SAFE Credit Union Awards City Year Sacramento with $20,000 Grant

By Carole Ferguson, SAFE Credit Union  |  2019-01-04

SAFE Credit Union employees making the donation to City Year. Photo courtesy SAFE CU.

SACRAMENTO REGION, CA (MPG) - Calling out the cheer, “Two, four, six, eight, who do we appreciate? City Year! City Year” staff members from SAFE Credit Union marched into the Oak Park, California, offices of City Year on a recent rainy morning to surprise the nonprofit with a $20,000 grant.

City Year Executive Director Jeff Owen and Development Manager Maggie Lawrence were on hand to accept the donation. “This is going to go a long way in our work to help students who really need some support, and our amazing AmeriCorps members who are working 10 hours a day for peanuts,” Owen said.

City Year sends near-peer mentors to under-served schools in Sacramento to help students succeed. City Year representatives cheer students as they arrive to school each day to honor them for their hard work and to pump them up for the day. During class time, AmeriCorps members use positive coaching to help students overcome challenges that may lead them to dropping out of school. They also assist with tutoring students in math and English to stay on track to graduate with their peers.

“City Year shines in its mission,” said SAFE Credit Union Community and Advocacy Engagement Manager Amanda Merz. “City Year’s dedication to helping at-risk students over hurdles and standing by them to ensure their success really spoke to us here at SAFE. By staying in school, these students will have a better foundation to build a more financially secure and personally satisfying life. We are proud to be able to assist City Year with its efforts to help our community’s students.” 

SAFE Credit Union is a leading financial institution in Northern California with more than $2.8 billion in assets and more than 229,000 members. SAFE is a not-for-profit, community-chartered credit union with membership open to businesses and individuals living or working in Sacramento, Placer, Yolo, El Dorado, Sutter, Butte, Nevada, Solano, San Joaquin, Contra Costa, Yuba, Amador, and Alameda counties. Insured by the NCUA.

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Intervention Saves Lives

Story and photo by Shaunna Boyd  |  2019-01-04

Rotary Club of Fair Oaks president Bruce Vincent (right) offers guest speaker Dr. Ron Chambers (left) a thank you gift for educating Rotary members about the issue of human trafficking.

Rotary Club Supports Dignity Health’s Fight Against Human Trafficking

FAIR OAKS, CA (MPG) - Clubs throughout the local Rotary District 5180 are funding an education and public awareness campaign to combat human trafficking in the Sacramento region. As part of District 5180, Rotary Club of Fair Oaks is supporting this important project. In an effort to better understand the scope of the problem, they welcomed Dr. Ron Chambers as a guest speaker to their meeting on December 10.

Dr. Chambers is a family physician who is involved in the District 5180 project to combat human trafficking. Dr. Chambers practices through Dignity Health and is the medical director for Mercy Human Trafficking Clinic, a medical safe haven for victims of human trafficking.

In 2014, Dignity Health launched a program to identify victims of human trafficking when they are treated in the healthcare system. This program focuses on victim-centered, trauma-informed care. Every staff member of Mercy Human Trafficking Clinic is trained to identify and respond to signs that a patient has been trafficked. All the doctors, nurses, administrators, and janitors undergo this training.

Dr. Chambers explained that most trafficking victims are treated by healthcare professionals during the time of their abuse, but most are not identified. Dr. Chambers shared a story about one of his current patients, an 18-year-old trafficking victim with a 5-year-olf daughter. The notes in this patient’s chart show that she delivered her daughter in a Dignity Health hospital and that the signs of trafficking were noted but not recognized. She was not identified as a victim at that time. But with the new protocol, “We don’t miss these [signs] anymore,” said Dr. Chambers. Dr. Chambers explained that the goal of the Mercy Human Trafficking Clinic is to create protocols that can be implemented in healthcare programs across the country.

Each year in the United States approximately 1.7 million children run away from home, and only 21% are reported missing by their parents or caregivers. “So for the majority of these kids, the people who are supposed to love and care for them don’t even bother to report them missing,” said Dr. Chambers. They are running away from homes of abuse and neglect, and they end up on the streets. Dr. Chambers explained that the traffickers know where to look for these kids. They give them a place to stay, buy them food and clothes, and make them feel special. Once they’ve gained the victim’s trust, they beat her up, strip her, and then dump her on the side of the road in the cold. Hours later, the trafficker comes back for her; he buys her dinner, gets her a new dress, and takes care of her. Medical professionals refer to this ongoing cycle of reward and punishment as trauma bonding. This traumatic process creates powerful emotional bonds that are extremely resistant to change, which is why the majority of victims who are rescued will return to their abuser up to seven times.

