YOU Can Make a Difference
We get by with a little help from our friends!
Photo on left: Mentor Braedon with Tallon and Asher picking blueberries, Aug 2020
Photo on right: Boomer Nation group exercise class, Sep 2020
Show Your Love for YWCA…
Donate to the Annual Giving Campaign!
At YWCA, our mission is to eliminate racism and empower women. So every day we get up and do the work of justice in the Cortland area, and in more than one thousand communities nationwide.
Since justice looks different in every community, our work does too. Locally, YWCA Cortland:
- Provides free, comprehensive, and confidential services to women, and men, and their families seeking safer lives.
- Takes care of children, so their families can work and build brighter futures for them.
- Offers health and fitness programming that strengthens bodies, hearts, and minds.
- Runs free mentoring programs that improve confidence and self-esteem in our community’s youth.
- Tackles racism and inequality and advocates for girls and women because the future deserves all of us.
But we don’t do it alone. Our power comes from the almost 3,000 members of our community that we serve annually. And, it comes from YOU, our bold, passionate donors who are equally committed to our work to promote peace, justice, freedom, and dignity for all.
Read more below about what your Annual Giving donation supports, and how COVID-19 has affected programs.
Support Our Community’s Needs
The largest childcare provider in Cortland County, this program took a huge financial hit from the COVID shutdown. Although we provided emergency care during this time for the school-age children of essential workers, enrollment didn’t cover the costs to operate this deemed necessary programming. Daycare center numbers fell drastically with the temporary closure and are slowly rising to a third of the previous enrollment numbers. Summer Recreation and Before & After School numbers have been reduced by 50%, as well. While we care for fewer children, expenses are greater due to mandated limited group sizes and additional staff required for health and safety needs. Your support can help us continue a much-needed service for working parents in the community.
Photo: Charlotte and Ezra at Here We Grow daycare center, Sep 2020
YWCA Cortland’s mentoring program–Bridges for Kids, Kids Club, and GEMS (Girls: Empowered, Motivated, Successful)–aims to improve confidence and self-esteem in our community’s youth so they are set up for success later in life. COVID has drastically impacted this program due to restrictions that limit in-person group gatherings, prohibit SUNY Cortland students from volunteering, and keep YWCA staff from running the program in local schools. Currently, 140 children are enrolled but only 20 have active mentors. Your donation can provide the support we need to keep in touch with these families.
Photo: Serenity and her mentor Dottie at a party celebrating the 40th year of the Bridges for Kids program, Jan 2020
Aid to Victims of Violence (AVV)
The only comprehensive victim service program in the county, AVV provides free, confidential services to victims of domestic violence, sexual assault, rape, and other crimes. It also operates off-site emergency housing and a 24/7 crisis hotline, and offers prevention education programs for all ages. In 2019, AVV received over 4,000 calls. Since the shutdown in mid-March, AVV has seen a marked increase in the need for assistance and has fielded over 2,800 calls in just six months. The need for AVV services continues to grow so your gift makes a difference.
Photo: AVV staff members Kaity and Stefania, Apr 2020
Health & Fitness (H&F)
In a typical year, women, men, and children strengthen their bodies, hearts, and minds at the YWCA with robust offerings of exercise, wellness, and aquatics programming for all ages. After a six-month closure, the H&F program is slowly reopening under stringent capacity restrictions. The co-ed weight room and a limited number of group exercise classes are open with reservations, but, finances necessitate the pool remain closed for now. We are exploring innovative options for reopening the pool and expanding fitness/wellness offerings, both in-person and virtually. Your contribution can help.
Photo: Co-ed weight room users, Sep 2020
Thank you for being a friend!
Photo: Child Care School-Age Supervisor Janice and Summer Recreation program participants on a Friday outing, Aug 2020