During these trying times, we stand strong to provide relief and response to the growing needs of communities across our nation. As an organization focused on supporting women, children, and families, YWCA honors its mission of eliminating racism and empowering women, and providing social justice for all. Now more than ever, YWCAs are providing critical services to the most vulnerable populations in response to the coronavirus pandemic.
As we continue to respond to the needs of those we serve, I want to assure you that YWCA USA is actively engaged in calling on Congress and the private sector to support the YWCA network and our nonprofit sector partners as we continue to respond to the outbreak. We know that only through collective action of our YWCA associations and hard work will we be able to ensure that women, girls, people of color, and their families are afforded the access to essential services and resources during these unprecedented times. #WeAreInThisTogether
Some of the steps we are taking include:
Providing Trusted Information: In an effort to provide continuous information and resources, our website ywca.org is capturing real-time information, tips, and healthy practices to avoid the spread of the novel coronavirus. In addition, you can find COVID-19 graphics and information on our Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and LinkedIn accounts. We have also developed an intranet community for local associations to share information, resources, best practices, and encourage cross-network learning opportunities.
Working for Communities: As an advocate for women, children, and people of color, we are on the front lines working to make sure that lawmakers recognize the role the nonprofit sector plays in responding and rebuilding during this national crisis. We are calling on Congress to appropriate sufficient resources to address the novel coronavirus outbreak and to provide support for our local associations, vulnerable communities, and our nonprofit partners in the next Congressional stimulus/relief packages. Read our joint briefing paper for collective recommendations from YWCA USA, Goodwill, and United Way on how Congress can build on the CARES Act to help the nonprofit sector survive this pandemic.
Moving to the Virtual Space to Protect Public Health: To protect the communities we serve, YWCA staff and volunteers are following CDC guidance and encouraging all YWCA local associations to transition from in-person events to virtual engagement. As we engage communities in the virtual space, we will host a Stand Against Racism National Tele-Town Hall on April 23rd at 3 p.m. ET. with a stellar line-up of national leaders who are answering the call for civic engagement and participation. We hope you will join us and our partners in this discussion about racial justice and gender equity issues that have come to light as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, learn best practices and build skills for effective civic engagement amidst social distancing, and empower individuals nationwide for the work of racial justice.
COVID-19 Emergency Relief and Community Resiliency Fund: In response to the outbreak, YWCA USA has launched the COVID-19 Emergency Relief and Community Resiliency Fund to provide emergency funds and in-kind support for COVID-19 preparedness, response, and recovery services across YWCA associations. The fund will help shore up critical housing, child care, and domestic violence programs facing imminent risk of closure as a result of the pandemic. By donating to this fund, you are helping YWCA remain on the front lines of providing critical services in communities across the country, meeting the needs of the most vulnerable children, women, and their families.
For more than 160 years, YWCA has served communities large and small across the United States, providing services and resources for many of the most vulnerable children, women, and families. As the situation with coronavirus continues to evolve, be assured that YWCA is continually monitoring developments and will keep local associations and our communities informed. In the face of this national pandemic, you can count on us to continue to meet critical needs at this critical time.
Alejandra Y. Castillo
CEO, YWCA USA
Leading Nonprofits Join Together to Highlight the Impact of COVID-19 on Funding, Staffing and Community Service
On Tuesday, YWCA USA joined with Goodwill, United Way, and Representatives Judy Chu (D-CA-27) and Gwen Moore (D-WI-4), for a press call to discuss the impact COVID-19 has had on funding, staffing, and community programming for the nonprofit sector, and offer policy recommendations to Congress on how to address the specific needs of the nonprofit sector. Charitable nonprofits employ more than 12 million Americans, play a critical role in our national economy, and are valued problem solvers for communities. YWCA USA is offering vital services, including providing emergency child care services to first responders and supporting survivors of domestic violence as the threat of abuse increases across the country. In local communities across the nation, Goodwill organizations are focusing their efforts on community relief and virtual training, including collecting donations of first aid supplies; providing vehicles, staffing, and other equipment to hospitals and food banks; collecting donations for food banks; providing smocks for healthcare workers; and providing job preparation skills and virtual career fairs online. United Way Worldwide is focused on helping vulnerable communities access food, shelter, and vital information needed to cope with the pandemic, in addition to operating the 211 non-emergency hotline, covering 95 percent of U.S. communities, which is seeing a 200 – 300 percent increase in call volume since the onset of the pandemic.
View this joint briefing paper for collective recommendations on how Congress can build on the CARES Act to help the nonprofit sector survive this pandemic.
Advocating for the Communities We Serve on Capitol Hill
YWCA and nonprofits across the country are on the front lines in our communities during the COVID-19 pandemic, working tirelessly to serve the people who need our services despite facing challenging circumstances within our own organizations. If we are to continue to provide the desperately needed services for individuals and families across the country, we need Congress to take additional steps immediately. YWCA USA remains actively engaged in efforts to increase financial resources for the nonprofit sector in Congressional stimulus/relief packages.
We are currently focused on:
We implore Congress to help YWCA and our nonprofit partners keep our doors open so that we can continue to partner with state and local governments to meet community needs.
Join Us for the 2020 Stand Against Racism National Tele-Town Hall
Voting rights, census participation, and civic engagement are, and have always been, essential to racial justice. As the COVID-19 pandemic disrupts all aspects of life, it is also exacerbating the impact of systemic and structural racism on communities of color across health, education, justice, and economic sectors. In this moment, our collective efforts to secure full access at the ballot box, to ensure a fair and complete census count, and to stand against racism—whenever and wherever it happens—are more important than ever.
Join us for a national tele-town hall where we will:
In this critical moment for our nation, our collective efforts can root out injustice, transform institutions, and create a world that sees women, girls, and people of color the way we do: Equal. Powerful. Unstoppable.
Make sure to register today for an event you won’t want to miss!
YWCA COVID-19 Emergency Relief and Community Resiliency 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 Resiliency Fund to provide emergency funds and in-kind support for COVID-19 preparedness, response, and recovery services, and to shore up critical housing, child care, 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, child care services, meals to children and families in need, and housing for women and children escaping domestic violence, and others experiencing homelessness. The need for these critical services has never been greater.
YWCA Spotlights: The Work We Do
Our YWCA network is on the ground in over 1,200 communities providing essential support such as emergency housing, child care, and meals for families in need. Recently, through a partnership with an airline catering company, we were able to distribute 5,000 meals to YWCA emergency shelters such as those at YWCA Glendale and YWCA White Plains, allowing the shelters to reallocate funds to support other essential needs during the COVID-19 crisis. Upon receiving their shipment at the emergency shelter at YWCA White Plains, their case manager said, “This food saved lives today.”
We all have a role to play in helping communities heal and rebuild.
Organize Your Butterflies
Organize Your Butterflies
Definitely NOT a Flyover State: Getting to Know Kansas at the Ground Level
On this episode of Organize Your Butterflies, take a trip to America’s heartland with guest, Mayor of Topeka, Michelle de la Isla. In conversation with YWCA USA CEO Alejandra Y. Castillo, the two cover topics such as the importance of rural communities, civic engagement at the local level, and the Mayor’s campaign to represent the 2nd Congressional District in the U.S. House of Representatives.
This episode’s spotlight is on YWCA Northeast Kansas where they are led by CEO Kathleen Marker and are working to change the way that survivors of gender-based violence access care in their community. #YWCAButterflies
Check out this Organize Your Butterflies episode and past episodes wherever you subscribe to podcasts, including: APPLE PODCASTS | GOOGLE PLAY | STITCHER | SPOTIFY | TUNEIN | RSS
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
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