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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 to 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 weekday by providing healthy meals, case management, free counseling, art therapy, enrichment classes and workshops, and safety net services.


Whom 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

    • Parenting classes

    • Craft Club

    • 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 whom 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 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

  • Coffee/Tea

  • Coffee creamer

  • Sugar/Sweetener packets

  • Fresh fruits/vegetables

  • Milk 

  • Yogurt

  • Sliced bread

  • Canned  goods (vegetables, soups, beans)

  • Peanut butter and jam

  • Disposable diapers (especially sizes 3, 4, 5 & 6 and pull-ups)

  • Baby wipes

  • Adult diapers 

  • Tampons/sanitary pads

  • 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 

  • Craft supplies 

  • New adult socks and underwear 

  • Baby formula: Similac and Enfamil 

  • Baby Bottles 

Where do I bring donations?

Wellspring Women’s Center
3414 4th Avenue
Sacramento, CA 95817

Monday-Friday, 8:30 AM to 3:30 PM, or by arrangement. Call us at (916) 454-9688, ext. 211 if you have any questions!

How do I volunteer?

Information on becoming a volunteer is located on the Volunteer page ( All prospective volunteers must attend an orientation.


Wellspring Women’s Center Staff

Genelle Smith, LCSW, MSW – Executive Director 

Missy Kinder – Art Program Coordinator

Jessica Mougharbel -- Development and Communications Associate

Kelsey Long, MSW -- Women's Wellness Coordinator

Dana Cash – Hospitality & Operations Administrator

Lea Colwell Hernandez – Business Manager

Cindy Ly - Children's Corner Coordinator


Board of Directors

Tiffani Harter- Board President Investment officer

Nicole Burton- Global Sales Director, Intel

Christopher Boessenecker, Treasurer- AVP/Business Intelligence Analyst- Five Star Bank

Mary Ann Keating- Retired, Nonprofit Professional

Christy Grellas- Attorney, Boutin Jones Inc.

Jeremy Rogers- V.P. Business Relationship Manager- JP Morgan Chase

Randy Rodda, Secretary- Retired, City Desk Editor

Nikki Wardlaw- Director of Development & Partnerships, College Track Sacramento

Sarah Woolston- Attorney

Jarrod Fischer- Nonprofit Director

Maxie Holmberg Douglas- Communications Director, California Senate Republican Caucus

Lupe Gonzales- Retired, Administrator

Great news! Assemblymember  Kevin McCarty chose Wellspring Women's Center as a 2023 Nonprofit of the Year in their district.

We are honored to be among some 100 nonprofit

organizations recognized by their representatives for making a difference in their communities.
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