Cherries for Charity Celebrate 32 Years!

Cherries have such a strong fan base that cherry pie filling is the number one pie filling sold in the US. Lucky for us, July is the peak of the cherry harvest in the US and right on time for Cherries for Charity! Just last year, Cherries for Charity resulted in 48 tons of cherries sold and a whopping donation of $48,830!

This year, the 32nd Annual Cherries for Charity event will be held at all six Hornbacher’s locations in Fargo-Moorehead beginning on Wednesday, July 9 and running through Tuesday, July 15. Hornbacher’s and the Fargo-Moorhead Cosmopolitan Club will continue the generous tradition of directing proceeds from the sales of cherries at all local Hornbacher’s to the Rape and Abuse Crisis Center and the YWCA Cass Clay.

This delicious and meaningful event has been a celebrated tradition in the Fargo-Moorehead area every summer for the past 32 years. In 1982, the F-M Cosmopolitan Club started Cherries for Charity and, in 1984, partnered with Hornbacher’s. To date, Cherries for Charity has raised over $337,000 for the Rape and Abuse Crisis Center and the YWCA Cass Clay – equivalent to over 1.3 million pounds of cherries!

It takes around 250 cherries to make a cherry pie and it’s the perfect season to enjoy this festive treat. Help us spread the word and stop by any Fargo-Moorehead Hornbacher’s between Wednesday, July 9 and Tuesday, July 15 to pick up your batch of cherries and support the YWCA and the Rape and Abuse Crisis Center.

Thank you in advance on behalf of the women and children we serve.

Teaching young children about Community Helpers

Police keep us safe. Fire trucks and ambulances come when there’s an emergency. Guardsmen and women protect our homes from disasters and serve our country. At A Child’s World, a nationally accredited public early learning center and program of the YWCA Cass Clay, we understand the importance of teaching young children about these key members of the community.  A Child’s World teachers utilize an integrated curriculum to help the children learn about things that relate to them.

When we think like a young child, we realize how terrifying an unusual uniform like that of a fireman’s can be. Rescue vehicles like ambulances or police cars have scary bright lights and loud sirens. But what happens if the child is in an emergency situation?

These fears can be prevented when children meet community helpers in a safe and fun environment before being asked to trust them in an emergency. Rescue vehicles are loud and fast. To see one up close and touch it while stationary helps children be less apprehensive when one speeds by with sirens wailing.

This week at A Child’s World, we have been hosting different community helpers each day.  The children from age two up to prekindergarten have had the opportunity to tour an FM Ambulance, meet an Air National Guard Master Sergeant, learn about a Fargo Fire Department fireman’s uniform and truck, see a Fargo Police Department car, and learn about the importance of recycling.

By meeting these real community helpers and getting a close look at their special vehicles, the children are learning about the world around them.  It’s comforting for children to know there are safe, friendly people to help them if they get sick or have an emergency.

Fireman safety talk with kids

Kids at A Child’s World meet a fireman in full gear as part of Community Helpers Week.

North Dakota Air National Guard Master Sergeant Josh Clarke talks to classes at A Child's World about his deployment as part of Community Helper Week.

North Dakota Air National Guard Master Sergeant Josh Clarke talks to classes at A Child’s World about his deployment as part of Community Helper Week.

Preschoolers at A Child's World get a tour of a FM Ambulance

Preschoolers at A Child’s World get a tour of a FM Ambulance as part of Community Helper Week.

Fargo Police meet students

Students from the 2s and 3s rooms at A Child’s World meet a real Fargo Police officer and get to check out his car.

*Watch YWCA Cass Clay’s Facebook page for more photos from Community Helper’s Week at A Child’s World.

YWCA nurse an advocate for overall wellness

Women and children come to the YWCA in the midst of crisis looking for a fresh start.  When they walk through our doors, families are offered more than just a place to stay; they have access to on-site childcare, education and employment programming, one-on-one advocacy, and our on-site Shelter Faith Community Nurse.

“When I first visited the nurse [at the YWCA], my blood pressure was in stroke territory,” shares Shondra.  “The nurse helped me understand that good health is not something to take for granted.  She helped me figure it out and it’s now under control!  I’d hate to even think what would have happened to me if I didn’t have her help.”

