Posts Tagged YWCA St. Joseph

YWCA Will Offer Advocacy Classes in February

Classes are Designed to Enable Community Members to Respond to Victims of Abuse or Assault

advocacyFor many, a new year comes with new plans to make a difference or become involved in a valuable cause to impact people’s lives. The YWCA will present an opportunity to accomplish these goals through a series of Community Advocacy Classes every Tuesday and Thursday evening in February.

The advocacy classes are held at the downtown YWCA and are ideal for human resources professionals, the medical community, volunteers, members of social services or law enforcement, concerned citizens or anyone who might be interested in helping as an advocate at the YWCA. Participants will learn the dynamics of domestic and sexual violence, how to help victims and reasons why victims stay.

“We offer classes in Community Advocacy so that our friends and neighbors will feel empowered when they are confronted with that crucial decision of knowing what to do if someone is in an abusive situation. In most situations, it’s not that people don’t care about someone else’s plight – it’s usually a matter of feeling helpless to do anything that will make a difference. Taking a class in how to best serve the needs of others works to eliminate fear and puts tools in your hands to help someone,” said Carrie Turner, YWCA Training and Outreach Coordinator.

Classes are part of a series, so attendees should plan to come to each one. They are offered at no charge, but registration is requested to Carrie Turner at 232-4481. Participants may email registration at cturner@ywcasj.org.

YWCA Advocacy Class details:

Location: YWCA St. Joseph, 304 N. 8th Street (Some field trips are planned; attendees should meet at the YWCA for each class)

5:30p.m. to 9:00p.m.

Participants are welcome to bring dinner with them. There is no cost to attend the classes.

Dates:
Thursday, February 1
Tuesday, February 6
Thursday, February 8
Tuesday, February 13
Thursday, February 15
Tuesday, February 20
Thursday, February 22
Tuesday, February 27

Posted in: Uncategorized

Leave a Comment (0) →

The YWCA is Looking for Adults to Invest in Mentoring Teen Parents

Mentoring Teen Parents Through the Healthy Teen Parents / Healthy Babies Program

mentoring teen parentsThe challenges of parenting can be stressful at any age, but for teen mothers and fathers, the transition into parenthood can bring some unique difficulties. Many teens become isolated from their friends, and the hope of finishing their education can be crushed when the needs of the child require prioritization. Mentoring teen parents can help them find a path through these difficulties and learn ways to thrive in their new circumstances.

The YWCA received a new Community Connect Grant from MOSAIC Life Care that will allow the YWCA to serve parenting teens and their babies through the new Healthy Teen Parents / Healthy Babies Program.

The program will serve up to 85 parents and their young children, providing mentoring from trained adults, as well as a chance to connect with other teen parents. The overall goals include improving health and well-being for teen parents and babies and to reduce the social isolation that often occurs when a teen transitions to parenthood The grant will allow the YWCA to offer support to teen parents in a variety of ways, including home visits, monthly meetings, mentoring, educational speakers, play groups and school groups.

The program will include elements to combat the social determinants that can affect access to healthcare, obesity prevention and mental health. Through a collaboration with a University of Missouri Extension Nutrition Specialist and a Missouri Western State University health and exercise science student intern, the participants will participate in wellness initiatives for both the teen parents and their children.

To participate in the program, teen parents complete an application for enrollment. Once they are accepted into the program, they’ll receive a monthly newsletter detailing the support groups and other opportunities available for them. The support group meets every second Tuesday of the month and features MU Extension representatives, who share resources on nutrition, healthy meal preparation and fitness for parents. The YWCA offers childcare for participants.

The last Thursday of the month offers a chance for mentors and teen parents to mingle at the Monthly Mentor Mixer. The YWCA is seeking mentors who can offer compassion and emotional support to teen parents. The mentor simply attends the Monthly Mentor Mixer, and they can also connect with their teen parent outside of the events if they wish.

Mentors must be at least 21 years old and pass a background check, but people with a variety of experiences are welcome to apply. Whether a person is an empty nester or never had children at all, a caring attitude toward a teen parent is the main requirement. The YWCA plans the events for the Mixer and sets the environment for a mentoring relationship to thrive.