Dr. Chambers explained that the abuse is typically committed against young girls during a time of significant brain development, so the process of trauma bonding literally rewires their brains. “That’s why when I see a young girl on the streets I don’t think ‘Oh, she’s making bad choices.’ I think, ‘She was never rescued.’”  But intervention and treatment can change everything for these victims. Dr. Chambers said, “Survivors go through horrific trauma, but they can heal…Intervention saves lives.”

After Dr. Chambers’ speech, he answered questions from the Rotary members. One member recounted an experience when he might have encountered a trafficking victim when he was driving his car one morning. He said he didn’t know what to do and regrets that he didn’t offer her some assistance. He asked, “What should I have done to help her?”

Dr. Chambers said that without education or training to effectively help a trafficking victim, offers of assistance can sometimes put the victim at greater risk from their abuser. “The best way to help is to memorize the phone number for the National Human Trafficking Hotline: 888-373-7888.”

One member said that 23 years ago her 5-year-old daughter was almost taken by traffickers. She arrived at the bus stop just as a man and woman were approaching her daughter to try to get her in their car. She said that law enforcement declined to pursue a case against this couple at that time, and six years later the couple attempted to abduct students from Northridge Elementary. She said they were eventually arrested in Nevada after they were caught with a child in their car. She said she hopes things have changed in law enforcement in the past 20 years, but “it doesn’t sound like there has been a coordinated effort.”

Another member explained her strong support for the District’s project to combat human trafficking, stating, “They didn’t choose this. They’re real victims.”

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Bringing Hope to the Camp Fire Children

Submitted by Bringing Hope to the Camp Fire Children  |  2019-01-04

Carl Burton bringing toys to Camp Fire Children.

SACRAMENTO REGION, CA (MPG) - Republicans of River City and American River Republican Women joined with California Federation of Republican Women in raising items and funds to help families of deadly wildfires in Northern and Southern California.

Carl Burton, President of RRC, said, “We collected enough toys for the of fire victim’s children to fill up my jeep, and we made delivery of them last Saturday, December 15, to Oroville Municipal Auditorium.”

Bonnie Williams, President of American River Republican Women, said, “Our neighbors are in trouble they need our help, so we are going help.”

Because of the Butte County, Camp Fire surpassed all other fires in California becoming the most destructive fire in our history, burning over 125,000 acres and obliterating over 6,453 homes.  It was also the deadliest fire with 88 dying in the fire, mostly older Americas.

It’s not too late to help join us in supporting our neighbors dealing with their losses. This Christmas season, we are suggesting gift card donations.”  Give gift cards from Gas Stations, Wal-Mart, Home Depot, Lowes; groceries from Albertsons, Ralphs, Safeway, Save-Mart, Stater Bros., Trader Joes, and Vons; clothes from J C Penney, Kohls, Macy's, and Target.

For Northern California victims, please send gift cards to: Republicans of River City, P.O. Box 1776, Carmichael, CA 95609

Burton said, first as Americans and as Republicans, we believe “No one may forsake their neighbors when they are in trouble.  Everybody is under obligation to help and support their neighbors as they would themselves like to be helped.” Martin Luther 1483-1546

Source: Republicans of River City

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AMERICAN PICKERS to Film in California!

By Emily Chafetz, CINEFLIXUSA  |  2019-01-04

Photos courtesy AMERICAN PICKERS

Mike Wolfe, Frank Fritz, and their team are excited to return to California! They plan to film episodes of the hit series AMERICAN PICKERS throughout the region in March 2019!

AMERICAN PICKERS is a documentary series that explores the fascinating world of antique “picking” on History. The hit show follows Mike and Frank, two of the most skilled pickers in the business, as they hunt for America’s most valuable antiques. They are always excited to find sizeable, unique collections and learn the interesting stories behind them.

As they hit the back roads from coast to coast, Mike and Frank are on a mission to recycle and rescue forgotten relics. Along the way, the Pickers want to meet characters with remarkable and exceptional items. The pair hopes to give historically significant objects a new lease on life, while learning a thing or two about America’s past along the way.

Mike and Frank have seen a lot of rusty gold over the years and are always looking to discover something they’ve never seen before. They are ready to find extraordinary items and hear fascinating tales about them.

AMERICAN PICKERS is looking for leads and would love to explore your hidden treasure. If you or someone you know has a large, private collection or accumulation of antiques that the Pickers can spend the better part of the day looking through, send us your name, phone number, location and description of the collection with photos to: or call 855-OLD-RUST.

facebook: @GotAPick

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Sac County Airport Firefighters “Brave the Shave”

Sacramento County Special Release  |  2019-01-04

Sacramento County Airport Firefighters “Brave the Shave” in honor of  Captain Anderson. Photo courtesy Sacramento County.