In 2013, 97% of participants benefited from health education or personal health counseling from the Shelter Family Community Nurse.  YWCA program participant Shondra believes the education provided by the nurse at the YWCA helped save her life.

The Shelter Faith Community Nurse is part of the overall success of the families we serve at the YWCA.  We understand that health and wellness is the foundation of independence for women and their children.  They cannot begin to work on the bigger issues of housing, employment, or finances until their physical and emotional needs are met. The Shelter Faith Community Nurse Program was created by the YWCA Cass Clay, in collaboration with Churches United for the Homeless and Sanford Health.  This unique program helps homeless women become healthier and more self-sufficient because they are able to access medical services on-site at the YWCA shelter and are effectively connected with other community resources based on their specific needs.

Whether helping a woman manage her diabetes, offering guidance to an expectant mom, counseling families on proper nutrition, or educating everyone on how to minimize the spread of germs, the shelter nurse is an advocate for overall wellness.  She addresses the needs of mind, body and spirit in a holistic manner and ensures families receive the care they need.

This week marks National Nurse Week- a time to recognize and thank nurses across the country for stepping forward everyday to resolve emerging issues and leading the way for their patients, organizations and health care industry as a whole.

At the YWCA, we’d like to take the opportunity to express how very thankful we all are for our onsite Shelter Faith Community Nurse and the donors who make this important program possible.  For the women and children served by the YWCA Emergency Shelter and Housing programs, she is more than a healthcare provider.  She is also a teacher, advocate and role model.  The YWCA nurse empowers women and children to better manage their health through health education and support.

Cleanup your house and help your community!

Spring Cleanup Week is right around the corner.  For many, this means that it’s time to go through the closets, cupboards, and garage and purge those items you haven’t used in ages. This spring, instead of putting those items out on the curb- donate them and help the YWCA better meet the needs of women and children.  Every time you choose to donate your excess clothing or household items instead of discarding them in the trash, you positively impact our community!

In 2013, the YWCA Cass Clay served 1,339 women and children. Often these women and children come to the YWCA with nothing- an unfortunate reality since many are escaping violence and homelessness. Rather than choosing from the limited items the YWCA has on hand, women have a more empowering opportunity to shop for clothes from Savers, which has a much wider variety. In addition, for every item donated in the community donation bins, Savers will make a cash contribution to the YWCA to continue to help families in need. It’s a win-win!

The Savers family of thrift stores saves more than 600 million pounds of quality used goods from landfills across the country each year.  During Cleanup Week this year, the YWCA and Savers encourage you to consider giving your gently used goods a second chance. Rather than placing your usable household items on the curb, help the YWCA by dropping your donations in one of the community donation bins located throughout the Fargo-Moorhead area. Items can be dropped off whenever is convenient for you- donation bins are open 24/7.

To see a list of our most urgent needs for the Emergency Shelter Residents, please visit our website: www.ywcacassclay.org

Community Donation Bins Map

Today is Equal Pay Day

Today, Tuesday April 8, 2014 is Equal Pay Day. Observed since 1996, Equal Pay Day is dedicated to raising awareness on the staggering gap between men’s and women’s wages. A woman must work from January 1, 2013 until today, April 8, 2014, to make the same amount of money her male counterpart did in 2013. This disparity affects not only women but society as a whole.

According to the most recent statistics from the U.S. Census Bureau, the median earnings for U.S. women working full time, year-round were just 77% of U.S. men’s median earnings – a gap of 23%. This means that on average, a woman working full time is paid $11,608 less per year in median earnings. A woman would have to work more than twelve years longer to make up this gap. The wage gap is even wider for women of color. Black and Hispanic women receive 64 cents and 54 cents, respectively, for every dollar paid to a white male.

In her latest report, former California first lady Maria Shriver and her research associates offer a look at the status of women in this country, especially as it pertains to wages, child care and economic stability. The report found that if women received equal pay to their male counterparts, the U.S. economy would produce $447.6 billion in additional income. Where’s the common sense in not making that a reality?

And as much as we’d like to think that higher education can level the playing field, it doesn’t.

The report says: “According to a recent study by the American Association of University Women, one year after graduation, college-educated women earn an average of about 7 percent less than men, even when both went to the same kind of school, studied the same major, and now work full time, the same number of hours per week, in the same kind of job.”

So what can we do?

