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Official Newsletter of YWCA Cass Clay January 2017 Edition February African American History Month Feb 9 Giving Hearts Day Champions of Empowerment 11:30a.m. - 1:00p.m. Ramada Fargo Feb 20 Women of the Year Nomination Deadline March 8 International Women’s Day May 1 44th annual Women of the Year 5:30p.m. - 8:00 p.m. Ramada Fargo

Hope and resilience restored - because of you Angel Appeal helps courageous women start new lives It is with hearts full of gratitude that we say thank you to all who gave to YWCA over the holidays. Through your giving, you become angels for women and children escaping pasts marred by abuse and homelessness. In Carolyn’s case, your gifts provided life-saving shelter and advocacy. Carolyn came to our shelter exhausted, withdrawn and weak from years of cruel verbal abuse. Her husband berated her continually and in deliberate secrecy. When others left the room, sometimes just for a minute, he would whisper cruel jabs into her ear. Kindness in front of others was only to manipulate her, to convince her that she had wrongly interpreted things. One day, seemingly without thought, she veered off her planned course and into the parking lot of the YWCA emergency shelter. “Am I crazy?” she asked. Her husband, after all, never hit her. “He must be right,” she said, “because it’s just me that he hates.” Carolyn began sobbing as a YWCA shelter advocate gently answered, “This isn’t okay.” Carolyn’s YWCA advocate explained the cycle of abuse that Carolyn was caught up in. Just days later, her advocate hardly recognized Carolyn. A woman who had been sullen, physically exhausted, clothed with no bra and no self-esteem met her in the hall with her head held high and wearing makeup for the first time in many years. “I felt that peace had come over her.” Carolyn continues working successfully in her job. She has been kindly supported by her children. And she feels safe. In fact, she thanks YWCA for saving her life. This misery would end, she says, either with her husband killing her or her own suicide as a result of his tormenting.

3100 12th Avenue North Fargo, ND 58102 (701) 232-2547

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Thank You Community Collaborators & Partners!

“Am I crazy?...because it’s just me that he hates” continued from front page At YWCA, we thank you for saving her life. We could not do this important work without you. Your gifts provide hope to hurting women like Carolyn and light a path out of darkness for so many others.

Calling all champions

You’re invited to the annual YWCA Champions of Empowerment event YWCA Cass Clay’s annual Champions of Empowerment luncheon will be held on Thursday, February 9 from 11:30 a.m. – 1:00 p.m. at the Ramada Fargo. As a champion for YWCA, you are invited to celebrate the progress of YWCA’s mission in 2016. Hear firsthand about the difference you made in the lives of women and children! One woman will share the story of her childhood stay at the YWCA Emergency Shelter and Friends Awards will be presented to supporters who have gone above and beyond. Please RSVP to Nancy by Thursday, January 26 (701) 232-2547 or

Water pipe bursts at YWCA emergency shelter Women and children evacuated to an offsite location Exceptional cold in December froze water lines to our sprinkler system and, as weather warmed on December 20, ice thawed and damaged pipes could no longer hold back water. Fortunately, our facilities coordinator was on site and shut off the water source. Staff acted quickly to evacuate the building. Sheetrock in the stairwell collapsed, yet every single resident - both women and children - and all staff escaped unharmed. We are grateful to Fargo Fire Department for responding quickly and guiding us through the situation. Thankfully, we also gained assurance early on that while the damage was extensive, the building is structurally sound. Inspectors and our insurer were on site quickly. Other Fargo-Moorhead shelters and partner agencies were extraordinarily helpful. Our committed and resourceful team has re-established YWCA emergency shelter at an alternate site. We continue to serve women working toward their goals for health, employment, housing and other plans for the future. Core to our mission, we continue to give safety to women escaping domestic violence. Great progress has already been made in the repair and renovation of the shelter, but there is still a long road ahead. We estimate the shelter will be ready for families in February. Although longer than expected, this timeline ensures the job is done right and the shelter is restored as a safe home for women and children. In 2017, the YWCA emergency shelter will be better equipped than ever to provide safety and help families on their journeys to independence. If you would like to help, please consider donating items lost to water including, household goods (pots and pans, dishes, sheets, etc.), diapers (sizes 5-6), and more. Monetary donations are also welcomed as we work to make the shelter whole again and as homelike as possible. For more information and a complete list of needed items, visit

