Meeting Critical Needs at a Critical Time

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Meeting Critical Needs at a Critical Time

Nonprofits are the backbone of communities.

This is especially true in times of crisis – be it fires, floods, or the current pandemic – the demand for our services increases and community resilience hinges on the strength and stability of the nonprofit sector.

YWCAs across the country are providing emergency childcare for the healthcare workers putting their lives on the line to fight coronavirus, housing survivors of domestic violence who can’t safely quarantine at home and providing meals and medical care for seniors and other vulnerable groups. It is nonprofits like us that are filling critical needs, and stepping up to help communities during this unprecedented health crisis.

But as the COVID-19 pandemic continues to spread, local YWCAs face an immediate funding, staffing, and safety crisis that threatens their ability to meet these needs. Across the country, demand for the services we provide — childcare, supportive housing for survivors of domestic violence, and free meals and medical support for seniors — is increasing substantially. As local YWCAs have been called upon to do more, devoting limited resources to meet the urgent needs in their communities, they do not have the bandwidth to fundraise, and many individuals who generously support local YWCAs are facing financial uncertainty of their own.

YWCA local associations across the country are at work providing such needs as: housing for the elderly at YWCA Brooklyn; shelters for survivors of domestic violence at YWCA Northwest Ohio; and childcare services like those provided at YWCA Northwestern Illinois, YWCA Metropolitan Chicago, and YWCA El Paso Del Norte Region.

We need your support to continue to deliver these critical services to vulnerable populations in our communities. Please consider donating to the newly established COVID-19 Relief & Community Resilience Fund to keep our local associations up and running during this crucial time.

As the situation evolves, we will continue to work in close partnership with one another to adapt our services to meet the needs of the girls, women, people of color, and their families we serve every day.


Alejandra Y. Castillo

YWCA USA Responds to COVID-19 on Capitol Hill

YWCA USA is working diligently with Congressional offices and our coalition partners to ensure that federal responses to the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic are responsive to and inclusive of the needs of YWCAs and the nonprofit sector. Our message is clear: nonprofits like YWCA are the backbone of essential community services throughout the country and must receive the federal support that our communities need.

On Tuesday, March 18, Congress passed and the President signed the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (H.R. 6201), the second of multiple stimulus packages in response to COVID-19. The second stimulus bill provides an expansion of critical coronavirus testing and additional relief to working families. A summary of the bill analysis can be found here.

As this newsletter went to press, Congress continues to debate a third COVID-19 stimulus package. YWCA USA sent additional recommendations to Congress to provide immediate financial assistance to child care and domestic violence providers as part of $60 billion in broader nonprofit sector relief. We also highlighted much needed relief for survivors of domestic and sexual violence. These requests were informed by our national survey of YWCA leaders and reflects the needs of our local associations and played an instrumental role in our advocacy efforts on Capitol Hill. It’s not too late! Join us and continue to tell your Member of Congress we must include emergency relief for non-profits and community partners in the next COVID-19 stimulus package.



YWCA COVID-19 Emergency Relief and Community Resilience Program 

As the COVID-19 pandemic continues to spread, local YWCAs face an immediate funding, staffing, and safety crisis that threatens their ability to meet the needs of the women and children they serve.

In response to the outbreak, YWCA USA has launched the COVID-19 Emergency Relief and Community Resilience Fund to provide emergency funds and in-kind support for COVID-19 preparedness, response, and recovery services, and to shore up critical housing, childcare, and domestic violence programs facing imminent risk of closure as a result of the pandemic.

Your support will help YWCAs continue to provide critical assistance including safe and sterile testing sites, childcare services, meals to children and families in need, as well as care and housing for women and children escaping domestic violence, as well as elderly individuals and others experiencing homelessness. The need for these critical services has never been greater



YWCA Spotlights: The Work We Do

YWCA local associations in communities big and small are at work providing housing for the elderly, shelters for survivors of domestic violence, child care services, and other essential needs.  Below are highlights of the work we are doing in communities across the country during the COVID-19 pandemic.

YWCA El Paso Del Norte Region and YWCA Central Maine are providing emergency child care to first responders, medical professionals, and other essential workers who are working around the clock to respond to the coronavirus pandemic and as a result of school closures.

Other associations such as YWCA Kalamazoo, YWCA Greater Lafayette, YWCA Greater Memphis, and YWCA Central Virginia are keeping their shelters open and providing services to survivors of domestic violence as many women and children look to leave their home environments that have worsened due to social isolation and quarantine measures.

You can help our associations continue to do this work by donating to a local association or by donating to our COVID-19 Emergency Relief and Community Resilience Fund.


YWCA Spotlights The Work We Do

Organize Your Butterflies

Episode 33:
Keeping Up With COVID-19: What You Must Know

COVID-19 has rapidly taken main stage in the United States. In this episode of Organize Your Butterflies, Alejandra Castillo, CEO of YWCA USA, chats with Dr. Meg Doherty, Director at the Department of Global HIV, Hepatitis and STIs Programmes at the World Health Organization. Dr. Doherty is a specialist on infectious diseases and epidemiology, and emphasizes the importance of social distancing, the integral role that young and healthy people must play to prevent the spread of the virus, and the deep sense of community that COVID-19 has instilled globally.

Tim Delaney, President & CEO of the National Council of Nonprofits, also joins us to discuss the impact COVID-19 has on the nonprofit sector in terms of fundraising, resources, and support. Tim and Alejandra also examine how the government, private corporations, and individuals can help nonprofits during this unusual time.

Check out this Organize Your Butterflies episode and past episodes wherever you subscribe to podcasts, including:


Organize Your Butterflies

Even with Social Distancing, We Are Stronger Together!

COVID-19 is changing how we serve our communities but not our commitment to the YWCA mission and doing the work of justice every day.

The Virus is the Enemy, NOT the People” graphic, which can be shared from all of your social media pages, speaks against the xenophobia and racism that has presented itself in wake of COVID-19.

At YWCA, we unequivocally condemn all acts of racism, and by sharing this graphic on your social media platforms and with your network, we hope that you help spread our mission to eliminate racism.


Even With Social Distancing We Are Stronger Together

YWCA in the News

Below are recent articles and videos that highlight the work YWCAs are doing in communities across the country in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. Be sure to check them out. #WeDoTheWork

Business Insider
Being neighborly may help domestic abuse victims who are in danger during the coronavirus pandemic

Ms. Magazine
The Ms. Q&A: Alejandra Y. Castillo on Combating Domestic Violence During the COVID-19 Epidemic

NowThis News
How to Support Domestic Violence Survivors During COVID-19


YWCA 2020 Census PSA – Now Available

#YWomenCount is YWCA’s national campaign to support the 2020 Census.

The Census matters especially in the wake of COVID-19 to ensure that your community receives the funding it deserves. Make sure your communities get counted by sharing the PSA. As a trusted voice in some of the most vulnerable communities in the country, YWCA is working to ensure those communities are informed and counted fairly and accurately in 2020.

Everyone counts, and together, we can ensure that everyone is counted in this year’s census. YWCAs will openly support the completion of a full, fair, and accurate census, and work with other community leaders to reach hard-to-count community members. Promoting an accurate census gets to the very heart of YWCA’s mission of eliminating racism, empowering women, and promoting peace, justice, freedom, and dignity for all.

Watch and share this #YWomenCount PSA (available in English and in Spanish) to help spread the word about why WE ALL COUNT!


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