To learn more about Healthy Teen Parents/Healthy Babies, visit the YWCA of St. Joseph or make an appointment to talk with the program director. Through a mentoring program, we can help teens see past the exhaustion and stress and look forward to a bright, healthy future for them and their babies.

Posted in: Uncategorized

Leave a Comment (0) →

Mentoring Middle School Boys Through DECISIONS

MWSU Athletes Mentoring Middle School Boys in New Program

mentoring middle school boysLearning to make responsible decisions is an important part of growing into a healthy adult. For a group of 70 middle school boys, learning to make good choices is a skill they can learn through the YWCA program called DECISIONS. Mentoring middle school boys is an eight-week curriculum where a team of athletes from Missouri Western State University (MWSU) help ensures that decision-making skills are a priority.

The eight-week program pairs seventh-grade boys with athletes from the men’s baseball, cross country and track teams at MWSU. The mentors involved with the program exhibit the responsibility and discipline that their sports require, and they take time to teach the boys about making smart decisions through the curriculum and by demonstrating these characteristics through role modeling.

The life-skills DECISIONS group is formed through a collaboration between the four public middle schools in St. Joseph and the MWSU Men’s Athletics Program. Mentoring middle school boys focuses on topics like bullying, girls and peer pressure and helps them navigate the social difficulties of adolescence. They also cover a wide range of other topics, including social media, respect, addictions, family situations and future careers.

Adolescence is a critical developmental stage for teaching the importance of treating one another respectfully, increasing self-esteem and letting kids know that the community around them cares for them.

The DECISIONS program is one-half of the outreach to middle school students in the St. Joseph community. Middle school girls are mentored through the CHOICES program by MWSU female athletes to help them recognize the steps involved with good decision-making.

Each week, the students enrolled in the DECISIONS program work with the same mentor, allowing them to build a trusted relationship with an adult that cares about them and is invested in their well-being. At the end of the program, students visit the MWSU campus for a tour and a pizza party.

If you’d like to know more about supporting the mentoring of middle school boys through the DECISIONS program, or if you’d like information about the CHOICES program for middle school girls, please contact the YWCA of St. Joseph office. We look forward to hearing from you.

Posted in: Uncategorized

Leave a Comment (0) →

The YWCA of St. Joseph Christmas Store Offers Shelter Families Opportunity to Have a Joyful Christmas

Donate Items to the YWCA Christmas Store by December 17

Christmas StoreEach year, the YWCA of St. Joseph operates a store for the families living at the Shelter for Abused and Homeless Women and Children (the Shelter). The store provides an opportunity for Shelter families to experience a happy Christmas while they are looking forward to a brighter future.

This year, the store will be open December 18 through the 20 with operating hours between 9 a.m. and 1 p.m. Children will be able to choose gifts for their moms, and moms will be able to choose gifts for their children. The families visiting the Christmas Store do not receive similar resources at any other agency or program in the community.

The Christmas Store, located in the YWCA Terrace Room, is made possible by the donations of funds, gifts and time by the community. Volunteers are needed to staff the store, and the community can contribute to the stocking of the store, which will carry items appropriate for women and for children up to the age of 18. Please consider donating one or more of the following:

  • Bedding, including blankets, pillows and sheets
  • Pajama robes and slippers (adult and children sizes)
  • Shampoo and conditioner
  • Towels
  • Blow-dryers and curling iron/straighteners
  • Shower gel (men/women) and deodorant (men/women)
  • Alarm clocks
  • Lip balm
  • Bus Passes
  • Perfume, lotions, etc.
  • Batteries, flash lights or night lights
  • Children’s toys (new and unwrapped)
    • Games
    • Hot wheels
    • Legos
    • Dolls
  • Pay-as-you-go phones and phone cards
  • Gifts for teen children (girls and boys)
    • Movie passes/gift cards
    • Basketballs/footballs
  • Makeup/jewelry
  • Diapers
  • Winter clothes

“The holidays can be a difficult time for a family that is in transition. The Christmas Store helps remind them that there are support and resources available for them,” said Jean Brown, Executive Director of the St. Joseph YWCA. “We all can relate to the joy that comes with finding the perfect gift for someone we love, and the Christmas Store gives these families that experience.”

