When you hear us report on fires we often say the Red Cross is helping the victims with food and a place to stay. You don’t often hear about how the YWCA helps women and families with a place to stay and counseling follow domestic violence, sexual assault or another crisis.
The YWCA of South Hampton Roads held it annual Women of Distinction Awards Luncheon on March 28, 2013. I was honored to serve as emcee and even more honored to have been recognized as one of the award recipients last year.
The organization has a new leader, Ruth Jones, who took over in June of 2012. She told the packed crowd at the Norfolk Waterside Marriott about the history of the local YWCA. Founded in 1911, it has grown to upheld its mission of “eliminating racism, empowering women and promoting peace, justice, freedom and dignity for all”.
She also shared these stats:
During the 2011-2012 fiscal year, YWCA Hampton Roads provided:
- 2, 472 sexual assault victims with mental health counseling and support;
- 14,178 nights of emergency shelter and 11,085 nights of transitional housing to victims of domestic violence;
- 7,056 meals to 319 children participating in our before and after-school childcare programs.
Some people simply don’t know about the services and leadership opportunities provided by the “YW” for women and racial and ethnic minorities.
The Women of Distinction Award goes to women who have made significant contributions to the community through professional activities and volunteer efforts.
Here’s the list of the 2013 recipients.
- Elena Montello (Arts)
- Priscilla Trinder Roady (Business)
- Sandra Parker (Communications)
- Bonnie Sutton (Education)
- Jane Short (Finance)
- Clarissa McAdoo (Government)
- Mary Jane Hall (Law)
- Dr. Michelle Clayton (Medicine)
- Kathy Nelson (Military)
- Debra Dandridge (Nonprofit)
- Inger Pincus Friedman (Science and Technology)
- Denise Britt and Janice Dildy (Volunteerism)
The organization can always use financial and volunteer support. You never know just how many lives you can change by helping out.