The YW is thrilled to announce that the Women for Women giving circle of the Community Foundation of WNC has awarded our New Choices Program a grant for $50,000! This grant will help women in poverty gain the education and skills necessary to find and keep living wage employment. This award was announced today at “Power of the Purse,” Women for Women’s annual luncheon.
A Century of Empowerment through Employment
For a century the YWCA of Asheville has been at its essence dedicated to improving the economic wellbeing of women. During the 1920s, the Phyllis Wheatley branch acted as an informal employment referral agency for women looking for domestic work, while the Central YW offered classes for unemployed women on how to get a job and keep it. In the 1940s, the Business Girls’ League provided classes in self-improvement, social activities, and leadership opportunities.
A New Name for a New Day
Currently, the New Choices program, through case-management, access to child care, group support, and job-skills building, continues to serve women living below the poverty level who want to achieve economic self-sufficiency. Almost every woman who struggles to emerge from poverty faces compounding issues like lack of education and child care. Women seeking education face a double-bind: in order to receive child care assistance, they have to be a full-time student, but they cannot be a full-time students because they need child care assistance! New Choices breaks that bind.
The YW has long understood the economic well-being of women depends on stable employment and reliable, first-rate childcare. Specifically for New Choices participants and for participants from 14 partner agencies, the YW offers the only free drop-in child care in Buncombe County. New Choices also teaches a 14-week empowerment series in collaboration with these partner agencies.
Women Helping Other Women
The Women for Women giving circle of the Community Foundation of WNC brings women together in an engaging and meaningful way. By combining financial resources and working with others, Women for Women makes high-impact grants to improve the lives of women and girls in our region. Since January 2005, Women for Women has given more than a two million dollars to programs helping women and girls in our region. The mission of Women for Women is to improve the lives of women and girls through women’s collective giving. Their vision is to empower women to take action, inspire hope and possibility and strengthen Western North Carolina.
Thank you, Women for Women members, for empowering the women of New Choices and the YWCA of Asheville!