Start a conversation. Today at the YWCA, members of the staff are wearing red to start the conversation. If women are going to be “in the red,” we might as well wear it proudly to show our determination to end the wage gap. By starting the conversation with your friends, colleagues and family, you can help educate others on the wide reaching effects of this disparity.

Make your voice heard with your vote. Women make up the majority of American voters. We do have a voice and we can make a difference. Minnesota voter registration can be found here. North Dakota is the only state without voter registration.

Voice your opinion with your money and where you spend it. Women also make the majority of economic decisions as consumers in our country.

Speak up! If you are a woman in management, you are in a position to advocate for all women. Engage men who “get it” as allies. And if you’re a man who agrees, share your opinions and this information. We may be talking about your wife, your daughters, your sisters … maybe your mother.

As Sheryl Sandberg, COO of Facebook and founder of LeanIn.org, says: “Women deserve better – and must demand better – so that the benefits of achieving equality can be felt by all. When women thrive, our nation thrives.”

Annual Women of the Year Postponed

After much consideration, lengthy discussion and consultation with weather experts, the YWCA Cass Clay has made the difficult decision to postpone the 2014 Women of the Year event previously scheduled for tonight, Monday, March 31 at the Fargo Holiday Inn.  The event is designed as a night to honor 26 wonderful women and organizations for the positive impact they have made in our community.  To help ensure all who want to celebrate these women are able to attend safely, the event has been rescheduled to Monday, April 21, 2014 at the Fargo Holiday Inn.  Tickets purchased previously will be honored.

“The YWCA has elected to postpone Women of the Year out of concern for the safety of all who would attend,” said Erin Prochnow, YWCA Executive Director. “We are thankful to the vendors and event sponsors for their flexibility in rescheduling the event to Monday, April 21.  Although we’d like to celebrate tonight, this change is good news if you weren’t able to attend tonight but are able to celebrate with us on April 21!”

The YWCA Cass Clay will celebrate the accomplishments of these twenty-six women and organizations at the Women of the Year event rescheduled for Monday, April 21, 2014 at the Fargo Holiday Inn.  Social hour will begin at 5:30 p.m., with a dinner and program starting at 6:30 p.m. All nominees will be honored and the evening will culminate with the announcement of recipients in 12 categories.

For more information or to purchase tickets for the rescheduled event, please call (701) 232-2547 or visit ywcacassclay.org.  Proceeds from this event financially support the mission and programs of the YWCA Cass Clay.

 

Join the YWCA at Women of the Year

The YWCA Cass Clay will host the 41st annual Women of the Year event on Monday, March 31 at the Fargo Holiday Inn. This special occasion honors women and organizations whose passion and service inspire and shape the Cass-Clay community. In 2014, the YWCA will honor the twenty-six women and organizations nominated in twelve categories.

Please join us in celebrating the accomplishments of the nominees on Monday, March 31. The social hour, including a wine raffle featuring a variety of prizes, begins at 5:30 p.m., with the dinner and program starting at 6:30 p.m. All nominees will be honored and the evening will culminate with the announcement of the recipients.

Tickets to the 41st annual event are $75 and a portion of each ticket is a tax deductible donation to the YWCA.  Proceeds from this event financially support the mission and programs of the YWCA Cass Clay.

For more information or to purchase tickets, please call (701) 232-2547 or visit ywcacassclay.org.

Announcing…the 2014 Women of the Year Nominees

The YWCA Cass Clay is proud to announce the 2014 Women of the Year Nominees!

Recognizing area women since 1973, the Women of the Year event celebrates and pays tribute to women and organizations whose lives, talents and passions have shaped our community.  The twenty-six women and organizations nominated in 2014 embody what it means to be YWCA Women of the Year: Passion. Service. Inspiration.  All have demonstrated passion for their community, service to women and children, and are an inspiration to others.

It is our privilege to honor these outstanding women and organizations at YWCA’s annual Women of the Year event on Monday, March 31 at the Fargo Holiday Inn.  Please join us in celebrating their accomplishments as we honor the following 26 nominees and culminate the evening with the announcement of this year’s recipients.  For tickets, call 701-232.2547 or visit www.ywcacassclay.org for more information.

Congratulations to the 26 women and organizations nominated!

