Mission: The ywca is dedicated to eliminating racism, empowering women, and promoting peace, justice, freedom, and dignity for all.
Programs: Child and adult care food program (tummy)-through nutrition training and monitoring, the ywca child and adult care food program (cacfp)/tummy provides technical support, supervision and monetary reimbursement to assist home-based/family child care providers in purchasing, preparing and serving healthy meals and snacks daily to all children, ages 0-12 years of age, participating in their programs.
sexual assault counseling and support services-professional, licensed counselors provide confidential individual and group counseling to child and adult survivors of sexual assault and their non-offending family members. In providing trauma-informed services, ywca staff understand the effects of sexual assault and seek to improve the emotional, social, behavioral and physical health of those served. Ywca safety education provides training to students, parents and professionals around sexual assault prevention, proper handling of instances of sexual assault, sexual harassment, bullying and other topics. Ywca metropolitan chicago is the largest provider of sexual assault support services in the state of illinois.
early childhood education services-the ywca assists parents and families in their search for quality and affordable child care through individual counseling and referrals. The ywca also assists center and home-based/family child care providers by providing training & technical assistance in starting a child care business, professional development training, community building & group purchasing.
other programs include women's health exchange, sexual assault advocacy, young parents program and economic empowerment services. The women's health exchange provides access to health insurance as well as information and training related to mental, physical and financial wellness. The ywca provides medical and legal advocacy to survivors of sexual assault. Through home visits and group services the young parents program ensures healthy cognitive, emotional, physical, language and social development of the child and provides mothers with peer support, parenting training and education, appreticeship and career exploration opportunities. And the ywca's economic empowerment institute helps individuals gain skills to build a career or start their own business. Providing career training, financial management education, digital literacy training, small business training and individualized coaching and support, we are preparing chicagoans to compete in a 21st century workforce. The ywca also provides hands-on experiential stem education for youth.
I saw myself reflected as I watched the clients coming in the door. You see, the very nonprofit I work for put me in a place where I now can donate to additional organizations. Not too long after leaving college, I found myself without steady work. My family had to put the home up for a short sale and it was really a time to begin again with a clean slate.
My third temp assignment brought me to YWCA Metropolitan Chicago. I'll never forget the way my heart stuttered as I was looking around the lobby. There were posters on the wall that all involved women being their own champion, what equality between genders meant, etc. Each photo was black and white.
There was a particular woman who's facial expression contained the same mix of pain and determination I was battling. The woman that would become my immediate supervisor, Danette, welcomed me in such a place of honest care that made me feel like this might be the moment my life gets power back.
Fast forward a few years later and I'm still working for the organization. I love that YWCA Metropolitan Chicago is always working to create new programs that will fill the gaps we continue to see in the community. The staff work so hard to inspire and help each other as well. Because I think that's also an important factor--that the employees feel empowered enough to keep the cycle going.
I give to the YWCA, along with two other nonprofits because I know the struggles clients are coming to us for. I think that's something many nonprofit workers can relate to. I want the opportunity to uplift someone else in the same way that temp assignment gave me the ability to get my life back on track and help my family.