SACRAMENTO COUNTY, CA (MPG) - Sacramento County Airport Firefighters shaved their heads as part of the second annual “Brave the Shave” in honor of Captain Tim Anderson, a Sacramento County Airport Firefighter who lost his life to cancer in 2017. Brave the Shave was started one year ago by Tim’s son Mason, when his mother Lacey was diagnosed with breast cancer just 6 months after his dad, Captain Tim Anderson died.

After hearing the news of his mom's diagnosis, Mason at 10 years old wanted to have a shaving party in an effort to turn a difficult situation into something positive. Mason challenged local area firefighters to shave their heads with him as a way to honor his dad and support his mother. In 2017, 112 firefighters in 4 states and 2 countries shaved their heads in support of the Anderson family. â€‹

Mason’s mom Lacey is now cancer free and this year Mason would like to open Brave the Shave up to all firefighters and their families affected by cancer in an effort to make December Firefighter Cancer Awareness month. Firefighters and anyone else wanting to offer their support were asked to shave their heads in the month of December and post the pictures or videos to Mason's Facebook page Brave the Shave with Mason Anderson or his Instagram Brave the Shave Mason Anderson. This year's goal is 150 shaved heads. Mason is only 57 shaved heads away from meeting that goal!


Source: Sacramento County Media

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Diaper Bank: Sunrise Rotary Delivers 2500 Diapers

Story and photos by Trina L. Drotar  |  2018-12-26

Mike Daly Handing Diapers to Robert Sanger.

RANCHO CORDOVA, CA (MPG) – In early October, Mike Daly, president of the Rancho Cordova Sunrise Rotary Club, and other club members placed bins in City Hall, local Starbucks, Rancho Cordova Chamber of Commerce office, and several other locations throughout Rancho Cordova and Fair Oaks in order to collect diapers for the diaper bank at Folsom Cordova Community Partnership (FCCP). On November 6, the estimated 2500 diapers and 1500 wipes were presented to FCCP’s executive director Robert Sanger.

The ability to supply diapers, one of several safety-net resources offered by FCCP, is made possible through diaper drives, individual donations of diapers, and grant funding. The FCCP’s diaper bank is one of only a handful in Northern California and has been registered with the National Diaper Bank Network (NDBN) for about five years. It is only one of two registered diaper banks in Sacramento.

“It came to our attention about the stressful effect that diaper needs can have on families,” said Sanger, who learned that nearly one third of all families have a need for diapers at some point. “We felt it was important to be a diaper bank and to be able to offer that service to the community.”

Diapers are, like food and shelter, a basic need for infants, who may require up to ten diapers daily. According to NDBN, diapers, which are necessary for children in preschool and daycare, may also aid in children becoming more successful. Without diapers, children can’t attend, which means that parents may not be able to work. A monthly diaper cost for a family with an infant can run $80 or more. That cost must sometimes be weighed by low-income families against the need for food or shelter.

Sanger said that FCCP’s diaper bank currently serves a few hundred families each year. Although there are usually enough diapers to supply the needs, the stock has dropped so low that a community request to donate had been issued.

 “We want to keep diapers stocked.”

The greatest need is infant diapers, number one size, since babies use the most on a daily basis. Between community diaper drives and individual donations, they usually keep well stocked. The most successful drives, said Sanger, are those hosted by businesses or service organizations like Sunrise Rotary. Even local churches have held drives. FCCP supplies the collection bins and a draft poster that the organization or business can personalize.

“We try to work with companies and make it easy for them to host diaper drives.

Sunrise Rotary has participated in many local events to help the community, including planting trees one Saturday morning, American River clean up, collecting warm clothing and blankets for those in need, so sponsoring a diaper drive seemed a good fit.

Daly said that his club has partnered with FCCP for several years through the Christmas in Cordova event.

“One of our members, Chris Clark, works for FCCP and when he was our president he got us involved,” wrote Daly.

Daly met with Sanger and asked what the three biggest needs were. Diapers and wipes were the first things mentioned.

“I then suggested that our club would do a diaper and wipes drive to help.”

Daly commended Park West Casino, First Bank on Zinfandel, and a local business development park for their donations. Club members also stepped up to add to the collection.

“This is the first year we have done a drive for FCCP and hope to make it an annual event for them.”

FCCP serves between 500 and 600 families annually with its array of safety-net services which include diapers, emergency food, or even utility assistance.

Other safety-net services include Regional Transit bus passes, baby food, referrals, advocacy, and short-term case management for low-income families living in Rancho Cordova, Mather, Folsom, and three zip code areas (95826, 95827, and 95830) of Sacramento.

