Most of us have seen a blind or vision impacted person using a
long white cane, but have you ever appreciated the keen and
well-developed skills such persons must possess to navigate
safely and efficiently using only this simple tool and non-visual
senses to guide them? And did you know that in the greater
Sacramento area there are over 30,000 blind or vision impacted
individuals, or that nationwide this population is expected to
double by the year 2040, or that Baby Boomers are facing the
primary reason for vision loss – simply aging?
Staff referred Madison to United
Way’s STAR Readers project, through which the club is a
funded partner. STAR Readers partners work with children in
kindergarten through third grade to ensure they are reading at
grade level by fourth grade, a key indicator of high school
Jacqueline has always been a shining example – enthusiastic,
outgoing, well-behaved and completes her assignments. But the
third-grader at Maple Elementary School in South Sacramento
struggled with reading fluency and comprehension in a
predominantly Spanish-speaking family living in a low-income
Rita Massey is a single mother of three children, one of age 6,
and two twins of age 9. Rita’s family was living in an apartment
but due to the passing of her husband, she and her children had
to move into our Emergency Shelter. During her stay at the
shelter, Rita needed many services. One opportunity caught her
eye and she voluntarily enrolled in our $mart Money classes. She
told the class instructors that her husband had handled all their
financial decisions and she was determined to learn how to manage
her money. Her husband had not only handled all their finances
but also was the family breadwinner.
“Hi, my name is Bill, …and I’m an alcoholic.” The
well-known, classic opening line to addiction
Take that line and imagine it to be, “Hi, my name is Cheryl, and
I’m a responsible, working woman, divorced with two adult
children. My youngest son is living with me because he
can’t get a job because he is addicted to methamphetamines.
While I’m at work, he is in my house with his friends getting
high. No one knows, I can’t admit to this. He’s my
baby that once I would have died for, and now I am dying for him,
and I don’t know what to do or where to go for help.”
United Way California Capital Region is proud to have Child
Advocates of Placer County as one of its 142 certified agencies
in our five-county region: Amador, El Dorado, Placer, Sacramento
Child Advocates of Placer County began with a Court Appointed
Special Advocate (CASA) program. The program pairs a volunteer
with a foster youth to serve as their mentor and voice in the
court system. There are 300-400 kids in foster care over the
course of a year in Placer County. But the county only has 1
judge, 3 attorneys and 10 social workers to work with these
children. That is where CASA comes in to help.
Thousands of people in Yolo County are on edge hoping the
recession will end before they lose their jobs or
homes. Hundreds of children are going without some of the
most basic comforts because their parents haven’t been able to
make ends meet. They are in need of food, diapers, health
insurance and shelter. Sometimes the stress is too much and
a home becomes violent.
Those are the challenges facing the Yolo County Children’s
Alliance and Child Abuse Prevention Council (YCCA). The
Children’s Alliance is a children’s collaborative working to
improve the well-being of children, youth and families in all the
communities of Yolo County.
At risk youth…how do you become
one? Low-income housing, gangs, violence, drug and/or
alcohol abuse – any and all of these factors put our innocent
young people at risk.
How do you break – what for many children is – a destructive
cycle of simply being born into a tough neighborhood? In
two fortunate Sacramento-area school districts, you can turn to
Omni Youth Programs and their award-winning Peers Against
Substance Abuse (P.A.S.A.) program.
Five years ago, Kathy Green was a staff of one as she provided
counseling services to struggling teens and their families as
part of People
Reaching Out, a United Way certified partner agency.
Today, as director of counseling and support services, Green
oversees a staff of 20 that includes four counselors who are
fluent in Russian, one who speaks Hmong and one who is bilingual
in Spanish. The department is the nonprofit’s fastest growing
From newborns to seniors, Easter Seals Superior
California helps people with both acquired and developmental
disabilities build the skills to enjoy equal opportunity to live,
learn, work and play in their communities.
Founded in 1922 in Stockton, Easter Seals Superior California
began as the California Society for Crippled Children and merged
with other chapters in 1992 to form the second largest Easter
Seals affiliate in the state, covering 13 counties.
They come in all shapes and sizes, ethnicities, genders, age
groups and even income brackets. Yet when they sit down across
from Paula Westeren at the Auburn Library, they all share one
very important thing in common.
There are plenty of excuses not to open up your home to a foster
child waiting to be adopted. Unfortunately, most are based upon
false myths: adoption through foster care is expensive; if your
past isn’t spotless, then you can’t qualify to adopt; children
end up in foster care because they get into trouble with the law;
and if you actually do adopt a child, you’re on your own. “These
are all myths,” says Sara Hanson public relations specialist for
Families, a local organization whose primary goal is finding
and nurturing permanent families for children in foster care.
One alumni waits tables at a nearby restaurant. Another works for
a local wireless telephone company. Another called to report that
she’d just finished college and was about to start teaching in
San Diego. Two “30-something” young men dropped by last week to
say thanks for reaching out to them years ago in juvenile hall
and convincing them to join. Currently, they both are healthy,
happy and employed full-time.
When Jackie’s parents first came to River Oak Center for Children
almost one year ago they had lost hope that anything might
help Jackie’s difficult behavior after it had escalated into
sudden violent fits. Her parents had imagined weekend trips
together; instead, they had to install locks on her windows to
prevent her from jumping out.
The address is 1321 North C Street, but it might just as well be
known as Survival City. On a typical afternoon last month, nearly
800 people came to the village of services operated by Loaves and
Fishes for a nutritious hot lunch, a chance to shower, emergency
schooling for children aged 3 to 15, or safe daytime shelter. In
all, Loaves and Fishes offers 14 programs – including
Maryhouse and Mustard Seed School — for people who have fallen
on hard times. And there are more of them than ever.
For many, the past two years have been some of the toughest times
ever experienced. Unemployment is at record levels, and even
those with jobs have seen their incomes stagnate or decline in
response to the economy. During normal times, the problems of
domestic violence and sexual assault are all too frequent;
however, with the added pressures of a weak economy problems such
as these are on the rise.
If you were facing a difficult situation, one you realized you
couldn’t fix on your own, and you knew of a free or low-cost
service that could help you solve it, wouldn’t you jump at that
opportunity? And yet, convincing people to take advantage of
their services before it’s too late is one of the biggest
challenges ClearPoint Credit Counseling Solutions faces.
When Leona Jull says that the mission of the Yolo Wayfarer Center
is to “inspire hope and courage,” she doesn’t take those words
lightly. As Executive Director, Leona knows that sometimes hope
and courage are all that prevent a homeless person from getting
back on the path toward a healthy and happy life. “We help people
see that there is hope beyond being addicted, beyond being
homeless. We try to paint a picture of that hope for the future,”
We know that thousands of people in our community LIVE UNITED
every day. Sharing success stories with each other motivates the
kind of positive action that leads to long-term benefit for
everyone in the region.
Share a success story! Did you help someone? Did someone help
you? How do you LIVE UNITED? How has a nonprofit agency helped
you or someone you know? We want to know and we want to share
your story with others on our Web site (names can be changed to
protect privacy concerns).
Your privacy is very important to United Way California Capital
Region. Any personal data that is collected (i.e. name, address,
e-mail address) is used internally and maintained with
appropriate measures of security. We absolutely respect your
right to privacy when using our Web site. Unless you give us
permission, we do not distribute or release your personal
information to other organizations for any reason. We absolutely
never sell lists of donors to others.