kenny
Nov 2: Ryan Rose, Zocalo's
Bobbin and Patrick Mulvaney Winners of 2012 People Helping People Award!
St. John's nominated Bobbin and Patrick Mulvaney for the "2012 People Helping People Awards" presented by Community Link Capital Region to recognize their exceptional community support. They were selected as this year's Honoree!
The Mulvaneys have shared an unmeasurable amount of time and expertise to ensure the success of our employment training program at Plates Café & Catering. From cooking on the line when we need it, to helping train our mothers, to volunteering at every single one of our guest chef dinners, to hiring our graduates… and so much more in between! The Mulvaneys are all about building the Sacramento community--they are one of its most significant investors. Thank you to Bobbin and Patrick and their wonderful team of employees for walking the talk!
River Cats Kick off Mad Hatter Tea Party
St. John's kicked off the Madder Hatter Tea Party at Raley Field with the River Cats on April 14, 2012. Congratulations to Chris Steiner for receiving the honor of "Most Valuable Volunteer" by the River Cats for her service assisting women of St. John's. Chris had the honor of making the first pitch from the mound. She has been involved in the creation of St. John's Circle and served as communications chair on the 2012 Celebrating Mothers Tea Committee. She is perhaps even more dedicated to helping the women of St. John's prepare themselves for success in the GED program through her involvement in classroom teaching at the Shelter.
GED Graduates and Volunteers
In June, 12 mothers attained their GED! We celebrated their success on June 26th with a graduation ceremony at Plates Café & Catering. This could not have been possible without the determination of the mothers, the oldest of which was 47 years, and especially the determination of our volunteers who do everything in their power to help prepare our mothers. Joe Matisco has been an instrumental volunteer leading our GED weekly tutorials and mentored our current volunteer, Chris Steiner, who is now taking the lead in tutoring women three days a week, teaching the knowledge they need to pass all five GED exams.
For the majority of our mothers, the most challenging GED exam to pass is Math. Our math tutors come from various career backgrounds to provide weekly one-to-one coaching in learning math skills: Nick Lytal is currently a college student; Tom Lane is retired from Intel Corporation and currently teaches math at Jesuit High School; Alan Feuerwerker is a former sales executive in the furniture industry; and Tom Sebo is a former customer service employee at Federal Express. The success of our GED program is a key to our families becoming self-sustaining, and we couldn't do it without the support of our volunteers.
It felt like Oprah was back on the air at three recent St. John's events. Instead of Oprah, it was three generous St. John's volunteers who gave women of St. John's Shelter, Diane W., Angelique F. and Christina C., the surprise of a lifetime -- their own cars!
Diane's children, Lamonte and Lashelle, were part of a CBS Channel 13 Special Report about the increase in homeless students in Sacramento County. A couple who wish to remain anonymous saw the story. They were so moved by the children's motivation to stay in school, and Diane's determination to rebuild their lives, they donated their minivan to the family.
Angelique F., a graduate of our employment training program at Plates Café & Catering, is now working full-time for Wittman Enterprises, LLC. A car will save her so much time getting her child to daycare, and herself to work. Much gratitude to Denise Martinez who donated her van to Angelique!
Christina C., a current Volunteer Learner, recently completed the Plates program and will graduate on August 2nd. She is balancing her life as a mother of two and working two part-time jobs with Asante Catering and Delight Cleaners. Carol Cook and Ruth Bourgeois made her life much easier by donating their Buick.
We are in dire need of good cars to help our mothers get to work and also get their children to childcare. If you have a car in good working condition, please consider donating your vehicle to St. John's. Car donations are tax-deductible. Perhaps even more importantly, they are a huge step in these families achieving independence!
Ciana Denos, Stellar Children's Program Volunteer
In October 2011, Ciana Denos, age 17, began volunteering in our Children's Program through the work study program at Cristo Rey Sacramento High School. On her first day, Ciana was nervous as she had not worked with infants and toddlers, a role she was soon to fill at St. John's. She quickly adjusted to the fast-paced environment and really enjoys helping out. "The highlight of my day at St. John's Shelter is learning and observing the fine motor skills and developmental progress of each child," Ciana states.
"Ciana has blossomed in so many ways. She is very confident and a perfect example of a volunteer in our Children's Program," states Melissa Cates, Children's Program staff member.
This summer Ciana is committed to volunteer two days a week. She has been able to master extracurricular activities and maintain a 3.7 overall grade point average! Upon her graduation in Spring 2013, Ciana plans to study computer engineering at California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo. We are very appreciative and proud of Ciana's accomplishments, wishing her all the best of luck with her future endeavors!
Molina Healthcare California Recognizes Ms. Olliver Jean Jones as 2012 Community Champion
Molina Healthcare California recognized Olliver Jean Jones for her exceptional civic and community support for homeless issues. An alumna from 2008, Minister Olliver of Kyle's Temple African Methodist Episcopal Zion Church shares her passion for the program, as well as her spirituality, with our women several days each week. She also leads a Sunday spiritual service at the Shelter. Ms. Olliver, our "Mother of the House," is a guiding light for all of St. John's families. We are so grateful to her for all she does for the women, children and staff of St. John's.
Volunteers Needed to Bring Summer Sunshine Fun to St. John's Shelter
The children of St. John's Shelter are ready for fun and cool activities while staying active this summer season--and we need volunteers to help make this happen! A few of the current children's program activities driven by volunteers include: hosting family game nights, arts/crafts, sports activities, musical and biblical appreciation. We are seeking additional volunteers to bring summer sunshine fun to our children, including hosting field trips to the children's museum, the zoo, outdoor water activities and lawn games, pony rides, and exotic animals. The possibilities to bring summer sunshine fun are endless and will bring you even more joy than it does our children.
