Client Spotlight

Each month, a client at SFBFS is featured for success and growth. This month’s client spotlight is:

Kevin Wiley - July 2014

Two years ago, Kevin Wiley and his wife were looking for extra support after the birth of their son, Calvin. They looked into a few local resources and were recommended to Sacramento Food Bank & Family Services’ Parent Education program, located close to them in their Oak Park neighborhood.

KevinWiley2Kevin attended orientation for the Parent Education program and immediately wanted to be part of the program. He enrolled in some of the Parent-Child Bonding classes and the Spousal Support classes. He even attends classes that are specific to fathers. “Every father understands what the others are going through,” he says. “We all are in similar situations and have become a good support for each other. It’s not support you get from neighbors or community members because they are not in the same situation.”

The Parent Education program is designed to engage expectant families, mothers, fathers, grandparents or guardians with children 0 – 5 years in connecting with their children in an empathetic manner. Parent Education offers courses that are relevant to addressing family and life issues that parents are facing today. The goal of the program is to support mothers and fathers in raising their children to the best of their ability by providing resources, skills and activities that will unify their families through love, compassion, structure, mutual understanding and communication.

Kevin says his personal goal while in the program is to become a better parent to his sons. “They are both into very different things. One loves school and sports, the other already is showing an interest in building things and art,” he says. Kevin’s sons both like being outside and spending time at the park, an activity Kevin enjoys as well. Kevin says that the parenting classes are teaching him how to have more open communication with his kids, how to be a positive disciplinary and the importance of teaching them a variety of fundamental skills.

Kevin says he continues coming to classes because he feels a great support from staff and volunteers at SFBFS. “Everyone is so friendly and helpful for me and my family,” he says. He also gets support from his wife, since they are able to attend some classes together. “The Parent Education Program Manager always checks in to make sure we will be attending classes we signed up for. She encourages me to make progress in class and with the father group,” Kevin says.

In the future, Kevin wants to build a solid foundation for his family and be a good role model for his sons. He is currently seeking employment and has found great success using SFBFS’ Technology Lab to apply for jobs online and further his computer skills. He has had a few interviews with one company and is waiting to hear back if he got the job.

“When I met Kevin last year, I immediately noticed how thoughtful and kind he is, not just to me but to other parents and grandparents in the Parent Education program,” shares Lorena Carranza, Parent Education Program Manager in Oak Park. “He is a rare kind of person, always stepping up to go above and beyond at the holiday event and baby showers.” 


Click on a link below to read archived Client Spotlights:

July 2014 - Kevin Wiley (Parent Education)
June 2014 - Krash Munoz (Youth Education)
May 2014 - Virgina Saucedo (Adult Education) 
April 2014 - Sherrie Kelley (Food - Garden)
March 2014 - Theodore Williams (Food)
February 2014 - Maria Perez (Parent Education) 
January 2014 - Francine Murchinson (Clothing)
December 2013 - Johnson Family (SMUD)
December 2013 - Yelena Demchik (Food)
November 2013 - Kenyatta Clark (Food) 
October 2013 - Frank and Janet (Food)
October 2013 - Julie Bucsit (Food - Garden)
September 2013 - Javier Martinez (Adult Education)
September 2013 - Jennifer McCoy (Food - Garden)
August 2013 - Hassan Abdullah (Clothing)
July 2013 - Jesse Rodriguez (Youth Ed)
June 2013 - Minnie Counts (Food, Garden)
May 2013 - Christina Bordenave (Parent Ed)
April 2013 - Gertrude Byrd (Senior)




April 2013 - Cynthia Ryan (Food)
March 2013 - Diana Licon (Youth Education)
March 2013 - Alicia Brown (Food)
February 2013 - Gabriela Enriquez (Parent Ed)
December 2012 - Cynthia Robertson (Clothing)
November 2012 - Naomi Fox (SMUD)
October 2012 - Gayle and Calith (Food)
September 2012 - Veronica Lopez (Adult Ed)
August 2012 - Ossie Townsend (Food)
July 2012 - Moria Osario (Adult Education)
June 2012 - Gigi Winther (Senior)
May 2012 - Joyce & Christian (Parent Ed)
April 2012 - Yuvonda McNeal (Adult Education)
March 2012 - April Hewlett (Adult Education)
February 2012 - Diego Aguilar (Youth Ed)
January 2012 - Oleksandr and Olga (Parent Ed)
November 2011 - Maria Delgado (Mother-Baby)
October 2011 - Carl & Collette (Clothing)

Volunteer Spotlight – October 2011
Yolanda Moore

yolanda.jpgYolanda Moore originally came to Sacramento Food Bank & Family Services (SFBFS) about five years ago when she was taking art classes at a local community college. She heard, by word of mouth, about a free art program for women in Sacramento, offered at a local non-profit organization. She became intrigued with the idea decided to check it out. What she found was the Women’s Wisdom Art program at SFBFS, a free art group for women from diverse backgrounds, who come together to support one another, learn new skills, and gain self-confidence and creativity. Yolanda felt very at home and started to gain confidence in her artistic abilities.

yolanda_1.jpgAfter attending classes, she decided to pursue her degree in Art at Sacramento State University. Her classes began to take up the majority of her time. Eventually she approached Helen Plenert, Women’s Wisdom Art Program Manager, to inform her that she no longer had time to participate in the program and needed to commit full time to her Sac State classes. Although Helen and the other students were sad to see Yolanda leave, it made them happy that she was pursuing a lifelong goal. By setting such a goal and steadfastly working toward it, Yolanda was unknowingly inspiring others in the program. “Even as a student, she was always a huge help in the classroom,” says Helen. “I asked her to consider coming back as a volunteer someday. It was just over a year ago when she walked back in to begin volunteer work for us. “

In 2010, Yolanda returned to SFBFS after receiving her degree as a volunteer for the Women’s Wisdom Art program.  As a volunteer, Yolanda offers support to the students in the program. “Every day is different,” says Yolanda. She typically arrives before any classes start, working with the instructors and pulling out all the necessary materials. The women often ask for help finding a certain item or ask for Yolanda’s opinion on a project. “Every woman has her own style when it comes to art,” she comments. “I try to give my opinion to them while at the same time making sure it doesn’t interfere with their own ideas.” Yolanda’s favorite part of volunteering is seeing students progress. Oftentimes students arrive unsure and afraid that they can’t create something worthwhile. The nature of the program allows them to freely express themselves and develop creatively. Once a student sees their work displayed on a gallery wall, they feel accomplished and self-confident. “The quality of the artwork created by these women is truly impressive,” says Yolanda.

Helen and the other instructors in the program value each and every day that Yolanda volunteers in the classroom. According to Helen, Yolanda is one of those rare jewels who see what needs to be done and just jumps headfirst in to do it. A new student may need some comforting and Yolanda just sits down next to her as if that was the last seat in the room and strikes up a conversation. Another minute she is up to her elbows in dirty dishes and paint brushes. “It's really a rare moment when I have to ask her to help with something specific because she usually thinks of it before I do. In fact, she may have already done it before I finish asking!” says Helen.

In addition to volunteering, Yolanda can be found painting or drawing on her own time, spending time with her friends, or visiting her family, including her grown children and five grandchildren.

If you are interested in volunteering your time to help someone in need in our community, click here for more information.