2nd floor damage

Collapsed ceiling in stairwell

Main floor damage

A record-breaking potato lunch RDO Caters Taters raises over $70,000 for YWCA Cass Clay RDO Equipment Co. and R.D. Offutt Company’s annual charity potato luncheon, RDO Caters Taters for Charity, raised a record-breaking $70,843 for YWCA Cass Clay. The event also served a record number of guests, selling roughly 3,150 tickets through its dine-in and take-out options. 100% of funds raised went to support our emergency shelter. “We could not be more grateful for RDO’s leadership in organizing an event that year-after-year strengthens the impact of nonprofit organizations in our community,” Erin Prochnow, YWCA Cass Clay CEO said. “RDO Caters Taters has established new reach for our mission and the impact is significant. Support of YWCA means women and children will have safety, advocacy and resources they need to transform their lives.”

“I’ve been suffering for a long time now, but I try to put on a brave face.”

Every day, Anna’s father simmers with rage. Living with his abuse hurts her mother physically. And it shrinks Anna with worries about doing anything to fuel his anger.

One night changes everything. Women and children come out of danger at YWCA. With your help, YWCA offers resources for women to recover physically, emotionally and economically.

Giving Hearts Day is February 9 | Giving Hearts Day is the best 24 hours to give. Thanks to match, your gift immediately multiplies! On Feb. 9, donations will be matched by Dakota Medical Foundation and other generous donors. So go matchy matchy!

Proposed project illustration by Shultz and Associates

Providing a place to call home YWCA and Lutheran Church of the Cross partner on housing expansion Exciting plans are in motion! YWCA and Lutheran Church of the Cross are exploring the possibility of providing 30 new homes for women and children to live securely while building financial stability. In its early phases, this supportive housing project is part of the solution to help families break the cycles of poverty and violence - and rebuild their lives. In early 2016, Pastor Joel Baranko from Lutheran Church of the Cross in West Fargo inquired about areas of community need related to YWCA’s mission work. Together, we established a focus on housing that set plans for expansion in place. “They don’t have anywhere else to go,” Baranko said of the women who will live in the apartments. “It’s our vision as a church that we care for women, children and the vulnerable.”

Birdseye view to NW

The proposed project includes: 30 apartments ranging in size from one to four bedrooms; two office spaces for support staff services, a community room, playground and patio are included in preliminary designs. Experience tells us that women are more likely to succeed in changing the course of their lives if they have support and a social network. More than 75 women and children will have the security of homes through this project annually. Equally vital, they will have YWCA supportive services. “Everyone deserves a place to call home,” YWCA CEO Erin Prochnow said.

East playground view

For more information, visit

A place to call home, as illustrated by a child served at YWCA

A season of special events

Thanks to all who made the holidays merry for the families we serve!

Stuff the Bus Many thanks to Midwest Communications, Y94, 790 KFGO-AM, Froggy 99.9, Mix 101.9, DUKE FM, 740 The FAN, MATBUS and the generous community for teaming up again this year to Stuff the Bus for families who called YWCA emergency shelter home this holiday. Your kindness helped make the holidays brighter for women and children we serve!

Unique Boutique On December 9, YWCA was transformed into a holiday store where families utilizing our services were able to shop for presents for their loved ones. It was a special day filled with excitement as women and children sought out the perfect gifts. Each year, the boutique is made possible by generous community members and businesses who donate time and gifts to make the holidays special for families at YWCA. On behalf of all of us at YWCA, thank you to all giving hearts who brought joy by contributing this year!

Big 98.7 Christmas Wish Heartfelt thank you to the wish granters at Big 98.7 and community members who generously responded to the wishes of Rachel and Jamie, two women staying at our shelter. YWCA advocates shared the happy news and both Rachel and Jamie were overwhelmed at having their wishes granted. These women’s holidays were filled with relief and joy thanks to the BIG 98 Christmas Wish. Thanks to all who were a part of it!

Santa’s Surprise

Winter Wonderland Party Last night was packed with fun. Food and games for everyone. All families gathered, they thought it was time to go. When suddenly outside rang a “Ho Ho Ho!” Kids ran to the windows to see what was outside. “Santa’s here!” they shouted, with smiles a mile wide. When Old Saint Nick walked through the door, he got many a hug and squeal. “Santa, you found me! I know that you are real!” He called each child by name and gave them a special gift. “This is what I wanted, Santa knew from my list!” What a great night full of cheer and delight; one that families will remember long after tonight. Many thanks to Santa and his elves for providing a night of joy and magic!

