Samantha Smith was 13 when she first left home for the streets of Folsom. Living in and out of foster care, she was driven from homes by conflict and turbulence and returned only when in need of food or clothing.
In 2001, a group of local businesswomen put their heads and dollars together, hoping to make an impact on the lives of Sacramento foster youth.
Doris Hobbs threw out the ceremonial first pitch at a Sacramento River Cats game. Harriet Antonides at last became a Girl Scout at age 100. And Mino Ohye, who hadn’t seen his beloved brother in 60 years, in January would fly to Japan for a reunion.
Juliana Espinoza was a bashful teenager until last summer when she began a year-long internship at Junior Achievement of Sacramento.
Monica Gonzalez recently logged onto the Facebook page of Weave Inc., an organization that treats survivors of domestic and sexual abuse, to post a simple message about how the nonprofit helped her overcome a nightmarish ordeal.
A teenage boy walks through dangerous gang territory to reach the train that will take him from his low-income neighborhood to a private high school in Sacramento where almost no one knows his story.
At age 15, Erik Self sneaked into the home of a friend’s mother and, when she got out of bed to investigate the noise, stabbed her repeatedly with a survival knife. He was arrested and charged with attempted murder and burglary.
Sacramento’s performing arts organizations are struggling to keep the curtains from closing for good during the worst economic slump they’ve seen.
Each year, Rancho Cordova-based Vision Service Plan provides free, annual, comprehensive eye examinations and eyewear to 50,000 underserved children throughout the country.
It’s been more than 10 years since Char Donnermeyer sat in a communitywide forum to determine which charitable cause needed her attention. The United Way had tapped Donnermeyer and two others to start a group that women around the region could rally behind.
Chloe Walker doesn’t remember the first time she moved or how many times she had to pack her belongings in flimsy trash bags. But she remembers getting her first suitcase at age 18, when she became too old for the foster system.
The economy has rocked a number of local nonprofits, putting a dent in donations just as they were taking on the burden of increased social needs. Many of these charities have turned to foundations for increased support.
For most of his life, Sean Patrick Shadduck had heard — and believed — that hard work yields rewards. When he proved that to himself earlier this year, it was a boost to his self-confidence.
Between her 8th and 15th birthdays, Ashlee Rogers moved out of nearly a half-dozen foster homes. She was removed from her mother twice, and she floated all over El Dorado County, from Placerville to Pollock Pines and back.
Scott Steele rushed his daughter to the hospital one night because her ear infection wouldn’t heal.
A Sacramento software startup has launched an iPhone application for runners that picks music to go with a workout and can add customized coaching instructions along with the beat. When users pay to download the coaching data, a donation goes to a nonprofit of the coach’s choice.
Somebody stole Derek Finstad’s backpack.
He left it in the locker room at a gym in Yuba City, where he works. But when he went to retrieve it, the backpack — with his keys, checkbook and other materials — was gone. Finstad wasn’t happy.
Sometimes small things can make big differences. Whether it’s a dry towel, a warm hat or advice on how to create a budget, a little bit of time can have a positive impact on one of Sacramento County’s 4,000 foster youth, many of whom don’t have anyone to provide these basics.
After 19 years of struggling to belong, Juanita Nicolas found the students at Wilson Riles Middle School. As a youth aid, the teenager tutored 40 students, many in the foster care system just as she had been before emancipation a year earlier.
When a mangy white cat wandered out of the oak woodland and into the lap of Lynne Powlesland, the Folsom resident knew immediately that she had made a new friend.