The St. Joseph YWCA encourages, individuals, extended families and office groups to adopt the Christmas Store as a holiday service project, collecting donations of funds and gifts for the benefit of families living at the Shelter, and then volunteering time while the store is open.

If you have questions about the Christmas Store or you would like to volunteer, please call 232-4481. We look forward to another great year working together to make the holidays happy for some special families!

Posted in: Uncategorized

Leave a Comment (0) →

Help for Sexual Assault Victims

How to Provide Help For Sexual Assault Victims in a Crisis

When you find out that a friend or loved one has been the victim of sexual assault, you may feel confused, overwhelmed and angry upon hearing the news. These feelings are normal, but they may also make it difficult for you to know how to offer help to your loved one. Help for sexual assault victims may look different than you would expect, and it may be helpful for you to have a guide in case you ever find yourself needing to offer assistance.

Listen and don’t criticize. Offer an ear to your friend or loved one for support, and allow them to tell their story without any criticism or judgment from you. Be cautious to listen openly, asking only clarifying questions and inviting them to talk more as needed.

Your loved one may also have delayed telling you about their sexual assault. It’s important to allow them to share why they didn’t feel comfortable telling their news, but don’t ask for this information because it may feel like an accusation.

Help your loved one distinguish between regret and guilt. There may be times when your friend expresses regret that they went to that particular place or similar feelings. These are normal thoughts, but help them navigate away from thoughts that implicate themselves in the situation. Feelings of shame and guilt are not unusual, but offering help for sexual assault often involves some redirecting of unhealthy perceptions of the situation.

Don’t take control. You may be tempted to push your loved one to get back into normal activities or encourage a particular type of therapy or relaxation technique. It’s important that your friend feels supported, but not controlled. Help them identify the kind of help they need but don’t use intervention-type of confrontation to get them to move forward in their recovery.

Seek out professional help. While you don’t want to force your loved one into a particular mold of recovery, it is important to know your limitations in offering help. Your friend may be dealing with complex emotions and difficult pain, so help them connect with resources that are equipped to help a sexual assault victim.

The YWCA of St. Joseph offers help for sexual assault victims through the Shelter and many other victim services. Participants with the YWCA can access ways to rebuild their lives at no charge, including professional counseling. Visit the YWCA to learn more.

Posted in: Uncategorized

Leave a Comment (0) →

YWCA Week Without Violence “Take Back the Night” Event Captured Media Attention

YWCA Brings Awareness to Domestic Violence

week without violence

St. Joseph News Press, October 16, 2017

Every year, YWCA local associations across the country come together during the third week of October to highlight the Week Without Violence to draw awareness to the devastating effects of domestic violence. The YWCA is the largest network of domestic violence service providers, offering support to victims, as well as working directly with legislators to bring an end to violence against women.

The YWCA of St. Joseph kicked off the week on Sunday, October 15, with “Take Back the Night,” at the YWCA at 304 N. 8th Street. This year’s theme was “Love Protects Courage Heals,” and the evening included a balloon release, prayer and victim speakers. The annual event is designed to offer support and hope for the future for victims, survivors, families and supporters of victims of domestic violence.

Recent media coverage of this important week included:

St. Joseph News Press, October 16, 2017
YWCA Remembers Domestic Violence Victims
This article offers highlights from the 2017 Take Back the Night event.

St. Joseph News Press, October 14, 2017
Family, Friends Remember Stormi Harbord
Carrie Turner, YWCA St. Joseph, was among the speakers at Evolution United Methodist Church at a memorial to remember Stormi Harbord, a young mother of five who lost her life on September 30 when domestic violence turned deadly.

Victim Services is a core program of the YWCA and is about compassion, help and hope. Some who reach out to us for help are victims of domestic abuse, sexual violence or emotional abuse. Many have children who are also victims. Others have become homeless, which is often connected to living in an environment of abuse, and they need help transitioning to a new start.

Victim Services consists of the Shelter, Outreach Services, Rape Crisis program, professional counseling for victims, and the Bliss Manor Housing Program. If you are a victim in need of immediate assistance, call our 24-hour hotline at 816-232-1225 or 1-800-653-1477.

