During the last two years, YWCA has supported El Paso through major changes and challenges.
It began on September 1, 2019 just 29 days after a racist mass shooter shook our beloved city to its core. Laying the groundwork to begin the process healing, YWCA worked in coordination with El Paso Holocaust Museum to advance conversations with the potential to help us forge deep, meaningful relationships, transform broken systems, and create a world in which, together, we are a new force for positive change. The work continued throughout 2020 and today through our virtual series of Courageous Conversations, which promote an equitable and inclusive recovery from the trauma of the last two years.
The early months of our most recently completed fiscal year had record financial indices, and across the agency we prepared to grow our signature programs to reach more families. We also projected a record-setting Women’s Luncheon with the announcement of our keynote speaker. Then, overnight, the pandemic struck El Paso, and it continues to create grief, fear, and economic anxiety; It has had a major influence on all YWCA programs, making it necessary for us to adapt to this new environment. YWCA’s goal this year was to continue providing support for a community, and to do so safely at the same high standards our clients have come to expect. YWCA has not closed; we recognize that in times of crisis our services and our adherence to our mission is more valuable than ever.
The last two years have clarified the need for more support for essential workers and their families, as well as those who are disproportionately vulnerable to hardship. The pandemic has crystalized the social and economic, the simple human implications of childcare access. It is foundational to the continued success of local economies and the national economy;childcare access means opportunities for working mothers; bright futures for children; and it means access to healthy meals, mental health, and a broad network of public health resources to which families are entitled.
YWCA remains laser focused on providing childcare for working families; we have implemented virtual workforce development classes; and we have helped seniors maintain regular physical activity and mental engagement through fitness and aquatics as gyms have been allowed to safely restore capacity. We are also continuing to serve men, women, children experiencing homelessness through our homeless programs at scattered rapid rehousing sites, and at our onsite rapid rehousing apartments. The Sara McKnight Transitional Living Center continues to serve women and children experiencing homelessness, primarily as a result of domestic violence.
Your contribution for El Paso Giving Day, is a recognition of the efforts and achievements of our dedicated staff, Board of Directors and volunteers as we continue to serve the El Paso community. Our programs provide immeasurably valuable resources to neighbors, grandparents, young children, and mothers. We offer enriching education through Early Learning Academies, After School Programs, Teen Leadership, Racial Justice, and LIFT workforce development. As the end of the pandemic nears, YWCA is positioned to serve our community energetically, comprehensively, and committedly. Our variety of funding from strategic partners will allow YWCA to continually grow! Having received a transformational investment from Philanthropist Mackenzie Scott at the end of 2020, YWCA has made significant investments in the agency’s future sustainability, staff, and facilities. However, current use funds for operations like the TLC are still very much needed to support our mission and impact.
Please consider a gift to YWCA El Paso del Norte Region, and be a hero to a mother and child this El Paso Giving Day!