Thursday, September 30, 2010

September 2010 Y's Words

Greetings friends and supporters:

As the sun streams through the window today, it’s hard to believe we are saying good bye to summer and ushering in fall. There’s a crispness in the air these days, a reminder that the days grow shorter as we speed toward another season. And, each season also ushers in new developments, changes, and growth.

Here at the ywca, we are in the midst of harvesting our first full growing season in our community garden. We have spent these warmer months tending our garden and its bounty is evident every day. Our tiny preschoolers have learned about the seeds that grow our healthy food, how careful patting can nurture the smallest of seedlings, and how delicious a carrot can taste when it’s fresh from the earth!

From 2 ½ to adult, our community has embraced our garden. Our foster youth planted a wonderful bed of flowers and vegetables artistically laid out, and full of the colors that only nature can provide: the burgeoning cherry tomato; the colossal, verdant zucchini; the elegant zinnia and dahlia gracefully swaying in the setting sun.

Indeed, our programs have thrived and celebrated the therapy and camaraderie that our garden has provided. We are learning from one another, and sharing with one another, as is evident in our “free farmer’s market”: baskets of organic produce that are shared daily in our community lobby for any to take and enjoy.

Our changing season has also brought change in our leadership. On Oct. 1 we welcome Sherri Bennett to the preeminent post of Executive Director. Sherri brings more than a decade of experience working at the ywca, beginning as an on-call shelter advocate to leading our organization into the next season of growth—including expansion to North and East County and planned capital campaign.

Our growth and success from a small organization that provided a safe haven for single working women in 1916, to a blossoming, multi-service, mission driven social services leader providing peace, justice, freedom and dignity for all. We have seen many seasons. Yet growth and success is never a time to rest on one’s laurels.

Since 2009 we have realized a 10% growth in demand for our services. With growth comes need, and that’s why we are so thankful now, more than ever, for you, our supporters and friends.

Within a month, we will begin a holiday appeal. We strive to create a safe season of celebration for children and families: families who cherish a violence-free home and an opportunity for their own re-birth. You, as always, have the power in your hands to nurture this hope.

As our nights continue to grow cooler and longer, please remember those who are struggling every night to find their light, and know that, because of you, many are finding light and hope at ywca .

Jennifer Werdel

Director of Development & Communications
ywca clark county

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

ywca clark county benefit luncheon a fundraising success

Vancouver, Wash. — ywca clark county is pleased to announce total revenues of $125,762 at our 16th annual benefit luncheon.

The event, held at the Hilton Vancouver on September 2, commanded more than 625 attendees and boasted near-record profits. Trisha Meili, known to the world as “The Central Park Jogger” shared her inspirational story of hope and possibility during recovery from her near death brutal assault in 1989.

“We could not be more thankful of the committed and supportive community who make the work we do possible through their financial and other support,” said Jennifer Werdel, ywca’s Director of Development and Communications.

Thanks to the generosity of the following community partners, this year’s benefit luncheon was fully underwritten. The Boeing Company, The Columbian, Columbia Credit Union, Corwin Beverage Company, Home Instead Senior Care, IQ Credit Union, Lee & Connie Kearney, Kiewit, Miller Nash, LLP, NACCO Materials Handling Group, Inc. Providence Health and Services, Schwabe, Williamson & Wyatt, The Vancouver Clinic, Vancouver Business Journal.

“These days, challenges are all around us. The economy has many of us feeling down. Change is coming at us faster than we can handle it. Many feel overwhelmed and helpless. I can identify with people seeking to survive in tough times. With these lessons – support, focusing on what I could control, patience and a survivor mindset – I was able to persevere and reclaim my life.  I have seen that hope and possibility can arrive in unexpected ways, times and places. On my extraordinary journey of healing, I discovered the resilience of the human spirit.”

~ Trisha Meili