If you’d like to know more about any of our Victim Services, please give us a call at the YWCA of St. Joseph. We look forward to hearing from you.

Posted in: Uncategorized

Leave a Comment (0) →

YWCA of St. Joseph Recognizes Breast Cancer Awareness With “Think Pink” Activities

October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month

Breast Cancer Awareness MonthSince 1985, Breast Cancer Awareness Month has been an annual event, with increasing participation across the country each year. The YWCA of St. Joseph is highlighting breast cancer awareness with their “Think Pink” campaign, which will encourage preventative breast care and awareness through various events.

In 1993, the Breast Cancer Research Foundation chose the pink ribbon as the symbol for breast cancer awareness, and in the years since, there have been countless ways to incorporate pink into the annual October Breast Cancer Awareness Month. From pink clothing to pink lights on skyscrapers, individuals, organizations and entire cities have dressed in pink to show their dedication to supporting breast cancer research and to support those fighting breast cancer.

The YWCA is holding several “Think Pink” events to bring attention to the importance of breast cancer awareness. Many who participated in Paint the Parkway Pink may have noted that the YWCA of St. Joseph was an official event sponsor. Many women in the community helped select the finalists for the World Cups Bling a Bra Contest at the 2017 Josephine Women’s Expo, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. in the Civic Arena, later that same day.

On Wednesday, October 18, “Think Pink” continues with the Pink Tea Luncheon from 12 p.m. to 1 p.m. at the YWCA, where the winner of the Bling a Bra contest will be announced. This relaxing and fun event also helps educate and inform the community about breast cancer. Special thank you to Butchart Flowers, Hy-Vee and Country Cookies!

There’s more fun in store on Thursday, October 19, with a Ladies’ Night Out from 6:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. at the YWCA. Guests will enjoy an evening of visiting with friends and painting a beautiful masterpiece. The event is free, with catering provided by Hy-Vee.

The final event for the “Think Pink” campaign is Celebracion Rosa from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. at the YWCA on Friday, October 27.

Mark your calendar to join us at one or several of our events as we focus on breast cancer awareness during the month of October.  Bring a friend or two and be prepared for fun and fellowship that supports this great cause.

For more information about Breast Cancer Awareness Month in October, contact the YWCA in St. Joseph. We look forward to seeing you soon!

Posted in: Uncategorized

Leave a Comment (0) →

The St. Joseph YWCA Gym is Available to Rent for Your Group

gym rental spaceIf you need a place to practice basketball or volleyball or get together with your youth group to play some games, the St. Joseph YWCA gym is the perfect location. The facility is beautiful, with shining wood floors and kept to a high standard of cleanliness.

For many sports programs, gym time is at a premium, with various age groups competing to get time on the court to practice. If your program is expanding and you’re struggling to find enough court space for your teams, the YWCA gym can be a great solution.

If you’d like to rent out the gym, be sure to contact the St. Joseph YWCA early. The gym is a popular choice for sports and recreational groups, so time slots tend to fill up. The gym is rented at affordable rates, and discounts are available for school groups.

For non-school groups, the current hourly rental rate for the gym is $12 before 6 pm and $20 after 6 pm. For school groups, the rate drops to $10 before 6 pm and $18 after 6 pm.

When you utilize the St. Joseph YWCA gym, you’re not just paying to rent a facility. Your fees work to fund the Discovery Care program, a licensed day care providing services to families in which the parents are employed or are pursuing education for future employment. The Discovery Care program fills a critical need in the St. Joseph area by offering high quality child care for local families.

To learn more about renting out the gym at the St. Joseph YWCA, please contact the office at 816-232-4481 or email frontoffice@ywcasj.org.

Posted in: Uncategorized

Leave a Comment (0) →

Finding Help for Rape Victims

Help for Rape Victims When You Don’t Know Where to Start

help for rape victimsHearing that a loved one has been the victim of a sexual assault can come with waves of emotions that leave you feeling overwhelmed and helpless. Finding help for rape victims begins in the first moments, and much of your initial response can shape the process. Here’s what you need to know:

Avoid criticism: Don’t use any language that implies or outright states that the rape was somehow your loved one’s fault. No behavior invites sexual assault. In many cases, a victim will experience shame and self-blame over the incident, so they will only be hurt more by any implications that their behaviors caused the rape.

