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We were on the news! and lots of great news

We were on the news! See link below!

Newsletter December 16, 2023

Did you see us on the news?

Winter Break Food Baskets

Womenade on KSBY

Potluck pictures

Matching Grant for $5,000

Updates on Projects

Help Needed

Where the Money Went


Winter Break Food baskets and South SLO County Womenade was on KSBY right after the basket deliveries!

The Winter School Break baskets were packed up and delivered on Thursday December 14th!  The above pictures show #1 - the sorting/organizing/counting team; #2 - the packers and drivers #3 – all the bags. We are very grateful to the many people who came together to make this happen..  Special thanks to Mariam Shah and her family for offering her home, garage and kids to carry in the food, store it and the space to run the project! Also special thanks to Kristin Heenan for her project leadership skills and Marcella Gelman, grocery inventory and purchasing specialist extraordinaire! We also thank TACO WORKS who donated 260 bags of their famous taco chips; the SLO FoodBank for having some of the food available for us to purchase at a much reduced price; Trader Joes and Smart and Final for their donation of bags; to KSBY for running our story! And of course to all of you, who signed up, dropped off, organized, packed and delivered!

Pictures from our December Potluck December 13th!

A Wonderful Time was had by all at Candace Guldeman’s Potluck Fundraiser with 52 Womenaders in attendance – I think she holds the record. The amount raised is still not tallied as the team has been very busy this past week with the Food Distribution in Nipomo, the potluck and the Winter Food baskets!  We’ll report on the amount raised in our next newsletter.  Suffice it to say Candace’s home was amazingly decorated for everyone’s enjoyment, and Candace soldiered on with a broken leg!!! Many thanks to Candace and Phil for decorating their home so beautifully for their many fund raising events, and to Candace’s friends who jumped in to help with hosting duties. We thank Susan Johnson, who made fabulous quilted bags and cushion covers, and Judy Woo, who sold them with proceeds to Womenade.  Also we had a door prize gift of a beautifully handmade Christmas quilt by Vanessa Fujimoto which was  won by Madeline Stevenson!

Next Potluck -  Mark your calendar! February 15, 2024!

Our first potluck of the 2024 will be at Lynn Heinrich’s home at 759 Avocet Way (in Cypress Ridge), Arroyo Grande. We are always very grateful to Womenaders who step up and offer their home and host a potluck fundraiser for us.

We are looking for more hosts for potluck fundraisers in 2024! Please consider spreading the word throughout South SLO County and inviting your network of friends to join us. You can do this by hosting a potluck fundraiser. There are so many areas in South SLO County that don’t know who we are and what we do! Help us get the word out!

Matching $5,000 Grant!

One of our fabulous donors has offered a $5,000 matching grant for donations receive between November 20th and December 22nd! There are still a few days to help us receive this matching grant! Please help us receive this very generous donation.

 Updates on Projects

Laundry Pop Up – Belinda Benassi - leader

On Saturday December 16th from 10AM to 12PM we held our Laundry Pop-Up in Arroyo Grande at the Washboard Laundromat. Please consider joining us to help pay for 3 loads of laundry! It’s a fun event and very rewarding.  Each month we only need about 3 volunteers. Belinda Benassi leads this program and could use a few more volunteers. If we had a larger list each volunteer could do it once a quarter! Contact us at and we’ll put you in touch with Belinda.

Nipomo Food Distribution – Rosemary Cleaves, Sue McCutcheon, and Mary Anne Morgan - project leaders

Our last food distribution of the year was on Tuesday December 12th at Nipomo Elementary School (the second Tuesday of the month). We gave out food to 250 families.  We have a dedicated group of volunteers who make this program run smoothly. The next food distribution will be January 9th, 2024 from 4:30 to 6:30 PM. From time to time we need substitutes to help out.  We especially need Spanish speaking volunteers! If you would like to be on the substitute list please email us.

Weekend Food Bags for Food Insecure Students – Ann McDowell and Mary Anne Morgan - leaders

Weekend Food for Food Insecure Students will be taking a break during the Winter School Break. The teams of  Mary Anne Morgan, Judy Woo and Jean Baker teams will be organizing for the next semester for this program at the elementary and middle schools and Lopez High School.

We still need a few volunteers to “adopt a few weekend food bags for students” for the remainder of the school year. This entails buying the food, packing the brown bags and delivering the bags to an elementary school every two weeks.  Please consider helping out on this important project.  We can’t imagine these students not having food to eat over the weekends!  Contact us at


10/1/23 to 11/30/23          $8,274.60

1/1/23 TO 11/30/23       $103,017.36

2/1/2019 TO 11/30/23    $474,253.36

Help needed:

Some people have been asking for a section in the newsletter where we list help needed or items needed.

