Dear Friends and Supporters of Saint John's:

It’s times like this, I’m reminded of why every moment is a gift and to live it wisely and earnestly.

Just when we thought we’ve seen and experienced it all, the smoke arrived. With smoke covering the entire state, our hearts go out to the many who have suffered loss, those who have been forced to evacuate and those who remain threatened. Keeping safe has become the slogan of the year.

At Saint John’s, we have continued to stay the course, keeping our own population safe, and our families physically, mentally and emotionally supported with our focus on every moment: Real Change. An unexpected curveball compelled us to quickly develop and execute a distance learning program for our school-aged children on campus. Like nearly everything this year, our 2020 budget did not account for this unplanned program expense. Fortunately, we have already received tremendous support from many of you – thank you so much. You will find details on further support in this newsletter.

We also look forward to “seeing” you virtually at our 4th Annual Polo for Change event, which will be live-streamed on You Tube on October 11 from 2:00 p.m. to 3:00 p.m. More on this below as well!

We’ve had a busy month winding down on summer activities and moving into fall and, as always, we appreciate your partnership as we continue to navigate each moment, one-by-one.

With gratitude,

Julie Hirota
CEO, Saint John's Program for Real Change
Distance Learning Begins at Saint John's

The school-aged children living at Saint John’s have now started the school year remotely, working in our newly created on-site classroom from 8:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. Monday through Friday. A tremendous amount of structure, supervision and one-on-one tutoring is required to keep our students on task and in step with their classmates during distance learning, especially those with special needs and IEPs. With moms who are focused on their own recovery from abuse, mental health and legal challenges, addiction, generational poverty and in many cases, all of the above, we have hired two credentialed teachers and purchased the supplies to accommodate this need, but this $180,000 expense for the school year was not in our 2020 budget, developed and approved last year. Thank you so much to those of you who have already stepped up to help! Please consider helping our children with distance learning.
$25 Provides one hour of extended learning for a classroom of kids
$50 Provides 60 nutritious meals for children
$100 Provides a printer/scanner/copier for homework assignments
$200 Provides five hours of individualized tutoring
$500 Provides a laptop or tablet
$1000 Provides 10 hours of special education, developmental learning and mental health

To donate, visit or contact us at, 916-453-1482.
Polo for Change Gallops Into Your Living Room on October 11!
You are cordially invited to attend our 4th Annual Polo for Change event, to be live-streamed on You Tube on October 11 from 2:00 p.m. to 3:00 p.m.! While we will desperately miss seeing you all in person, we have an exciting, fun-filled polo-themed hour in store for you, chock full of entertainment, inspirational stories, auction items and a Golden Ticket Getaway!

Contact Crystal Ellis at to purchase your ticket. Sales are limited to just 300 tickets at $130 each, which provides full support for a family at Saint John’s for 24 hours, including housing, drug and alcohol counseling, classes and childcare. You could be headed to Costa Rica, Canada or Los Cabos, joining a Tennessee whiskey tour or you could be the proud new owner of a Peloton bike!

Bid high, bid often! We have dozens of awesome silent auction items up for bid beginning on October 4 (early holiday shopping anyone?) including culinary adventures, travel experiences, wine tasting, professional services and more!
Saint John’s Board Member Mark Wiese, 2020 Community Mother of the Year Molly Weise
and their children Henry (18), Frannie (25) and John (24).
We are thrilled to announce that longtime Saint John’s supporter, attorney, business owner, mother of three and one of our region’s most prolific philanthropists Molly Wiese has been named our 2020 Community Mother of the Year! Molly with be formally honored during our 4th Annual Polo for Change virtual event, so please be sure to tune in to celebrate with us on October 11!

Polo for Change will be our ONLY major fundraising event in 2020, making your participation even more important than ever! In 2019, our Polo for Change and Party for Change events raised a total of $900,000 in support of our program! Anyone can attend. Click here to register to give and bid.

Thank you to our 2020 Polo for Change event sponsors!
Party for Change Rescheduled for May 15, 2021!
Our popular Party for Change black tie gala, originally scheduled to take place on November 7, 2020, has been rescheduled to occur on May 15, 2021. Again, we will miss seeing you all in person at this annual event, and look forward to reuniting when it is safe to do so!
Mural for Change

We extend our deepest gratitude to acclaimed artist Raphael Delgado, in partnership with Pac West Office Equities and Marquee Media, for the stunning Mural for Change completed and unveiled last week at 555 Capitol Mall. This 40-foot tall mural features a mother and child, embodying the resilience and strength of the women and children at Saint John’s as they break the cycle of generational poverty and make Real Change in their lives. Sponsorship and giving opportunities in support of Mural for Change are still available. To give, text your donation amount to (916) 848-6555. For sponsorship opportunities, contact Bethany Knudsen at, 916-453-1482.
Remembering Frankie

We lost our very dear friend, colleague and former Saint John’s client, Miss Frankie Cook, suddenly and unexpectedly on August 16. We deeply miss “Miss Frankie.” Click here to read a remembrance of Miss Frankie by former Director of Career Education and Placement Maureen Gagliardi.
Jobs! Jobs! Jobs!

Sacramento’s workforce just got six women stronger! Congratulations to Amelia S. on her new job as administrative assistant for Abylex Trucking, to Jessica A. for being hired as a cashier for Walmart, to Kristeen W. on her new job in housekeeping for the red Roof Inn, to Sheila M. on her new job working in the warehouse at Amazon and to Kashae H. for getting a SECOND job as a cashier for Home Depot (she’s also working part time at the 99 cent store!) and to Jennifer W. on her new job at Goodwill.
To make a monetary donation, please click HERE, or 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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