Dear Friends and Supporters of Saint John's:
We've had a busy summer at Saint John's! While our women have been working hard on their own programs in pursuit of Real Change, our children have enjoyed numerous field trips including to the State Fair and the State Capitol, a visit with the Harlem Globetrotters, carnivals, snow cones and dunk tanks! They've had swim lessons, YMCA and Kops-N-Kids camps, Sierra Club excursions and art classes. They've had a summer that all children deserve -- and most have never imagined.

As we ready our children to go back to school, we'd like to extend a heartfelt "thank you" to Nationwide for their gift of 150 backpacks, and to all of you who have generously donated in support of school uniforms, shoes, coats and school supplies. It truly does take a village, and we're so fortunate to have you in ours!
Marc Cawdrey
Interim CEO, Saint John's Program for Real Change
Save the Date:  

Our largest annual fundraiser and Sacramento's "event of the season" is right around the corner! Please plan to join us and some 600 community leaders and supporters on Saturday, November 2, for our sixth annual Party for Change at the Mather Jet Center! Presented by Allstate and hosted by Sacramento Executive Jet Center, you'll be sure to enjoy an elegant black-tie evening featuring a gourmet meal-with-a-meaning, delicious varietals, exhilarating entertainment, live music and dancing, all in support of one of our region's most vulnerable communities, formerly homeless families. 

Table purchase and sponsorship packages are available here, and/or contact Bethany Knudsen or Sasha Wirth for details. We hope to see you there!
Reserve your seats now for our September 5 Guest Chef Dinner as we honor our Fall 2019 Saint John's Employment Training Program Graduates! 

These women provide so much inspiration to all of us - their journeys have been long and difficult, often against seemingly insurmountable odds, yet these brave, strong women have persevered. This very special evening will fill your heart with love and inspiration as you bear witness to the amazing lives that have been transformed, and the promising future each one of these ladies has worked so hard to create for herself.  

Guest Chef Scott Ostrander of Origami Asian Grill , assisted by our awesome Plates Café Volunteer Learners, will create and serve a delicious four-course meal, drawing inspiration from Japanese, Chinese, Korean, Vietnamese and Thai cultures! Click here to see Chef Scott's mouth-watering menu for the evening!

Tickets are $50 for dinner and wine tasting

 $500 Guest Chef Dinner Club ($100 Savings!)
(4 Tickets to each remaining 2019 Guest Chef Dinner 9/5, 10/3 and 12/5)

$700 Table Sponsor 
(8-10 Guests, 2 Bottles of Wine, Logo Placement/Event Recognition)
A Gastromonic THANK YOU 
to Chef Nick Dedier from El Dorado Hills' Milestone Restaurant for the amazing meal he dished up for our August 1 Guest Chef Dinner! More than 150 guests enjoyed al fresco dining on our patio and lawn, with Chef Nick's creative and delicious appetizers, grilled asparagus, low country shrimp with creamy fried polenta and hominy grits served with corn, refried black beans, tortillas and heirloom tomatoes, and topped off with grilled California peaches drizzled with honey, smoked sea salt and lavender crème Chantilly! 

Thank you Chef Nick for the amazing meal, and thank you to Darbytown for the live music, Bogle Vineyards for the delicious varietals and Bloem Décor for the beautiful florals.
Featured  Employment Partner:
El Pollo Loco
Made famous by their fire-grilled chicken, El Pollo Loco's  motto states: "We believe that good food feeds more than just our appetites. It nourishes the soul. Good food brings us together and connects us to something larger than ourselves. We believe that sitting down and sharing a meal prepared with time, love and quality ingredients make us all feel like family, and when that happens, the world is a better place."

It seems that this feeling of inclusion and unity extends to the company's hiring practices. In the past year, El Pollo Loco has hired 11 women from Saint John's Custody to Community Transitional Reentry Program (CCTRP), which houses up to 50 women inmates with up-to-two-years left on their sentence. These women receive the same services and support offered to clients on our main campus (mental health therapy, counseling, case management, life skills classes, employment training and job readiness) to prepare them for a successful reentry to society upon their release.

"Everyone deserves a second chance," comments Mark Flores, store manager for the chain's Folsom Blvd. location. "Every single one of these women has brought with them an amazing work ethic and a deep appreciation for the job. They provide excellent customer service while they relearn how to interact with the public."

After hearing of Flores' success hiring women from Saint John's, Bradshaw El Pollo Loco Store Manager Gracie Torres hired some of our awesome women for her location. We are so grateful for our Employment Partners who believe in second chances! If you're interested in becoming a Saint John's Employment Partner, contact our Career Education and Placement Center Manager Karen O'Hara.
Volunteer Spotlight:  Debbie Thoensen

At Saint John's, we are so fortunate to be supported by more than 300 volunteers each and every month! We couldn't do what we do without each and every one of you - THANK YOU! Debbie is one of our "uber volunteers" that consistently goes above and beyond to get the job done! She has helped us with the design and distribution of these very newsletters all year long, she oversaw the volunteer team for the silent auction at our
June 8
  Polo for Change event (and enlisted the services of her strapping son Ben, to help with the heavy lifting at the event), created a  beautiful slide show  featuring our event sponsors and Mary Teichert, our 2019 Mother of the Year, and has helped with gift processing and data entry. No job is too big or too small - Debbie always says "yes" with a smile! Thank you Debbie - WE APPRECIATE YOU!

From preparing/serving a meal to help in the office, in childcare, in our donation center or if you have a special skill, there are lots of ways to  volunteer! For more information, contact our Volunteer and Community Engagement Manager Karen Edwards.
Building for the Future Project - 
Help Us Address the Growing Need!
Homelessness is on the rise, not only in Sacramento, but nationwide. A recent point-in-time count indicates a 19% increase in homelessness in Sacramento since 2017, with an estimated 5,570 individuals currently living on the streets. To address this growing need, in 2017 we purchased and renovated an 11,000-square-foot building adjacent to our campus, allowing us to increase our capacity to serve from 180 to 270 women and children per day. We have secured funding commitments for $3 million of this $4 million Building for the Future Project, with a goal of raising the remaining $1 million by December 31, 2019.

By giving generously today, you will help secure the future of programs that hold the promise of an end to homelessness for so many. Naming a bedroom, office, bench or a commemorative brick to line our walking path offers a great tribute to an individual, family or corporation - connecting your name with the meaningful work that happens every day at Saint John's Program for Real Change.  

Please visit  to peruse the many giving opportunities. For more specifics on each opportunity, please call Sasha Wirth or Bethany Knudsen at 916-453-1482.
Building for YOUR Future! 
Have you made plans for your estate? Make the most of your charitable giving by joining us for a free estate planning seminar on Wednesday, September 25 from 2:30 p.m. to 4:30 p.m. Rebecca A. Gardner, Esq., a partner of HMS Law Group, will discuss how you can customize your contribution options to fit your interests and tax planning. Complimentary refreshments and tea will be served. To register, click here .
Plates Café and Catering

Plates is offering a 10% discount on all catering events held prior to September 30, 2019! Weddings, birthdays, anniversaries, baby showers, mixers, corporate events, at our place or yours, no job is too big or too small -- we do it all! Our catering menu is now online! Contact Erin Landreth for details and to book your event. 

To make a donation, or to find out more, please contact our VP and Chief Development Officer, Sasha Wirth at or simply visit the Saint John's Amazon Wish List to make your donation today.



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Today is the 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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