No easy task, no ordinary organization Listed below are those who have made a gift to YWCA Cass Clay in honor or in memory of someone special. We would also like to acknowledge the many donors who have chosen to remain anonymous. Their gifts are greatly appreciated even though not publicly recognized. October 19, 2016 - January 5, 2017 • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • •

Anonymous in memory of Jon Arlene Huseby in memory of Vi Loberg and Marge Polansky Bergliot Turmo in memory of Joan Oberg Erickson Betsy Vinz in memory of Helen Rudie Bette and Paul Vandersteen in honor of June Hayer Blake Strehlow in memory of Kathy Ricci Donarski Cheryl Hackey in memory of Marlys Hudson Cheryl Hackey in memory of Marvin Skaarvold Christine Homuth in memory of Greg Hanson Clark and Diane Hanson in memory of Hazel Albrecht Connie Nelson in memory of Dorothy Hanson Dawn Aberle in honor of Tammy Legg Diane and Clark Hanson in memory of Colleen Machowich Doris Hertsgaard in memory of Clair Skjold Dorothy Brakke in memory of Greg Hanson Elizabeth Hannaher in honor of Laurie Rostad Jan Nelson in honor of Penny Andrist and Lisa Edison-Smith’s marriage Janet and Dennis Gemar in honor of Donna Nelson Janice Erickson in honor and memory of her parents Julie Harris in honor of Lauren Harris Karin Moberg in memory of Greg

Ken and Linda Webber in memory of Matt Hoesel

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Kim Meyer in memory of Clair Skjold Leah and Dave Heide in honor of Michelle Weber Lori Beckius in memory of Michelle Ellenson Maureta Studebaker in memory of John Gustofson Nancy Evert in honor of Harriet Evert Nancy Staiger in memory of Terry Staiger Natalie Else-Gulleson in honor of Pam Gulleson Nicole Mathiason in honor of Dawn Cruff Norah Kolberg and Clark Christian in honor of Mr. and Mrs. Richard Ukenholz Norma Mahler in memory of Hilda Danowsky Rajib and Chandana (Jolly) Lala in honor of Sreejon Lala Rasmussen College in memory of Zach Rummel Reeta Herman in memory of Marlene Bekkerus Robbie Quick in memory of Claire Skjold Sarah Evert in honor of Harriet Evert Shirley Bolme in memory of Sarah Jordheim Suzanne Morrison in celebration of Carol Christiansen and Janie Staloch Thomas and Carol Gustad in memory of Shirley Kukkonen Tom and Alison Evert in honor of Jack and Harriet Evert Willy Jacobson in memory of Clair Skjold Willy and Terry Shercliffe in memory of Frances Gallagher

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March is MN FoodShare focus on the statewide fight against hunger Fill 300 food shelves. Mission impossible? Not if you help. For over 30 years, Minnesota FoodShare has coordinated the largest food and fund drive in the state. Annually, the March Campaign accounts for more than half the food distributed through food shelves each year in MN. The need at food shelves statewide continues to be critical. Here are some ways that you can help be a hero in the fight to end hunger: • • •

Organize food and fund drives for the YWCA food shelf. Tell your family, friends, and co-workers about the March Campaign. Donate to the MN FoodShare - every dollar contributed to the March Campaign will go to local food shelves to purchase food. And remember, cash increases the purchasing power of our food shelf.

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YWCA Cass Clay 3100 12th Avenue North Fargo, ND 58102 (701) 232-2547

Now accepting Women of the Year Nominations

Nomination deadline is Monday, February 20, 2017

YWCA’s 44th annual Women of the Year event will be held Monday, May 1. Nominations are sought for women in Fargo-Moorhead with significant achievements in 13 categories: Categories for Individuals

Category for Business

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Advocating for Equality Arts & Culture Business Communications Community & Volunteer Service Education Faith Community Health & Wellness Lifetime Achievement Science & Technology Young Woman of Today & Tomorrow Youth Advocacy

Leader in Women’s Empowerment

Visit to nominate someone today!

January 2017 Newsletter  
January 2017 Newsletter