By Steph Burg
On the night of Oct. 17, 20 ladies from the Junior League of Seattle gathered at the East Cherry branch of the YWCA in Seattle for an annual nonprofit meeting. Though the goals of the meeting were to share general League announcements, hear a bit from one of the members of the nonprofit, and complete a community service shift, the night turned out to be much more significant for many of the women.
Nichelle Hilton, Divisional Resources Coordinator for the YWCA in the region, spoke on the many different programs offered. From emergency housing to after school programs, food banks to domestic violence programs, social justice initiatives to young parent classes, this branch of the YWCA has so many ways volunteers can get involved.
Members of the League were surprised to find out how much need the YWCA has, especially around the holiday trifecta of Halloween, Thanksgiving and Christmas. From things as simple as providing candy, pumpkins and costumes so that children can participate in trick-or-treating regardless of their housing situation or family income levels, to providing full Thanksgiving Day baskets, helping to lead holiday cookie decorating, and providing brand new gifts from Santa to place under a tree, the community comes together at the YWCA to play a large role in improving the lives of thousands of Seattle area families.
Some of the stories Nichelle told of people helped by the YWCA were so touching and empowering that members were brought to tears. Before leaving, everyone worked together to build snack bags to hand out to children visiting the YWCA with their parents. Overall, the meeting was a great success, and everyone left committed to strengthening their own outreach goals.