Holly (Boub) Reinhardt (Sanford Health, Manager- Cardiac Rehab and Sanford Center for Screening)

Jodi Buchholz (DFC Consultants, Vice President of Business Services)

Deb Dondoneau (Fargo South High School, Teacher of Emotionally Challenged)

Eide Bailly LLP 

Susie Ekberg Risher (Self Employed)

Fargo West Rotary 

Teresa Gilbertson (Northwest Martial Arts Academy, Master)

Jane Greminger (Nokomis Child Care Centers of The Village Family Service, Center Director)

Sue Grundysen (The Village Family Service Center, Pregnancy Counseling & Adoption Program Director)

Amy Herrick (Discovery Middle School, Assistant Principal)

Anita Hoffarth (Reach Partners, Inc., Owner)

Dr. Mary Holm (Essentia Health, M.D.)

Carol Johnson (Ramada Plaza & Suites, General Manager)

Michelle Killoran (Scheels, CFO)

Gerri Leach (Jail Chaplains, Executive Director)

DeAnne Mason (Prudential Premier Real Estate, Realtor)

Annise Montplaisir (NDSU Student)

Bonnie Peters (Riverview Place, Marketing/Resident Relations Director)

Heather Ranck (U.S. Department of Commerce, Int’l Trade Specialist)

Carolyn Sanftleben (Relaxation Plus, Owner)

Lisa Schwinden (Fargo Park District, Osgood Golf Course, Head Professional)

LaVerne Seefeld (Retired)

Karey Stirling (Sanford Health, Director of Clinic Operations)

Karen Swanson (Sanford Health Peds ICU, RN, Clinical Care Supervisor)

Jane Taber (Sanford Medical Center, Emergency Center Director)

Andrea Wagner (Concordia College, Online Designer)

Open your heart to ours: Choose YWCA on Giving Hearts Day

The YWCA Cass Clay is grateful to again participate in Giving Hearts Day, a one-day on-line fundraising event jointly hosted by Dakota Medical Foundation and Impact Foundation.

With the generosity of people like you, the YWCA served over 1300 women and children in 2013, as they escaped domestic violence, homelessness and emergency situations.

Without judgment, we offered safe shelter, food, education, employment and support services, on each woman’s journey to independence. At the heart of this journey is our mission: peace, justice, freedom and dignity for all.

On this Giving Hearts Day – February 13, 2014 – please open your heart to ours. Donations of $10 or more will be matched. 

Everyone deserves to feel safe. To be heard. And to feel loved.

Choose the YWCA on Giving Hearts Days.

Give at impactgiveback.org

Finding the courage to take back control

Reba*, 12 year old son Austin*, and 9 year old son Robbie* do the usual things: homework, family dinners, household chores, but this wasn’t always what life looked like for them. Before, their lives were filled with hunger, fear, nightmares and abuse. Before, they were prisoners in their own home.

Reba’s husband, Kyle* controlled every aspect of her life. Kyle wouldn’t allow Reba access to their money. He wouldn’t let her have a job. When Reba’s mother sent her money, Kyle would take it. Kyle refused to allow Reba to use the money from her mother to purchase clothing for their sons. Even though Reba qualified for food assistance, Kyle denied food for her and their children. He used her food assistance to get food solely for himself. Kyle hid the family’s birth certificates and other legal documents so Reba and the kids would not leave.

If Reba displeased him, Kyle would beat her. He often left Reba bruised and bloodied. He not only left physical scars, but humiliated her by abusing her in front of others. Kyle’s mother, brother, and sister often witnessed the abuse and did nothing. Reba never told the police because she was afraid her husband would kill her. Kyle used to threaten Reba: “You’re never going to leave me, you don’t have anywhere to go.

When Reba learned of the YWCA, she knew that she did, in fact, have somewhere to go.

Reba summoned her courage to leave Kyle and his abuse. She took the boys to the YWCA Emergency Shelter. At the YWCA, she worked with her advocate to connect with legal counsel, transitional housing, food, education and support for her sons. Reba found hope. She was able to get back on her feet, reclaim their important legal documents, reconnect with her own mother and get a secure apartment that is now their home. Her sons are enrolled in school, have made friends and are happy.

“My life changed when I found the YWCA,” Reba said. “They helped me and my sons begin a new life with good memories, friends, and confidence. Now I am in control of my own life.”

Reba gets hugs from her sons Austin and Robbie

Reba gets hugs from her sons Austin and Robbie

*Names have been changed to maintain confidentiality.