Dear Friends and Supporters of Saint John's:

First and foremost, I’m happy to report that we remain virus-free here at Saint John’s, which is no small feat with more than 200 women and children currently sheltering in place on our campuses! Many thanks to the families who live with us and the staff who remain on campus as essential workers for diligently following our guidelines for personal hygiene/frequent hand washing, campus wash-downs three times daily and social distancing. It’s working – THANK YOU!

As many of you now know, I will be retiring in July after a 40+-year career, the past four of those years with Saint John’s. You will be in very capable hands under the leadership of Saint John’s new CEO, Julie Hirota, who will take the helm on April 27. Julie is a proven chief executive and fundraiser with a strong record of success in nonprofit management, operations, finance, personnel, advocacy, community relations and public engagement. We are fortunate to have found such an experienced leader in Julie, especially during a time when nonprofits are being challenged worldwide to continue to provide services for those most in need. You can read more about Julie below.

Saint John’s has been an important part of my life since I first became a volunteer and supporter in May of 2007. It has been said that there is no better exercise for the heart than lifting people up, and the mission of Saint John’s connects with me in a powerful way, as I dare say it does with all who work here. Who among us does not have a friend or family member that struggles with addiction or mental illness or a significant challenge that is holding them back? I am from the camp of “if you can help, you must.” And we do. I will carry Saint John’s in my heart for the rest of my life, and now that we have found a significantly talented person to help guide the organization, it is time for me to move to my next chapter.

Very best regards,

Marc Cawdrey
Interim CEO
CEO, Saint John’s Program for Real Change
Photo Credit: Courtney Sheridan
Julie Hirota will join Saint John’s as CEO on April 27, 2020! Julie comes to her new post after serving three years as chief operations officer at UC Davis, where she was responsible for overseeing the academic and translational research environment for the Department of Biomedical Engineering. Her 25+ years of nonprofit leadership, operations, fundraising and community advocacy include serving as executive director for California CareForce, chief executive officer for Blue Line Arts -- Arts & Business Council, development director for the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society, president and chief executive officer of her own retail business designing and manufacturing clothing accessories, jhiro , and program manager for Hewlett-Packard.

A resident of Roseville, Hirota currently serves as an elected board trustee for the Roseville Joint Union High School District and pursues legislative change related to protecting children. She has also served as planning commissioner for the City of Roseville, was on the Rotary board of directors for Youth Services, and was board president for the Placer County Visitor’s Bureau. She is an American Leadership Forum Fellow, was named Executive of the Year in 2014 by the Arts & Business Council, and was named to the “40 Under 40” list by the Sacramento Business Journal in 2011. Julie holds a BS in Mechanical Engineering and Materials Science from University of CA at Davis. She is married with two children.

Welcome to Saint John’s, Julie! We are so thrilled to have you on board!

Saint John’s has suffered significant financial implications as a result of the COVID-19 threat. With the cancellation or postponement of multiple fundraising events, the closing of our campuses to the more than 450 volunteers who support our organization with 1650 hours monthly, the closing of our two restaurants and our catering business, Plates Café and Catering and Plates Midtown, and our increased food, utilities and supplies expenses with more than 200 women and children sheltering in place 24/7, we are facing a deficit of up to $150,000 per month that is quickly escalating.

While we have reached out to our local, state and federal agencies for assistance, we are simultaneously reaching out to the community to help us keep our doors open and our services in tact during this difficult time. 

On April 2, we launched the Support the Red Door fundraising campaign to help address this deficit, with a goal to raise $450,000 by June 30. In just a few short weeks, we’ve raised over $100,000 (THANK YOU SO MUCH to the more-than-300 supporters who have already donated!) but we still need your help reaching our goal! Please visit if you are able to help.
1. Make a Financial Donation
Now, more than ever, we are in need of support from our community partners to help us through this unexpected crisis. Your monetary gift will allow us to continue to provide critical services for formerly homeless women and children.

2. Create Your Own Fundraiser
Creating a fundraising page is a free and easy way to help Saint John's! Set a goal, enlist your family and friends, and watch your fundraising thermometer rise! This is a fun effort that will have a huge impact!

3. Support our Immediate Needs
If you'd like to donate items, the best and safest way to do so would be to visit our Amazon Wish List available on our website.

Sheltering in Place at Saint John's
“I don’t know where I’d be right now if it weren’t for Saint John’s,” exclaims Katrina.
“I am grateful for everything this program has done for me and for my daughter.
If Saint John’s is forced to close its doors, I don’t know where I will go.”

This is the sentiment shared by all of our families now sheltering in place at Saint John’s. Six of our clients have lost their jobs, and nine women are separated from a combined 20 children who are being cared for by family and friends off campus; for those with CPS cases with children in foster care, visits have been suspended due to COVID-19 “shelter in place” directives.

That being said, there is always a silver lining if you look for it! A true testament to the success of our program, 14 former and current Saint John’s clients are on the front lines, working in Environmental Services at UC Davis Health. And numerous clients and alumnae are now working at convenience and grocery stores, delivery services, and for organizations in the food and healthcare industries. We are so proud of our essential workers!

Another silver lining: so many members of the community have reached out to help us during this time of need. Special thanks to SactoMoFo , Dominick’s Italian Market & Deli , Bethel Lutheran Church , Stones Gambling Hall , Annapoorna USA Foundation an d Mountain Mike’s Pizza for your generous donations of food and Easter goodies to nourish our bodies and souls! We appreciate you! Visit our website to view the news coverage of these amazing organizations helping to feed our families during this time of need!

Also a special thank you to Andis Wines, one of our Guest Chef Dinner supporters running a fundraising promotion with 40% of the proceeds from the sale of their "Support the Red Door 3-Pack" to go to the Support the Red Door campaign. Thank you Andis Wines! To find out more about this special fundraiser by Andis Wine for Saint John's, please click here: "SUPPORT THE RED DOOR 3-PACK"
Big Day of Giving - May 7, 2020

This year’s Big Day of Giving, the Sacramento Region Community Foundation’s annual 24-hour fundraising event designed to grow local philanthropy, is slated for May 7!

Since its inception, the event has raised more than $40 million in support of Sacramento’s nonprofits. We are so grateful to our supporters, who stepped up last year with more than $65,500 in donations for Saint John’s!

Beginning Monday, April 20 , you will be able to pre-schedule your donation at BIGDAYOFGIVING/SJP .

Thank you in advance for your support!
Jobs! Jobs! Jobs!

Despite the current economic crisis as a result of COVID-19, we are happy to report that two clients have recently been hired, a significant accomplishment in these difficult times! Congratulations to Lakeisha B. who is now working at Amazon and Mynica R., who has been hired at ResCare Residential Care.

These women are affecting REAL CHANGE in their lives and in the lives of their children, and we couldn’t be more proud!
To make a monetary donation, please contact Bethany Knudsen, Development Officer, at

Today is a Perfect Day for a New Beginning
Together, we will give more women and children the opportunity to start a new life - a life filled with hope, joy and endless opportunities. With your gift today, you will provide a family at Saint John's not only a safe home, but also a hand up through an educational program that empowers mothers to provide for themselves and their families.

For more information, please contact

Saint John's Program for Real Change
Nonprofit, 501(c)(3)
Tax ID: 68-0132934
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