If you are interested in bringing summer sunshine fun or hosting a collection drive* to benefit our program, please contact Sara Amin, our Volunteer Coordinator, at firstname.lastname@example.org or at 916-453-1482 ext. 15.
*We are in need of many volunteers to host collection drives such as diapers, baby wipes, baby bottles, and back to school clothing, shoes and supplies for the new academic year this fall season.
A Madly Successful Tea
St. John's sixth annual Tea was our most successful year yet! We raised over $240,000, making this one of our region's most successful non-profit fund-raisers. Simply Mad for Tea, A Mad Hatter's Tea Party, took place at the Sacramento Memorial Auditorium on May 10. This year, we were thrilled to celebrate Joyce Raley Teel and her family of Generational Giving, in addition to honoring five of our region's most outstanding mothers: Sharon Aprea, Cassandra Pye, Donna Trumbo, LaToya Harris, and Marva Moore.
Maita Toyota framed the event by sweeping the over 650 guests into the world of Alice and Wonderland with a life-size gate and over-sized garden display on the entranceway. Once inside, an eccentric theme full of big hats and whimsical characters encouraged guests to join in on the complimentary photo booth and partake in the silent auction, raffle and Marketplace festivities. Guests dined on wedge tea sandwiches and a variety of desserts, including an assortment of scones displayed as centerpieces.
We could not have pulled off such a successful Tea without the assistance of our generous sponsors! Your sponsorship of this year's Tea goes so much further beyond the event. It is helping us continue to create better tomorrows for homeless mothers and their children by providing them with education, supportive services and employment training.
Gearing up for next year. The Circle has already begun the planning process for next year. Mark your calendars for Thursday, May 9, 2013 at the Sacramento Memorial Auditorium for another successful and wildly fun Mad Hatter Tea!
Sacramento State University Students Contribute to the Mission of Becoming Employed
New graduates of Sacramento State University's Department of Counselor Education Jaisha White, Keturah Kirk and Tinelle Evans Reno volunteered their time to provide counseling and career development assistance in St. John's Career Education and Placement Center. Julie McGilvray, an employee of St. John's, is also in the program at Sacramento State.
The Master's of Counseling program at Sac State offers a specialization in Career Counseling led by Professor Al Levin. "This is a unique situation because the focus of the counseling is on overcoming barriers to employment, which is obviously much needed for homeless mothers, but quite uncommon for our students," says Professor Al Levin, Department of Counselor Education.
Sac State students are an invaluable resource for the mothers of St. John's, providing them assessments on, and insights into, strengths, skills and personality style in the workplace.
Plates to Recognize Fourth Group of Graduates
Plates Café and Catering will recognize its fourth group of volunteer learners to graduate from Plates Café and Catering and First Steps Child Care, employment training programs of St. John's Shelter for Women and Children. The celebration and graduation of the seven new graduates will take place at the August 2nd Guest Chef Dinner featuring Aimal Formoli, owner and chef at Formoli’s Bistro.
To date, 36 women have successfully completed the employment training program, with over 80% of those placed in employment. While in training, which lasts a minimum of six months, ladies learn valuable technical and soft skills that will assist them in gaining and maintaining employment.
Thank you to the following organizations who have hired Plates graduates: Mulvaney's B & L, Maloof Sports and Entertainment, Levy Restaurants, Asante' Catering, Delight Cleaning, Sacramento County, The Green Boheme, Original Po’Boys, Wittman Enterprises, Cafe Bernardo-Midtown, The Crocker Cafe operated by The Supper Club, and Sacramento State University Dining Services.
Could one of these graduates be your next great employee?
Alicia M. - Alicia is known for her amazing singing voice and frequently sings Happy Birthday to Plates guests. She is an experienced customer service representative, possessing over three years of experience utilizing customer service, organizational and analytical skills. She is dependable and enjoys taking initiative while working in a team environment. Alicia is focused on landing a job where she can grow and utilize her outstanding customer service skills.
Monica W. - Monica consistently displays a solid work ethic and is very dependable. She quickly learned the skills necessary to manage all aspects of the Plates bakery and is looking to continue her professional growth as a baker.
When your company or organization is looking for great employees, please contact Kathleen Foley at email@example.com or direct at 916-769-4958.
Our Glowing Circle
The newly formed St. John's Circle shined in their first major role as a team! The success of this year's Mad Hatter Tea party was a direct result of the hard work and determination of our Circle members. From chairing the Tea committee, to creating décor, to recruiting sponsors, to selecting the menu, each Circle member played an important role in creating an event that exceeded our expectations. We could not have done it without you!
The Circle serves as a vital function for our organization, acting as a primary fundraising arm of St. John's. We are still looking to recruit members who would like to help better the lives of others in their community through the donation of their time, abilities and resources. Your membership goes beyond raising funds, to coordinating our annual Tea and becoming an active volunteer in our Shelter program.
For more information and to sign up, please visit http://stjohnsshelter.org/needs.php or contact Sonya Wilson at firstname.lastname@example.org or Robin Miotke at RMiotke@aol.com.
St. John's Shelter for Women and Children
2443 Fair Oaks Blvd. #369
Sacramento, CA 95825-7684
Ph. 916-453-1482 Fax 916-453-1425
Board of Directors
Chet Hewitt, President, Sierra Health Foundation
John Crisan, Treasurer, Consultant
Andrea Anderson, Surewest Communications
David Cloninger, Merill Lynch
Glenda Corcoran, Attorney
Rick Cywyar, Wells Fargo Bank
Connie Sanders Emerson, Fundraiser
Pete Halimi, Fite Development Corporation
Wendy Lauchland, Fundraiser
Kathy McKim, AT&T