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Janine’s Empowering Journey

January 4, 2018

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By Janine

YWCA Clark County has impacted and changed my family’s lives in ways I never knew possible. I considered myself a confident, educated woman with a bright future. After a whirlwind romance, at 21 years old, I married a ‘charmer,’ life-of-the-party, jovial, humorous and handsome man. Married life had extreme highs and devastating lows. It didn’t make sense. Fourteen years, seven investment homes, and three beautiful little kiddos deep, our married relationship was as volatile as ever. I could see the effects in my kids eyes. We were all hurting. We were all confused.

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Thank You Connie and Lee Kearney

December 26, 2017

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by Emily Ostrowski

At YWCA Clark County we are fortunate to benefit from the help and support of national and local organizations, community sponsors, and individuals who donate their time and financial assistance to helping us eliminate racism, empower women and promote peace, justice, freedom and dignity for all. Connie and Lee Kearney are two such individuals who have contributed so much, not just to YWCA, but to the entire community of Clark County and beyond.
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Partner Profile: A Look at The Vancouver Clinic

December 12, 2017

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by Emily Ostrowski

It’s that time of year again where we reflect on all we have to be thankful for, and at YWCA Clark County we feel an abundance of thanks and gratitude towards our many community partners whose contributions help us live out our mission every single day.

One such organization is The Vancouver Clinic, who has partnered with YWCA Clark County for the last 30 years to sponsor fundraising events including our annual Empower Luncheon, as well as offer financial donations to support our various life-saving programs.

“The Vancouver Clinic truly embodies their mission of caring for people as their first priority,” said YWCA Clark County Director of Philanthropy Brittini Allen. “They show that not only through the culture at their clinics, but through their investment into the community as a whole. Over the last three decades, The Vancouver Clinic has provided YWCA Clark County with nearly $60,000 in support both through sponsorships, matching gifts, and investments in our programs. We are honored to call them a partner and highlight their dedication to our community.” More

We Stand With Dreamers

December 2, 2017

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by Emily Ostrowski

In September of this year the Trump Administration announced it would be ending the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals Program, otherwise known as DACA. This program, enacted five years earlier by President Obama, protected 800,000 young undocumented immigrants who were brought to the United States as children from deportation. Now that DACA has been rescinded the future of these young adults, often referred to as Dreamers, hangs in the balance, with the hope that Congress can adopt a solution to find Dreamers a permanent path towards citizenship before March of 2018 when DACA officially expires.

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Thank You Bank of America for Supporting Survivors!

December 1, 2017

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by Emily Ostrowski

YWCA Clark County’s SafeChoice Domestic Violence Program works around the clock to help survivors of domestic abuse escape dangerous situations, and offers women, children, and families safe and stable housing both on a temporary and long-term basis. It is vital, life-saving work, and it is something we could not do alone.

We rely not only on our dedicated employees and volunteers, but also on financial donations from our community, as well as grants from organizations that support our mission. Bank of America is one such organization, and we are incredibly grateful that they endowed us with a $10,000 grant in July of this year to help us secure housing advocacy for survivors of domestic abuse.

One of the biggest obstacles survivors of domestic abuse face when trying to escape abusive situations is finding a safe place to stay. In 2015, 36% of new participants in our SafeChoice Program were experiencing homelessness when they first sought our services. More

Bennett Celebrates 20 Years with YWCA Clark County

November 30, 2017

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by Sharon Svec

This November, Sherri Bennett celebrated 20 years with YWCA Clark County. Bennett began as an on-call staff member in 1997 and was soon promoted to facility manager of the SafeChoice Domestic Violence Program. She moved on to serve as the assistant to the director of SafeChoice and then, the director of SafeChoice. In 2008 she was hired as the Director of Programs. This new position was designed to provide support for the 7 programs of YWCA Clark County, as well as to help unify them under the YWCA mission. Bennett now serves as the Executive Director, a position she’s held since 2010.

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CASA Profile Part Three: Gail Shelton

November 16, 2017

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In honor of YWCA Clark County celebrating 35 years of our CASA Program we’ve interviewed three of our wonderful and dedicated volunteers on what it’s like being a CASA. Our final interview with Gail Shelton is below. (Follow the links to read our interviews with Avonna Chung and Larry Didier as well!)

Name:
Gail Shelton

How long have you been a CASA?
10 years.

What first inspired you or got you interested in the CASA program?
During my last few years of teaching reading in the Evergreen School District I was thinking about volunteering in some capacity in the schools, possibly as a “Big Sister” or “Lunch Buddy”. I was drawn to an ad in the paper that kept reappearing every so often, describing the CASA Program. I thought, “I could do that!” I had had several students who were in temporary foster homes over the years, and my own two sons were adopted, so I was somewhat familiar with children who didn’t have permanent, stable homes. More

Volunteer Judy Walter Awarded WA State CASA of the Year

October 26, 2017

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by Emily Ostrowski

Volunteers are the lifeblood of YWCA Clark County. We could never provide the resources for our community that we do without their selfless work and dedication, and we love to take any opportunity to celebrate their achievements. That is why it fills us with great pride to announce that this year’s recipient of the Washington State CASA of the Year is our very own Judy Walter!

Judy has served as a CASA since February of 2014. She had always prioritized volunteer work, and decided to sign up after she was encouraged to join the program by a friend who was also a CASA, and knew of Judy’s love of children.

Judy, who spent 30 years working in the insurance industry before retiring 13 years ago, has made a it a priority to stay involved in her community, both as a CASA, as well as volunteering at her granddaughter’s elementary school every week.

Judy’s love of children is at the heart of her commitment to being an exceptional CASA, and something she says is essential for anyone thinking of becoming a volunteer. She also emphasizes the need to stay objective and clear-headed. “It’s a commitment, so you have to make sure you are willing to put in the time to do the best job you can for the children you are serving. Be prepared to become emotionally involved with the children you are advocating for, but be prepared to let go when the time comes.” More

Introducing the Women’s Leadership Center of YWCA Clark County

October 17, 2017

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By Sharon Svec

In the past 101 years, YWCA Clark County has adapted to meet the changing needs of the community while honoring an overarching mission of eliminating racism, empowering women and promoting peace, justice, freedom and dignity for all. Our most recent adaptation has been that of the Women’s Leadership Center. We’ve developed this program as a response to the disparity of women within leadership positions nationwide. Whenever leadership fails to reflect the population, the society is at risk of losing valuable perspective and access to advancement. The Women’s Leadership Center will contribute to creating a more inclusive, equitable, and sustainable world.

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CASA Profile Part Two: Larry Didier

October 12, 2017

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by Emily Ostrowski

In honor of 35 years of the CASA Program, we’ve interviewed three wonderful and dedicated volunteers about what life is like as a CASA. Read the first profile here, and keep an eye out for part three to come.

Meet Larry Didier. He’s been a CASA for about two and a half years.

What first inspired you or got you interested in the CASA program?
I was feeling like my life in retirement lacked something. I wanted to do something to make a difference. I saw an article in our local paper about a CASA who had been doing this for many years, and I thought this was something I could do. I contacted the CASA program, went through the training, and never looked back.  More