Welcome to our September edition of empowerNOTES! As we move from the summer to a busy fall we are happy you are with us!
CEO Spotlight
September has always held a special place in my heart. It is my birthday month and the birthday month of my two daughters, so for me, it has typically been a time of reflection and growth. As I enter my 45th year around the sun, and wrap up my 7th year of service to YWCA New Hampshire, I am feeling both optimistic and challenged.

Challenged by the regressions our country has taken relative to women’s rights and racial justice over the last year. Challenged with what that means for my own daughters, one turning 22, the other turning 14. One on the edge of adulthood and the other just beginning high school. What will they be optimistic and challenged by at the age of 45? I would like to say that hopefully not the same issues, then I think about the great women who have come before me, that probably had the same experiences for their own daughters.
Optimistic because every day I am reminded of the wonderful humans in my life, across New Hampshire, across the country and our world that are working to address these challenges and ensure we have a more equitable and just world. Optimistic because I know the work I do; my team does and our board of directors does every day is contributing to those positive impacts.

As a survivor, you learn early what you must do to survive things that may harm you and those you love. I am confident being a survivor has contributed to my greatness and evolution as a leader of YWCA New Hampshire. Therefore, optimism always finds it way past challenges, and just like any living and breathing thing, it can ebb and flow.

I am so honored that each of you are part of something that contributes to the good, the positive-the optimism. When you find yourself challenged, hang on to that. In this work, we call them “small but significant changes”. If you’re celebrating a birthday this month too, I will remember to blow out a candle for you.
Diversity Corner
Chief Diversity Officer
It has been an amazing Summer, and we at YWCA New Hampshire have continued to work hard ensuring that we are serving our community.

We're excited about many partnerships that are developing that will help us as we work on our mission of empowering women and eliminating racism; including new after school collaborations and elevating and uplifting the needs and voice of really impactful grassroots organizations.

It is because of your continued support that we can continue to be responsive to the needs of the Manchester and Greater NH community. Thank you and we can't wait to see what we can accomplish this Fall with your continued support.
What's New!
Open House
We hosted an open house at our main office location on Thursday 9/8. It was a great opportunity for partners, supporters, and community members to see our updated spaces, meet our new team members, and learn about the evolution of our programs and services. Thank you to all who joined us! Missed this event, but interested in coming in for a tour or meeting with our team? Email us at info@ywcanh.org!
Volunteer Training
Our fall volunteer training was a success! Twice a year, in January and September, we host a 30 hour training session for people interested in volunteering with our REACH Crisis Services program on our 24/7 crisis line. This month, we held a training session that has added 2 interns, 2 per diem staff, and 6 volunteers.
Welcome to the team and thank you for your time and dedication to joining this work! Interested in becoming a crisis line volunteer? Email us at info@ywcanh.org for more information about our next session in the winter!
Camp Hope Kickoff Event
Over the last few years, we have been preparing to launch as a Camp HOPE Affiliate site, and we are finally ready to begin this new program! Camp HOPE America is the first evidence-based camping and mentoring program in the United States to focus on children and teens exposed to domestic violence. The mission is to give youth a brighter future by creating pathways to hope and healing.
As a New Hampshire site for this program, we will be offering activities and events to enrolled families throughout the year. We will be hosting a kick off event on Friday 10/14 where families can learn more. Reach out to info@ywcanh.org for more information or to RSVP!
Expansion of RISE Housing Program
Earlier this year, we introduced the branding of our RISE Housing Program. RISE is a sub-program of REACH Crisis Services, combining our 3 survivor driven housing programs that assist with obtaining and/or sustaining stable, safe housing and provide them with the support and resources needed to become self-sustainable.
We are excited to expand RISE Housing with additional funding and capacity to support more survivors and their families through a grant from the US Department of Housing and Urban Development. Housing is one of the greatest needs our clients face, so being able to expand our support through this program is critical!
Advocates in Action
Here is a story from one of our incredible advocates!: For the past two years a young woman has been coming to us for multiple reasons, some things not even related to the work we do; but I felt the need to just be there for her. At times it was just to come in and talk about life and how she was going to do things that made her happy. Well guess what? She finally was able to make a move, literally. Several challenging things were happening to her and she broke down and cried for two hours.
I listened until she stopped. Sometimes survivors remind you of a loved one and in this case, that’s what it was for me. I spoke to this young woman and told her—I’m gonna keep it real. I gave her options and we weighed the pros and cons. And you know what? Boom! A decision was made—she filed her court papers (that were granted) and her housing case worker helped to make it an easy move. I hugged this survivor and told her even though you're miles away I’m still here.
We hugged tight, laughed, and my last words to her were “I got you girl! And be safe”. I think we as advocates are sort of survivors too, because we hear and empathize with all the things that happen in our survivors’ lives and the things that we experience personally at times as well. Survivors like this young lady give me strength that I am confident to keep doing this work.
Partnership Highlight
Spark The Dream

Spark the Dream has a vision of providing a place for young African immigrants to connect to their roots and culture. The organization is led-by and in support of Black-immigrant populations in Manchester, a growing and under resourced population.
They provide critical learning and cultural programming to African children and youth in Manchester. Spark the Dream moved into the YWCA NH building as an on-site partner this summer—we are excited to have them share our space and continue to expand their work!
Staff Shout Out!
Volunteer Highlight

One of our volunteers, Karina, shared a story with us recently about her dedication to join our volunteer team. She had heard about the opportunity to volunteer on our crisis line during her years in college, but didn’t have her license to be able to respond to places like the hospital for survivors in need. She shared that she was determined to make it work for her senior year of college, so, over the summer beforehand, she went through the process and obtained her license!
Thank you, Karina, for your determination to join our team and your passion for this work! We are so thankful for our dedicated, passionate volunteers who help us in our work of supporting survivors!
Volunteer Service Day

At the end of August, we had 2 large groups of first-year students from SNHU and St. Anselm College join us to tackle a bunch of service projects! We had 36 student volunteers, 108 total hours of service help us complete projects throughout our building such as painting, cleaning, and organizing. Thank you, volunteers!
empowerHER Breakfast
The empowerHER breakfast is an annual event we have had for over a decade. We hold it at the beginning of each October to kick off domestic violence awareness month, however in recent years it has evolved to a much broader event focused on our growing programs.
Important Dates

  • Hispanic Heritage Month, 9/15-10/15
  • empowerHER Breakfast, 10/6
  • National Coming Out Day, 10/11
  • Camp HOPE Kick off event, 10/14
  • YWCA USA Week Without Violence, 10/17-10-22
  • October—Domestic Violence Awareness Month
  • Election Day, 11/8
  • Transgender Day of Remembrance, 11/20
  • International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women, 11/25
  • 16 Days of Activism Against Gender-Based Violence, 11/25-12/10
  • Giving Tuesday, 11/29
  • November—Native American Heritage Month

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