Recent YWCA Successes

9 Jun

Here’s an update from YWCA Executive Director Holly Jones:

As we welcome summertime back to the YWCA of Asheville, we also are celebrating a very full and successful year of YWCA programs, events, and milestones. Since you are a vital part of the YWCA circle of friends and supporters, I want to share just a few of the highlights from this year:

• The YWCA Child Care Center achieved a five-star rating from the NC Division of Child Development.

• Our Child Care Center is one of only three centers in North Carolina chosen to receive an NC State Natural Learning playground design. The new design, once implemented, will encourage our children to move more and spend extra time exploring the natural world.

Aquatics Director Jean Coile retired after 32 years with the YWCA. To honor her work and celebrate her retirement, we have created the Teach the Children to Swim Fund to provide for children whose families cannot afford the opportunity to learn to swim.

• Our Diabetes Wellness Program doubled in size this year. Over 120 individuals with diabetes began their journey to a healthier lifestyle and the vast majority has been wildly successful. With a grant from Mission Hospital Community Benefits Program, we have begun a family component, which will yield even more lasting results.

• Both of our signature fundraising events experienced banner attendance. The Black & White Gala and the Tribute to Women of Influence (TWIN) Awards Banquet each had over 400 people in attendance.

• This year the YWCA launched into social networking with positive results. The YWCA now has a Facebook page, a blog (you’ve on it!), and is on Twitter.

• In April, the YWCA invited businesses, organizations, faith communities, and schools to join us in taking a “Stand Against Racism.” Over 75 groups partnered with the YWCA to demonstrate that racism can no longer be ignored or tolerated in our community. The YWCA of Asheville had the second highest participation in the country for this nationwide event!

• The YW remains committed to reducing our impact on the environment. This year we have made investments to greatly reduce paper consumption. We installed two dishwashers and purchased reusable plates and cups. Electric hand dryers will be installed this summer to replace paper towels. The YWCA now has a “company bike,” donated by Hearn’s Cycling, which staff can use to travel to downtown meetings instead of driving. The YWCA is working hard to support Asheville’s multimodal transportation goals.

• Next year, the YWCA will take the lead to focus the community’s attention on women and the green economy. A Women for Women grant from the Community Foundation of WNC will allow the YWCA to bring together educators, workforce development, and employers to determine how best to recruit and retain women in green jobs.

These successes have occurred through the hard work of a dedicated board and staff. Our Strategic Plan continues to guide our commitments, and prudent fiscal oversight keeps us focused and lean. But make no mistake about it; times are still very challenging financially.

As we continue to hold fast to our core values, we ask for your support. Even in this time of economic uncertainty, we will be guided first and foremost by how this work contributes to the elimination of racism and the empowerment of women. In the end, impact is why we’re here. You can make an online contribution to the YWCA by clicking here, or you can mail a check to 185 S. French Broad Avenue, Asheville, NC 28801.

As always, thank you for being part of the YWCA of Asheville family.

~ Holly

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