A Family's Gratitude
Pauline and three of her six children reflect on what it means to be a Saint John's Adopt-A-Family beneficiary.

On the run for five years, Pauline had a felony warrant out for her arrest for possession and grand theft. When the authorities finally caught up with her, she was sent to jail, pregnant with her sixth child; her other five were taken away by CPS. For Pauline, being homeless was a routine. She grew up in a dysfunctional family, with both parents and all four siblings living lives of addiction.

Now in her 18th month at Saint John's, Pauline is a postcard for what we call "Real Change." She is working fulltime at Bloodsource (her first job in her life), she has regained custody of all six of her children, she is 18-months clean and sober, she has purchased a car and in two weeks will move in to her own apartment - the first time she has ever had her own home. Last year, thanks to Saint John's Adopt-A-Family program, Pauline was able to celebrate her first "real" Christmas with her children, and this year, thanks again to the Adopt-A-Family program, Pauline can use her savings to purchase furniture, dishes, pots and pans for her new apartment, and her six children will still receive gifts from Santa.

"Saint John's has given me a new perspective on life, and has given me and my children a fresh start," comments Pauline. "This is the first year we will be in our own home, all together as a family, for Christmas. I would not be able to provide a real Christmas for my children without the Adopt-A-Family program. We are so very grateful for the generosity of those who participate."

"Last year, I got a Barbie," comments Pauline's oldest child, Alina, 10.  "It was really cool, but what I liked most was seeing my brothers and sisters so happy." This year, Alina's wish list includes everything unicorn: Poopsie Twinkle Unicorn Slime Pack, Hairdorable Unicorn and Floss-Like-a-Boss t-shirts, a unicorn cell phone case, shoes and a PUMA outfit that doubles as jammies. Sister Jerrisa, 5, saw Santa last year for the second time ever, and was surprised with a beautiful baby doll of her own; this year, she wants a body pillow and a Shopkin Cookie Pillow. Brother Jermichael, 6, asked for and received a Spiderman drone last year. This year, he hopes for a Ben 10 Kids Projector Alien Viewer Watch.

For more than 20 years, Saint John's has implemented an Adopt-A-Family program, providing the community with a special and very personal way to bring joy to a family in need during the holidays. Each participating member of the community is matched with a family in our program, and provided with a "wish list" from each member of the adopted family, which includes not only "needed" items like warm clothing, shoes, school supplies and other necessities, but also "wanted" items like toys, skateboards, electronics, bikes and scooters.

To adopt a family this holiday season, or to donate to our families for needs throughout the year, please contact Christy Glime, cglime@saintjohnsprogram.org.

Donations can be made online at www.saintjohnsprogram.org/donate

Making a list, checking it twice! 

As we enter the holidays, we hope that you will pause to consider giving the gift of REAL CHANGE for the women and children of Saint John's. 

On any given night, hundreds of Sacramento's "hidden homeless," women and children who are sleeping in cars, on couches or in tents, are hoping and praying for a hand up to a new life. Saint John's provides that hand - up and out of poverty and dependence to a life of self-sustainability and confidence - through our 18-month "teach a mom to fish" approach. At Saint John's, 270 women and children per day receive the tools they need to affect Real Change: substance abuse counseling, mental health therapy, domestic violence and life skills classes, high school diploma attainment, hands-on employment training and job placement services.

As you're making a list and checking it twice this holiday season, please consider giving the gift of CHANGE to Saint John's women and children. It is, by far, the most significant gift they will ever receive.
Donate Here!
Saint John's Alumnae Gather for Annual Holiday Party 

Some 100 Saint John's alumnae and their children gathered at Plates Café on December 1 for their annual holiday party, a delicious brunch prepared by the staff and volunteer learners at Plates, hosted by Bayside Church.  

The event featured a craft area for kids, a bounce house, a photo booth and a worship service accompanied by gospel music from the Bayside choir.  It was the perfect way to reconnect, and to demonstrate to our current clients that the Saint John's family lives on, even after graduation!
A Sister's Story 

If you've ever been in a support-person role (and most of us have), you know how difficult it is to navigate the obstacles, emotions, logistics and, in most cases, unfavorable circumstances associated with the person you are trying to help. Add to that the frustration and heartbreak of doing everything you know to be physically, financially and emotionally possible, and still your loved one flounders. The family and friends of our clients have suffered mightily through our clients' journeys, and in turn, experience immense relief when Real Change occurs. Here are a few reflections from a client's sister: 

"When my sister Jenifer was 12 and I was 30, our father passed away suddenly. While I lived in California, Jenifer was with our dad in Florida as he took his last breath.  Fast forward 20 years, and Jenifer has been through all manners of challenges. From having money, to being broke and homeless.  From building a promising career to a mother of three dealing with substance abuse. And rock bottom; her precious children in and out of foster care.  One of the biggest changes that I have seen in my sister is that she no longer blames others for her challenges.  It's only when we stop blaming others for the obstacles that we face, can we begin to take the positive steps towards change and personal growth. As long as we place blame on others for our circumstances we cannot take personal responsibility for our decisions and make a commitment to changing our future outcomes.  

