Photo credit: Kate Towson

Homeless Children Experience First Easter Egg Hunt

News

United Way’s certified nonprofit partner Women’s Empowerment held their first Easter Egg Hunt in a new green space. Children from babies to five-year-olds scampered through the grass in Women’s Empowerment’s fenced-in green space last week to discover brightly colored plastic Easter eggs filled with gummy candies and stickers.This was Women’s Empowerment’s first Easter Egg Hunt for the children of mothers in the eight-week job-readiness program for women who are homeless.

“They do a lot of firsts here that we can’t do for ourselves,” said Adrianna Granlund, a current student in the program and mother of 11-month-old Jaxston. “I can’t afford an Easter Egg Hunt, so it means the world to me that he’s able to participate in something so wonderful.”

Women’s Empowerment held the Easter Egg Hunt in its new, expanded facility that doubles its previous space to more than 10,000 square feet and also includes a 6,000-square-foot lawn where children usually confined in strollers have the chance to run and play so they can develop at the same rate as children who have homes.

“When you’re homeless you don’t often have the chance to do things like this,” said Lisa Culp, executive director, Women’s Empowerment. “You don’t usually have an Easter Egg Hunt if you’re living in a shelter or your car. This was a day of normalcy for these families.”

While children were cracking open their plastic eggs, their mothers were in computer class receiving training from volunteers from Intel – all part of the organization’s eight-week job-readiness program. Women’s Empowerment offers the only comprehensive job-readiness program in the Sacramento area designed specifically for women who are homeless and their children.

The 2009 Nonprofit of the Year has graduated 1,010 homeless women and their nearly 2,000 children. Last year, 89 percent of graduates found homes and 78 percent found jobs or enrolled in school. The program combines self-esteem courses, job training, health classes and support services to help homeless women across diverse ages, races and cultures. Women’s Empowerment is funded solely through private donations from the community.

For more information and to donate online, visit www.womens-empowerment.org