Catherine Connell and Claire Graham, Sisters of Social Service, established Wellspring Women’s Center in 1987. As social workers they regularly saw the common effects of poverty on women – lack of access for basic needs and services. Their dream was to provide an environment where personal self-esteem might be nurtured and low-income women might be helped to recognize their innate goodness.
They opened a drop-in center in the Oak Park community of Sacramento in a little storefront on Broadway. Assisted by numerous volunteers, Sisters Claire and Sister Catherine carefully prepared a hospitable environment and welcomed guests with their children. Coffee, donuts, and dignity were offered. Hearts were nourished.
A permanent home – the Oak Park firehouse – was purchased in 1995 with the help of a 20-year no-interest loan from The Sacramento Housing & Redevelopment Agency. Private donations and months of volunteer time were lovingly given to the remodeling of this historical community landmark.
What is Wellspring Women’s Center?
The Mission of Wellspring Women’s Center is to “nurture the innate goodness and personal self esteem of women and their children and to do so within an atmosphere of hospitality with dignity and love.” Wellspring serves as a drop-in center to vulnerable women and their children and provides a nutritious breakfast and light lunch. Additionally we provide practical assistance combined with compassion and encouragement in a stable environment. Wellspring started from humble beginnings and has grown to become a trusted neighborhood gathering place that reduces isolation and loneliness.
We serve approximately 200 women and their children every week day by providing healthy meals, case management, free counseling, art therapy, enrichment classes and workshops, and safety net services.
Who does Wellspring serve?
Any female or child may come to Wellspring. There is no other criterion. Guests are diverse in age, personal background, and ethnicity.
What services do you provide?
A safe and welcoming gathering place for women and their children
A nutritious breakfast and light lunch to nearly 200 women and their children every weekday
A Children’s Corner Program with early learning opportunities and activities for children ages 3-8
Safety net services including bus passes, diapers, pads and tampons, hygiene kits, and more
Counseling, expressive art therapy groups, and case management
Spanish translation services
Referrals to other agencies and services
Assistance with accessing community resources
How is Wellspring funded?
Wellspring is supported entirely through individuals, corporations, community service groups, schools, and foundations. Wellspring operates with minimal government funding. This helps Wellspring avoid limitations on who we can serve and allows a quick response to community needs by focusing on direct services.
How can I make a monetary donation to Wellspring?
Your tax deductible monetary donations are welcome and very much appreciated. Visit http://www.wellspringwomen.org/donations/ to make a donation to Wellspring! You can also mail a check to Wellspring Women's Center, P.O. Box 5728, Sacramento, CA 95817.
What items should I donate to Wellspring?
Unsweetened cold cereal and instant oatmeal
Canned goods (vegetables, soups, beans)
Peanut butter and jam
Disposable diapers (especially sizes 3, 4, 5 & 6 and pull-ups)
Travel size: toothpaste, toothbrushes, mouthwash, soap, shampoo, conditioner, lotion, deodorant, Kleenex (small packets), and razors
Paper towels and lunch napkins
Yarn, knitting needles, and crochet hooks
New adult socks and underwear
Baby formula: Similac and Enfamil
Where do I bring donations?
Wellspring Women’s Center
3414 4th Avenue
Sacramento, CA 95817
Monday-Friday, 8:00 AM to 3:30 PM, or by arrangement. Call us at (916) 454-9688, ext. 205 if you have any questions!
How do I volunteer?
Information on becoming a volunteer is located on the Volunteer page (http://www.wellspringwomen.org/volunteers/). All prospective volunteers must attend an orientation.
OUR STAFF AND BOARD
Wellspring Women’s Center Staff
Genelle Smith, LCSW, MSW – Executive Director
Mireya Herrera, LCSW, CGP – Women's Wellness Coordinator
Norma Ferrari-Taylor – Bilingual Outreach Coordinator
Yolanda Halik – Business Manager
Missy Kinder – Art Program Coordinator
Chef Kenneth Bunns – Hospitality Manager
Kyra Moeller -- Development Associate
Board of Directors
Annette Bachmeier, Board President – Retired, Intel
Jen Aras, Treasurer – CPA, Crowe LLP
Christopher Boessenecker -- AVP/Branch Manager, Golden Pacific Bank
Sara Brass, Secretary – Director of Clinic Practice Management, US Dept. Of Veterans Affairs
Robyn Fleming-Hale – Technical Sales Consultant, AT&T
Frances Freitas – Retired, Social Worker
Mary Ann Keating – Retired, Nonprofit Professional
Jordan Lopez -- Diversity & Disability Program Specialist, California Health & Wellness
David McMurchie – Attorney, McMurchie Law
Kathleen Olson – VP/Business Relationship Manager, JP Morgan Chase
Heather Robertson -- Attorney
Randy Rodda -- Retired, City Desk Editor
Lisa Wrightsman – Director & Coach, Street Soccer USA Sacramento Chapter
Nikki Wardlaw -- Director of Development & Partnerships, College Track Sacramento