Becoming a functioning, successful member of society requires more than giving a homeless mom and her children food and a place to sleep.  Saint John's has given Jenifer peer support, friendship of other women facing the same challenges, help with getting her children back, job training, and the opportunity to work and feel productive in society.  My sister has benefitted greatly from the therapy she receives as well as the accountability related to staying drug free through the entire process.  Yes, there are challenges.  However, my sister has gone from feeling abandoned and unloved by her family members to experiencing faith and gratitude for every part of her healing process."

By April Underwood
Sister of Saint John's client, Jenifer

Volunteer Spotlight - Valerie and Bob Penrod 

Words cannot describe our collective and immense sorrow at the recent passing of one of our most ardent volunteers, Valerie Penrod. 

For years, Valerie and her husband Bob have worked tirelessly in support of Saint John's women and children, helping to generate donations, coordinating volunteers and overseeing our partnership with the congregation of the Fair Oaks Presbyterian Church.  

For the past several months, Valerie continued to support us albeit enduring debilitating chemotherapy, and on her birthday last January, she launched a Facebook fundraiser in support of Saint John's. 

"I've chosen this nonprofit because their mission means a lot to me," she explained on her Facebook page.  "I believe in helping people better their lives through learning life skills and job training.  Saint John's offers everything ladies need to leave their lives of drugs, drinking or abuse to become self-supporting and reunite with their precious children."

Employment Partner of the Month

Identifying and deploying talented people is at the core of everything Volt Workforce Solutions does, including staffing, managed services, and outsourcing services. Their philosophy is that every person who works for or at a business has the potential to impact its success. We are featuring Volt Workforce Solutions as our December Employment Partner of the month for their dedication to and faith in our clients at Saint John's.

"We value our community partnerships, especially with Saint John's," comments Liliana Bernal, market director for Northern California operations for Volt. "We strongly believe in Saint John's mission, and we are pleased to be able to provide opportunities to its clients that they might not otherwise have. We employ nearly 3,000 individuals in the Sacramento region alone, and we share with our customers the importance of diversifying their workforce and talent acquisition. This should be part of every company's hiring strategy."

Thank you Volt, for your continued vote of confidence, and for supporting our awesome women as they enter, and in some cases re-enter, the workforce!

For more information on becoming a Saint John's Employment Partner, please contact Karen O'Hara at Kohara@saintjohnsprogram.org


New Pajamas (all sizes for women and children, both genders)


New or Gently Used Coats/Jackets, Black Pants, Plus Size Preferred


Diapers (Sizes 4,5,6) and Wipes


 Twin Bed-In-A-Bag Sets


 Holiday Gift Wrap and Tape


 Gift Cards (Walmart, Target, Safeway)


  To access our full Amazon wish list, visit:   http://a.co/bAxF1wf

Cater Your Holidays with Delectable Dishes from Plates Café!

If you're in the throes of planning your holiday party at your home or office, please consider contacting our catering manager to explore our delicious catering menus and competitive pricing! Your guests will enjoy the culinary creations of our Plates Cafe team lovingly and meticulously prepared by our volunteer learners as part of our Employment Training Program. For more information, contact our Catering Manager Erin Landreth, elandreth@eatatplates.com.

2018 Quarterly Grant Report 
We are incredibly grateful to the following community partners who have awarded Saint John's a financial commitment to support the women and children of our program on their journeys to creating Real Change. With much appreciation, we thank you! 
Swinerton Foundation
Freda B. Runyon Foundation
Allstate Foundation
Beneto Foundation
Serving California
Allstate Purple Purse Challenge
$  5,500
Union Pacific Foundation
Miller Foundation
Ann Land & Bertha Henschel Mem.
$  9,000
Allstate Agency Volunteer Grant
$  1,000
Nationwide/Warren G. Bender
$  5,000
Deacon Charitable Foundation
$  5,300
Intel Foundation
$  5,000
Pfund Family Foundation
$  5,000
Setzer Foundation
$  5,475
Nationwide Foundation
$  1,899

Prepare and serve a meal in our kitchen, assist in our administrative offices, mentor a mother, help in our donation center or spend time rocking babies in our child development center. To learn more contact Christy Glime, Community Engagement Coordinator, at cglime@saintjohnsprogram.org

The Saint John's Circle is a fundraising and awareness-building auxiliary group for Saint John's. Members are active volunteers committed to the growth of Saint John's, organizing special events and providing essential support. To learn more , Contact the Circle at:

Saint John's relies heavily on donations from our community. Your financial support of Saint John's crucial. We also need your support in providing clothing for school and/or for job interviews, diapers or feminine hygiene products, and/or an unused vehicle. These are all donations that will make an enormous impact on a woman or child's life. 

By dining at Plates Midtown or Plates Cafe, or by choosing Plates to cater your next event, you are not only eating fresh and locally sourced food, you are also supporting the employment training of Saint John's women, contributing to the success of the program as a whole. 100% of proceeds directly support women working to recuperate and reengineer their lives. 

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 info@saintjohnsprogram.org

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