FCCP also hosts a number of activities for families including its quarterly community baby shower, exercise classes, and its annual harvest festival event. The monthly Connections Café is a drop-in lunch networking opportunities for service providers and organizations throughout the county. Six times each year, families are invited to the Cordova Lane Center for fun and educational activities.

FCCP has been serving the area for 26 years, this year celebrating 20 years as one of nine Birth and Beyond Family Resource Centers in Sacramento County, and 10 years offering community support services which include emergency diapers. In 2019, FCCP will celebrate another milestone offering employment development services to youth and adults as an America’s Job Center.

For additional information about FCCP, visit: For additional information about Rancho Cordova Sunrise Rotary, visit: For additional information about National Diaper Bank Network, visit:



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Hats for the Homeless

By Margaret Snider  |  2018-12-26

Elder Barrows, center and Elder Dunyon offer hats to a homeless woman during the recent storm as City of Rancho Cordova senior code enforcement officer looks on with a smile. Photo by Gary McFadyen

RANCHO CORDOVA, CA (MPG) - A storm with heavy rain and wind had just passed through Rancho Cordova the night before. Married couple Eric and Cathi Niven, with six young women and 10 young men, all missionaries of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, all wearing Santa hats, made their way through the puddles near Folsom Boulevard. They came bearing bags of knitted and handmade hats, scarves, quilts and blankets for the homeless. City of Rancho Cordova Homeless Outreach Team (HOT) members Kerry Simpson and Russ Ducharme worked with the group as liaison between the missionaries and the homeless.

Eric and Cathi Niven are from Monticello, Utah. Cathi Niven told Monticello resident Jeri Burt how much she would like to help the homeless in the Sacramento area. Before long over 200 items had been made and shipped to Sacramento. “(Cathi) called me and asked me if I could make some scarves and stuff,” said Jeri Burt. “Of course I already had a jump start on it.”  Burt makes a practice of forming groups to crochet hats and scarves for those in need, and many from Monticello and La Sal, Utah, were excited to be part of it. “Sometimes it doesn’t seem like you can do near enough, but just touching one person at a time is just a huge blessing,” Burt said.

Simpson said that homeless people are not spending their days looking for work or finding a way to get income. “They’re thinking about how they’re going to feed themselves, where are they going to sleep?” Simpson said. “When they’re out in the elements, where are they going to get that warm coat when the weather changes?” 

William Hawkins, 68, accepted a hat. He used to be a maintenance man and worked for general contractors. He was a character actor and backstage tech in Broadway shows. Then he had two heart attacks and heart failure, lost his place and has been homeless for two years. He’s seen a lot of suffering, and gone through it himself. “I’m not saying things I’m thinking about, I’m saying things I know,” Hawkins said. “Because what I think isn’t worth a dime, it’s what I know that counts.”  Hawkins was glad to see the young people helping others, and said it shows how things are improving. “These young people are (helping), Hawkins said. “You go to get on the light rail, they want to help you, they hold doors for you, they’re more than happy to.” 

Cathi Niven took a picture of Hawkins and another man receiving hats. “We sent (the picture) immediately to the lady who had actually done the knitting, and she was excited to see that,” Cathi Niven said. The missionaries timed the distribution to coincide with the first day of the annual Latter-day Saint global initiative called Light the World. Thousands participate in individual and group service from December 1 to 29. (see

The City of Rancho Cordova Homeless Outreach Team includes Simpson, who coordinates, two Rancho Cordova police officers, Ducharme as senior code enforcement officer for the City and two individuals for cleanup. A homeless navigator travels the City helping the homeless obtain IDs, driver’s licenses, social security cards, whatever is needed. “Team members’ positions overlap,” said Rancho Cordova communications officer, Ashley Downton, “with the core purpose to build relationships with homeless individuals and families, and provide services, education, and resources in partnership with local organizations, to help them become self-sufficient.” 

While the missionaries were finding people who needed the hats and quilts, Rancho Cordova resident Jennifer Barnes came by, who used to be homeless herself. Now with a job and a place to stay, she doesn’t forget those among whom she lived. Daily she comes out to check on people she knows, to bring them something or just see how they are getting along. “It’s really hard,” Barnes said. “You have a choice to either rise above it or get stuck. There are some people who get stuck.”  The missionaries gave Barnes a pile of the homemade items on December 1 to distribute to people she sees, and Ducharme spoke with her about helping the City to make contact with people who need help.

“It’s a collaborative effort between many people in the community,” Downton said. “Together we can make a difference and help change peoples’ lives.” 

This can happen by connecting not only with people in our community, but also joining the efforts of people in Monticello, Utah, with others in Rancho Cordova, California.

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