Welcome to our December edition of empowerNOTES! As we move from a busy fall into the winter and the holiday season we are happy you are with us!
14 holidays this holiday season, for many, the holidays evoke the “spirit of giving”. For everyone, that giving can come in many different ways.
One of my favorite humans, who left this earth in October 2015, was my Aunt Helen. Aunt Helen’s love language was food. You knew she loved you, or at least the person you were with, if she fed you. Our family celebrates the Christmas holidays, her gift as we all grew older, with families of our own was a box of her infamous holiday treats-cookies, fudge, “monster” bars, and much more! She made one for everyone that she identified as family. If she was upset with you, and you were family, you still got a box! This was one of many values she taught me-seeing the humanity in people, celebrating our differences, embracing forgiveness and dosing out grace. When she passed, we created a beloved recipe book that we distributed to family members. A survivor of domestic violence and childhood trauma, she turned those challenges into this outpouring of love for her family.
What does Aunt Helen have to do with 14 holidays or YWCA NH you may be asking yourself? Well, she is an example of the importance of giving what is meaningful to you-whether it be financial support, time, donated items you collect, or a kind word or story to a friend. We all have something to give. With 14 different holidays this time of year, it is also an amazing opportunity to celebrate the diversity and richness that this time of year can bring to us all.
Over the years, I have always thought about how I might be able to honor her memory in a more meaningful way. Until recently, when I came to the conclusion the best way to honor her memory is to live my life with the values she taught me.
I am proud to lead an organization that values these same things: hope, grace, survivors, healing and most of all, love for humanity.
Wishing you all the very best this holiday season and beyond. Thank you for your tireless support and contributions to the work we are doing in our community. Please consider supporting us in your “giving” this holiday season.
Chief Diversity Officer
As 2022 ends there is much for us to reflect on as a YWCA NH family. This year, we’ve accomplished a lot at YWCA NH. We’ve been able to provide office space to three BIPOC owned and founded businesses and community organizations, in addition to the students and families served through the SNHU Center for New Americans we’ve served close to 70 new students in Manchester with our Advocate in Me and Kreiva Academy programming and partnerships, and we’ve been able to lend our voice and honor our mission by participating in strategy to tackle larger community challenges.
In 2023, we will continue to take bold as we work towards fulfilling our mission of empowering women and eliminating racism. We know that the only way we make change, is through the help of champions and advocates like you. Thank you for your commitment to work in collaboration with us as we look to understand what it means to dismantle oppressive systems here in the Granite State. I look forward to working alongside each of you.
In service & solidarity,
At the beginning of October, we hosted our annual empowerHER Breakfast to celebrate the past year of our work as well as honor individuals who have made an impact on the lives of women and girls and have exemplified our mission. We had nearly 200 people join us to learn about our ongoing work and join us in celebration of our honorees. Thank you to all who made this event a success and we hope to see even more supporters in 2023!
Domestic Violence Awareness Month
Our Community Education Advocate, Emma, has been hard at work this fall! During Domestic Violence Awareness Month, Emma provided education, outreach, and prevention services at over 15 events! These took place on college campuses, local businesses, schools, and other community gatherings.
It is critical that our team provides this type of educational support to the community in addition to direct services to clients, reaching as many member of our community as possible.
If you are interested in requesting an educational/prevention session or inviting us to table at an upcoming event, please email email@example.com
Fall Amiko Youth Program
The fall series of Amiko Youth Program has been a success! In partnership with Southern New Hampshire University, this program of the Center for New Americans has served 75 children this fall with programs including homework help, educational activities, recreational activities, and specialized activities to the interests of the participating youth. We are looking forward to an equally successful series in the spring!
Holiday Donations Needed
Donations needed for the holiday season and beyond! We are always in need of household items, toiletries, and cleaning supplies, as well as gift cards for emergency needs. We are so grateful for the generosity of our community members in helping support the survivors we serve.
Specifically, we are in need of:
Gift Cards in any amount (grocery stores, WalMart, Target, Visa, etc.)
For questions about donations, please reach out to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Winter Recess 2022
YWCA NH will be closed from December 19 through January 2 in observance of our winter recess, re-opening on January 3. Winter recess gives our team the ability to celebrate any seasonal holidays they might observe, spend time with loved ones, and relax and re-charge for the new year.
REACH Crisis Services will remain available for remote (and on a case by case basis, in person) support 24/7 during this time. We look forward to coming back in 2023 with a renewed passion and energy to do the work of eliminating racism and empowering women!
Advocates in Action
This past year, I worked with a young woman who had immigrated into the US earlier this year and had experienced domestic violence; she was referred to us by local law enforcements. She finally was able to speak with an advocate, although she struggled as English was not her first language. Over the next few hours as I listened to her story, I couldn’t help but keep count of how many barriers she was facing.
I became determined to get her the services she needed and making sure she felt safe was the first step. We took her into our confidential shelter; after a couple of days, I checked back in with her and although I did not expect her to be out of crisis mode, she, in her own way, was and was ready to hit the ground running! I wanted to make sure she understood all of the moving parts and how the legal process can take time-- court takes time and are backed-up and under-resourced since the COVID-19 pandemic.
We were lucky enough to get a great lawyer from a pro-bono program to help, and she eventually was able to return to her home country. She was never the type to say that she can’t do something; she would acknowledge the difficulty, but would always try and be successful. I was lucky enough to work with her for a little over four months, during that time I learned so much about her culture, her likes and dislikes, I even learned that we both have a love for music!
A lot of the time we have survivors that walk through our front doors in crisis mode and with the right amount of patience, compassion, and understanding they’re able to shift from crisis mode to action mode with the help and support of someone who is willing to walk along-side them through their journey.
Lugha Translation Services LLC, an on-site partner of YWCA NH, facilitates communication in over 60 languages and dialects and serves New England and the northern United States. They are dedicated to accurate, culturally correct translations that capture nuance and intention. They offer timely, affordable, and top-notch customer service without sacrificing quality.
Lugha has successfully partnered with the Manchester School District in the past, Easter Seals, Community Action Program, Head Start, Concord, New Hampshire Public Radio, Manchester NAACP, New Hampshire Community Loan Fund (NHCLF), New Hampshire Small Business Development Center(NHSBDC), City of Manchester, as well as the Greater Manchester Chamber and other organizations. See more information at their website here!
Staff Shout Out!
Welcome to our newest Board Members!
We are so excited to welcome our newest board members into our YWCA NH team! Joining in the past few months is:
Dr. Julie Alig
Dr. Adriane Leche
These new members of our board will add so much to our work and support to our mission. Thank you for your service to YWCA New Hampshire!
Coming Soon - Important Dates
December 10, Human Rights Day
December 18-26, Hanukkah
December 19-January 2, YWCA NH closed for Winter Recess
December 25, Christmas Day
December 26-January 1, Kwanzaa
January 16, MLK Day
February 17, Presidents’ Day
February, Black History Month
April 29, REACH for Hope 5K – Race Against Racism
Become a Champion
Join us in our mission to eliminate racism, empower women, and promote peace, justice, freedom, and dignity for all.
Join us as we work to create a thriving community free from violence and oppression.