Local nonprofit Chicks in Crisis invites teenagers ages 15 to 19 to a workshop, starting on Feb. 29 called, “Love Notes,” which is a set of relationship-building classes for young people. With the goal of gaining “confidence in life, love and work,” the workshops provide an opportunity to gain skills to hold a healthy relationship in a fun interactive way, explained Marya Cooley of Chicks in Crisis.

Her nonprofit supports young mothers and their families. Their “Love Notes” classes will be held from 11 a.m. until 3:30 p.m. on Feb. 29, March 7, March 14, and March 21 at the Chicks in Crisis ranch at 9455 East Stockton Blvd.

“Love Notes” students can learn about signs of an unhealthy relationship, self-discovery, STIs, and life through a child’s eyes. Those who attend sessions more than 80% of the time will receive a gift card.

Organizers recommend that couples do not attend classes together.  

Chicks in Crisis has partnered with youth-development agency PRO Youth and Families to provide the workshops for the first time. Together, they plan to offer additional workshop series through the end of the year.

Last year, Chicks in Crisis distributed more than 143,000 items such as diapers, wipes, formula, clothes and other essentials to more than 3,200 household members in our community. They rely solely on donations to make this happen. In-kind and monetary donations are always greatly appreciated especially as the number of families in need continues to increase every year; items are given out as quickly as they are received.

“We love our wonderful Elk Grove community and we are incredibly thankful and blessed by our donors/supporters,” Cooley said.

The Ranch is a former working farm in the midst of suburban Elk Grove that has become an urban oasis and safe haven for girls and young women in crisis, many of whom are low-income, pregnant, and parenting, in the foster system, homeless, sex trafficking victims, and/or recovering from recent addictions and abusive relationships.

“The wonderful community of volunteers and supporters has provided thousands of hours of volunteer work and hundreds of thousands of dollars in donated materials to transform the dilapidated, overrun property into the colorful and abundant place of healing that it is today,” Cooley said.

Volunteers needed to clean up the Chicks in Crisis Ranch

The nonprofit is now in need of volunteers to start helping get the Ranch cleared out and ready for fruit and vegetable gardens.

“The two-acre ranch needs some love, “Cooley said.

(There are) lots of gardening to do, weeds to pull, heavy items to move. Our fruit and vegetable gardens need to get ready for our spring planting.”

She said that her nonprofit seeks at least 25 volunteers to clean up their ranch on Feb. 29, March 14, and March 21. Volunteers can sign up via the links on our Facebook page or you can email rachel@chicksincrisis.org and let her know you’re interested. Children are welcome as long as they are accompanied by an adult and lunch will be provided, Cooley said.

They also teach free cooking/canning classes so that our young families can learn how to cook with fresh fruits/veggies at home and make nutritious meals.

“Teaching good health and nutrition, healthy food shopping, the importance of healthy meals and providing fresh produce to our young parents is very important to us,” Cooley said.  Our produce is also offered to the community; we just ask for a small donation in return.”