Follow fun updates as well as interesting stories about clients, volunteers and supporters of SFBFS

February 16, 2011

Maria and Javier Estrada’s Story

The following success story received an award from California Lifeline, a partner of Sacramento Food Bank & Family Services:

The Mother-Baby program at Sacramento Food Bank & Family Services (SFBFS) is dedicated to meeting the immediate needs of children and parents experiencing difficult times. Staff and volunteers at SFBFS provide these families with an emergency supply of formula, baby food, clothing and diapers as well as offer education and supportive parenting classes to help create stronger and healthier families. Recently, Maria Estrada made her way into the Mother-Baby program seeking supplies for her three month old son, Eric In addition to the baby supplies Maria received, volunteers connected her to other resources available for low-income families. One of the resources was a five-minute education session for California Lifeline.

Maria did not know the beneifts California Lifeline offers such as a a discount to ensure families in California have access to affordable home phone service. At that time Maria and her husband, Javier, both had a cell phone and didn’t see the need for a landline. After hearing the California Lifeline presentation, Maria realized that having a home phone was a great idea especially with a new baby in the house. With a low $10 connection fee and less than $10 a month, California Lifely was well within the family budget.

A few months after having their landline established, Javier was laid off from work and the Estradas were forced to make some dramatic cuts in their budget. Along with several other comforts, the family discontinued their cell phone service. They were so thankful to have learned about the California Lifeline program from SFBFS because with their new home phone service Javier could still make and receive calls from potential employers and Maria could call the doctor to schedule little Eric’s appointments.

While Javier continued to look for work, Maria utilized additional resources and attended classes at the Mother-Baby program. In one of the classes, Maria learned the value, benefit and savings associated with cloth diapering. She also learned that through their partnership with California LifeLine, SFBFS is able to supply cloth diapers to clients free of charge. Maria was excited to use the environmentally-friendly, reusable diapers and eager to start saving money.
By partnering with California Lifeline SFBFS sustained the cloth diapering project and provides a much needed solution to families’ diapering needs. By offering reusable diapers rather than disposable diapers, clients can save thousands of dollars, which can be used for other necessities. Since the collaboration with California, SFBFS has distributed over 200 cloth diapering kits to Sacramento families.

Maria continues to attend classes and Javier recently secured a full-time job. With the help of the services offered by SFBFS and the savings offered by California Lifeline, the Estradas were able to get back on their feet and are thriving.

February 2, 2011

Women’s Wisdom Art at Crocker, By Helen Plenert

December 26th, 2011 Women's Wisdom Art celebrated their work at Crocker Museum of Art. The excitement had been building for months. We had 3 main group projects that allowed even the most timid woman to participate. We asked the women to bring in their best 5 pieces for us to decide what pieces would be submitted. The teachers and I sorted through and were looking for art work that would best show off the variety that makes Women’s Wisdom so special. 40 pieces of art were delivered to Crocker - 4 large group projects plus 36 individual pieces of art equals 60 participating artists from Wisdom.

On the day of the reception the women began to arrive. A concerned Crocker staff member pulled me asside to tell me that a few of my women were in tears. It turns out they were so overwhelmed by the beauty of how their work was presented that they became very emotional.

In Women’s Wisdom Art we strive to help women find the change within themselves using art as their vehicle. At the end of the reception I spoke to the Education Director, Emma Moore, of the Crocker. She made the comment that “none of these women will be the same after this; this experience will change their lives.”

We are planning a second reception for Sunday, February 20. This is a free day at Crocker so please join us along with your friends and families. The show runs though February 28th.