  • Volunteers for the monthly Laundry Pop Ups – project leader Belinda Benassi

  • Volunteers to adopt a student for the Weekend Food Bags for Food Insecure Students at an elementary school – project leader Jean Baker

  • Occasional volunteer at monthly food distribution on the second Tuesday of each month at Nipomo Elementary School

  • Hosts for future potlucks 

In Kind Receipt

Please complete and submit the in-kind receipt to help us track how much you all are also contributing in donor offered items: This is a jpeg that you can copy and print.


The Link – Advocate Yuliana Molina - Mesa Middle School and Judkins Middle School and Advocate Brenda Gonzalez – Paulding Middle School

  • Single parent living in rural area just got a new job and is getting back on her feet after storms damages done to her home from last year. She is currently waiting for Food stamp benefits and needs assistance with buying food for her family for the Thanksgiving Break. $50 Smart and Final card

  • Single mom living with kids in a homeless shelter. Asked for help with a gas card to get her kids to and from school. $50 gas card

  • Single mom of 2 kids. Low income, only Spanish speaking. Working in hospitality, working fewer hours. Needs help with buying food $80 Smart and Final Gift card

  • Low income family of 5. One working parent, both only Spanish speaking.  3 children in household in need of clothing. Mom's work hours were reduced. Mom requested assistance with food for the holiday break. $100 Smart and Final Gift card

Mission Hope – Katie Crafton – Oncology Social Worker, Brianda Lemus

  • Male in his 60s diagnosed with Myeloma only source of income is SDI. Provided with gas gift cards to assist with transport $100 gas card

  • Woman in her 60s diagnosed with breast cancer traveling daily for five weeks to Santa Maria from Oceano for radiation treatments. Assisted with gas card $100 gas card

Lopez High School – Jennifer Bowen- Principal; Aurora Munoz – Admin

  • PBIS Wolfmarket Student Incentives Snacks, drinks, Art supplies $26.29

  • Student in need of gas assistance $25 gas card

 Lopez High School – Wolf Den Heidi Boatman and Jann Jeffries

  • Students in need of pants. Ladies jeans $146.49 Marshalls

 Department of Social Services – Jannine Lambert – Director; Sheila Wolpert – Division Management Support

  • Client is short of money and needs to get to work in SLO $50 gas card

 Casa Solana – Renée Poirier – Executive Director

  • Casa Solana was able to split the money between two women this month. They were each able to pay only half of the rent and Casa Solana was able to fund the other half with the generous donation from Womenade. One recipient is a woman in her 60's who has been struggling with alcohol and recently lost her home.The other recipient is a woman in her 30's who also struggles with alcohol. She has two children 11 and 8 who are currently with their father while she works on her addiction. $800 gift bed

Oceano Family Resource Center – Advocate Stella Medina

  • New shoes for two children. Family struggling with the high cost of living. Children's shoes are worn out and family can't afford new pairs. $100 Marshalls

  • Single mother with toddler living in their car in need of gas money to get to safe places to sleep. Toddler needs warm clothes, Pj's and socks because the car is super cold. $100 Chevron, $100 Walmart

  • Single Grandmother raising three grandchildren on a limited income. She had some recent car repairs that have impacted her food and gas budget. $100 Chevron, $100 Walmart

  • Family of 8 struggling with food and in need of newborn diapers. Mother had a baby 11/12/23 and has not received her SDI benefits since 10/23. $100 Walmart; 200 Grocery Outlet

Arroyo Grande Family Resource Center – Cinthyia Ortiz-Corona

  • Family of four has been having a difficult transition with move into their own home, as they lost two months from bonding/ disability pay. Requested support with phone bill to reconnect services $200.66 Verizon

Nutrition Team – Mary Anne Morgan leader

  • Food for families in need and for school children $1,057.62 SLO FoodBank

  • Thanksgiving baskets – turkeys from the foodbank $1,189.29

Families in Transition – Wendy Bruse Coordinator and Deicy Trejo

  • Single mother and son living out of their car. Recently relocated to North county, student will remain with the district. He needs a scooter to get to school and a RTA bus pass. $130 RTA bus pass / Scooter/helmet

  • Mother living in a worn down RV with 2 daughters. Girls have very little and need warm clothing and blankets. $250 clothing cards and 2 blankets

  • Unaccompanied youth living in a gutted RV on the side of the road. Needs basic items for daily living. $100 Shower bag, lanterns, camping chairs, blankets

  • Student in need of shoes and a warm winter jacket for the colder temperatures. $100 Marshall’s gift cards

  • Family of 6 living in a small RV. Came with the clothes on their back, and needed support with clothing, shoes. $200 Marshall’s gift cards

  • Unaccompanied youth needs SCT bus pass to transport herself to school. $37 SCT 31day bus pass

  • Early graduating Junior in need of support to pay for college applications. Student did not qualify for waivers and parents were not willing. $140 - 2 College applications

  • First generation college bound student requested help in paying for college applications. Parents are struggling financially $210 - 2 College applications

County Nurses – Meryl Castro Nurse

  • Womanade was able to provide much needed essentials for a new first-time mom including sanitary pads, toilet paper, and toiletries like toothpaste, shampoo and conditioner. $150 CVS


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