The Clinton Herald, Clinton, Iowa

Opinion

November 28, 2013

YWCA thankful for another great year

Each month YWCA staff, members and volunteers are featured highlighting the many facets of our community in which they’re a part of. This month, YWCA Assistant Executive Director – Financial Development Sarah Hood shares a look back on the many reasons the Clinton YWCA has to be thankful this year.

The YWCA was established in Clinton in 1915, nearly 100 years ago. Thanksgiving is the perfect time to reflect on all the community has shared with the YWCA and those we serve. It has been a year of success and growth combined with new challenges.

The Children’s Center – Lyons Campus celebrated its first anniversary. Now offering childcare and preschool at both the Lyons and downtown locations, the YWCA continues to serve the needs of many working families. We are blessed; funding assistance from Early Childhood Iowa allows the YWCA Children’s Center to remain open until midnight, Monday through Friday, an important service offered for local employers and community members who work the second shift or an extended day.

Many select the YWCA for their wellness needs — thank you! Stop in and be a part of the positive energy that begins early in the morning and lasts throughout the day, with more than 50 exercise classes to choose from along with pool facilities and a full-service fitness center, there truly is something for everyone at the YWCA. We are grateful that so many of our community members are able to satisfy their physical and social needs by participating in YWCA programs. When choosing the YWCA you are helping to also support programs that embrace our mission, the elimination of racism, the empowerment of women and promoting peace, justice, freedom and dignity for all.

With news that long-time, traditional government funding would no longer be available to help sustain the YWCA Domestic Violence/Sexual Assault Resource Center and Emergency Shelter, we embarked upon a grassroots fund-raising campaign to raise $100,000 to continue these vital services. The call to action was heard and accepted by many individuals, community groups, businesses, and city and county governments. Thank you; your contributions have assured that victims of violence will continue to have a place of safety to turn with certified advocates to provide assistance for the next year. With more than 800 victims served locally last year, the need for these services to remain is evident. For now, continued financial support from the community will be needed to sustain emergency shelter services for future years to come.

Unfortunately, the YWCA, along with many of our local nonprofits, is continuing to witness an increase in the number of those requiring a multitude of basic needs and services. Whether due to employment loss or underemployment, health issues, or an unforeseen circumstance, many among us are struggling. If you have the ability to share a financial gift or items from the current needs list, please consider a donation to the YWCA for those we serve through one of our many programs. For more information on YWCA programs, please call 242-2110 or visit www.ywcaclinton.org.

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With the Clinton County Justice Coordinating Commission and the Clinton County Board of Supervisors discussing proposals to construct a new jail, do you think the time has come for Clinton County to construct such a facility?

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