Don’t take control, but make them feel safe: It takes a high level of sensitivity to help a victim of rape feel safe, without making them feel threatened by a lack of control over their bodies and feelings. Express that you are there for them, that you will help them be safe and feel safe and that you’re ready to assist them in getting physical and emotional help.

Go alongside them as they seek medical help: Encourage your loved one to seek medical care as soon as possible, and offer to go with them. Be careful, though, not to speak for them as they communicate with doctors and police officers. As you work through this process with your loved one, you may be feeling intense anger. Save the expression of that anger for when you are not with your friend or family member so that she doesn’t bear the stress of your emotions.

Seek out victim services: Once the initial medical exam and police report have been finished, you will want to help your loved one to seek out victims’ services. They will benefit from trained counselors and practical help that will aid the initial steps in healing. It may require a change in residence or help finding a different job, depending on the circumstances of the assault.

The YWCA of St. Joseph provides victim services to help sexual assault victims rebuild their lives. Many victims visit our shelter after using the 24-hour crisis hotline, staffed by trained Shelter employees. YWCA victim advocates are available at MOSAIC for immediate assistance/advocacy. Note: Reporting to police can be anonymous. MOSAIC can identify evidence and then with work of an advocate so that a victim can decide what’s best for them.
Our team provides case management and personal advocacy, court advocacy, support groups, life-skills groups, referrals to other services and individual therapy – all at no charge. Victims who decide not to stay at our Shelter, or have moved from the Shelter into other housing, are also welcome to access our support groups and individual therapy services at no charge.

Posted in: Uncategorized

Leave a Comment (0) →

Join us for the Women of Excellence Luncheon on June 15

Recognizing Outstanding Women in Our Community

Each year, the YWCA puts the spotlight on leaders at our Women of Excellence Awards Luncheon that draws hundreds of community members. In 2016, the number of attendees topped 1,000, and organizers expect 2017 to be an even bigger event.

The Women of Excellence luncheon is a way to recognize the outstanding contributions of women in the region, but it also provides inspiration to spur more community involvement, more volunteerism and encouragement in the empowering and equipping of local women.

This year’s event will take place Thursday, June 15 at 11:30 a.m. at the Civic Arena in downtown St. Joseph. The YWCA welcomes Col. Grace Link, Director of Staff for the Missouri Air Guard, as the keynote speaker. Link is the Senior Advisor to the Adjutant General, and is responsible for coordinating joint military function as well as strategies designed to support the 2,300 airmen and women stationed in Missouri.

In addition to Link’s keynote address, the Women of Excellence luncheon will include recognition of leaders in the community. One award will be presented in each of the following categories:

  • Emerging Leader
  • Future Leader
  • Woman in Support Services
  • Woman in the Workplace
  • Woman in Volunteerism
  • Employer of Excellence

The YWCA will also recognize two women with Lifetime Achievement Awards, Dorothy Wenz and Julia Schneider. This award is given to women that have committed many hours over their lives to serving and improving the St. Joseph community and are role models for other women.

The Women of Excellence luncheon provides an opportunity to honor those women that have passed away, but leave a legacy of service for the women in the region. This year, the YWCA will honor five outstanding lives: Muriel Ann Guffey, Grace Day, Shirley Wyeth Bradley, Constance Marie Monroe and Geraldine Robinson.

Make plans now to join us at the luncheon. Not only will you enjoy a delicious meal, you’ll be inspired and encouraged as we celebrate the contributions of local women to the community. Make your reservation today!

Note: Don’t miss the YWCA Patron’s Party, held June 14 from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. Reservations are due to the YWCA at 232-4481 on or by June 9. Enjoy this wonderful St. Joseph residence and garden as we celebrate everything the Women of Excellence event means!

Can’t attend the Women of Excellence event? You can participate by donating to Steve’s Centerpiece Challenge, by bidding on a Punta Mita dream vacation or a designer purse! Visit the YWCA bidding page today.

Posted in: Uncategorized

Leave a Comment (0) →
Page 1 of 4 1234