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our voice Spring 2014

ywca evanston/north shore

Fies Family fundraises for children YWCA Flying Fish swim parents Jean and Andy Fies, and their children, recently did a remarkable thing. They recruited over 150 friends and family to help make, sell and eat pulled pork BBQ sandwiches! Selling the sandwiches for $5 each, they raised over $3,000 for the YWCA Evanston/North Shore.

Domestic violence affects children, too

The Fies family knows that children at Mary Lou’s Place often languish in the summer without enough to keep them busy. Thanks to the Fies family's creative generosity, these children have the chance to go to summer camp and do other fun summertime activities, helping them heal from the trauma of violence in their homes. A big thank you to the Fies family and all their friends for eating a lot of BBQ and helping children in our shelter!

Did you know that the YWCA’s comprehensive domestic violence programs help women who have survived domestic abuse, as well as their children who have witnessed it, and in some cases been victims themselves? When mothers with children come to the YWCA’s domestic violence shelter, Mary Lou's Place, the children are immediately assigned to a Children’s Counselor. A comprehensive intake process ensures that they receive supportive services like medical care, insurance, dental care, eye exams, etc. Daily routines are established to create a predictable environment. Individual and group therapy, using art, music and drama is provided, and school-age children attend school and get help with homework. Most importantly, we work with moms to help them understand that domestic violence doesn’t only affect them, it affects their children, too, and we show them how to help their children deal with the trauma and hurt of domestic abuse.

Ella, Thomas, Jean and Andy Fies (son Charlie was busy at the cash register) raised $3,000 for summer activities for children in our domestic violence shelter.


ywca evanston/north shore

Dear Friends: I am often asked about our mission: eliminating racism and empowering women. How did the YWCA come to have this dual mission and is it relevant in today’s world? The answer to this question begins with our history, and ends with our belief that there is still more work to be done. Since its earliest days, the YWCA has worked to ensure that the voices of women and people of color are heard, and that all have an equal chance to be self-sufficient and lead productive lives. At the YWCA Evanston/ North Shore, the boldness of our mission weaves throughout our work. Whether supporting survivors of domestic violence, empowering women with financial literacy education, convening conversations on racial equity, or ensuring access to life-saving swim instruction --- we remain true to our roots, and to our vision of a just and equitable society. Karen Singer President/CEO

What can you do to support racial equity? The YWCA Evanston/North Shore is committed to helping our community understand, challenge and eliminate racism. We foster many opportunities to engage in open dialogue about race, racism and race relations and many platforms to participate in events which enable us to come together and enrich our understanding of one another. Join us! •

Conversations on Race (4-part series)

Let’s Talk @ Lunch (drop-in)

Stand Against Racism (thanks for standing with us on April 25th!)

15th Annual Ricky Byrdsong Memorial Race Against Hate, June 15, 2014. Register online today at RAH2014. Were you at the first Race Against Hate in 2000? Send us a message on Facebook!

Spring 2014

We're partnering to bring RACE to Chicago! We are thrilled to announce that the nationally acclaimed exhibition, RACE: Are We So Different?, is coming to the Chicago area in October thanks to a unique partnership between the YWCA and the Illinois Holocaust Museum and Education Center. RACE is the first national exhibition to tell the stories of race from the biological, cultural, and historical points of view. A Project of American Anthropological Association Combining these perspectives offers an Coming to the Illinois Holocaust unprecedented look Museum & Education Center at race and racism in the United States. October 12, 2014 - January 25,2015 The YWCA Evanston/North Shore is working to assure that a broad range of community programs will be offered in conjunction with the RACE: Are We So Different? exhibition. Community programming, planned by some of our education, civic, arts, faith-based and community organization partners, aims to further develop understanding of the concepts raised by the exhibit and to encourage individual and communal action to create racial equity. If your organization or group would like to learn more about how you might get involved, contact Eileen Hogan Heineman, Racial Justice Program Director, at 847-864-8445, ext. 158. The exhibition was developed by the American Anthropological Association in collaboration with the Science Museum of Minnesota, and is nationally funded by Ford Foundation and National Science Foundation. Major sponsors include Allstate Insurance Company, Walgreens, and Northwestern University. Additional support is being provided by Bank of America, BMO Harris, Evanston Community Foundation and Loyola University Chicago. The Golder Family Foundation is lead sponsor for all Illinois Holocaust Museum special exhibitions.


ywca evanston/north shore

20 years of Flying Fish Pete Caragher, Director of Aquatics, started at the YWCA Evanston/ North Shore in 1992, and he never dreamed he would still be here twenty-two years later. He certainly never imagined that he would create a swim team, the Flying Fish, that would still be going strong 20 years later. The Flying Fish Swim Team embodies the mission of the YWCA. With both competitive and non-competitive tracks, all children, of every race, ethnicity, gender and ability are welcomed and encouraged to fulfill their potential. Flying Fish team members not only become better swimmers, but they also learn life lessons about confidence, perseverance and respect for one another. Thanks to Pete and his staff, we have one of the largest swim teams in Illinois, and certainly (we think) one of the best!

Evanston Swims! The YWCA Evanston/North Shore and McGaw YMCA are partnering to ensure that every second grader in District 65 has access to free swimming instruction. Studies have shown that 53% of Evanston second graders cannot swim at all, a fact that the program, Evanston Swims, seeks to address. One Wednesday a month throughout the school year, YWCA swim instructors work with 160 children in the water both at the YWCA and at donated pool space at Three Crowns Park, while volunteers from the U.S. Coast Guard Auxilary teach water safety in the classroom. The goal is to provide exposure so children learn to be safe in and around the water and develop an interest in further instruction. The YWCA believes that all children in our community, for their health and for their survival, should learn how to swim.

How can you support the YWCA? let's count the ways: • • • • •

Donate by cash, check or credit card Make gift of stock Make a bequest gift in your estate plans Support the YWCA Legacy Fund endowment Donate items of clothing, toiletries, toys or gift cards to families in our shelter (visit our website for our current wish list) Volunteer

will your employer match your YWCA donation? You won’t know until you ask! Find out if your employer offers matching gifts, then complete your employer’s matching gift request form and send it to us. We’ll take it from there. It’s a simple and easy way for you to support YWCA programs that you care about most. Here are just a few of the companies that have made employer matching gifts to the YWCA: Abbot Labs, Abbvie, Allstate, Bank of America, Gap, Goldman Sachs, Grainger, ITW, Reader’s Digest, Regency Realty Group, SAP, and Wintrust Financial Corp. board of directors Anita Weinberg, Chair, Ann Balusek, Elizabeth M. Brasher, Consuelo Bedoya-Witt, Kathryn Collinson, Carmen Corbett, Victoria Dinges, Denise Hazaga, Sana Jafri, Maureen Kenney, Lakshmi Lakshmanan, Sarah Malone, Susan Oleari, Jennifer Paul, Valerie Pierce, Barbara Putta, Maricar Ramos, Cindy Rawlings, Renée Redd, Rupa Sethu, Jennifer Steans, Sarah Wagner (Ex-officio) advisory council Sarah Wagner, Chair, Katie Bailey, John Berry, Julie Hamos, Rachel Hayman, Karen Hunt, Lucile Krasnow, Denise Martin, Dan Munro, J. Stephen Poor, Lynne Raimondo, Jennifer Richeson, Ingrid Stafford, Laura Tucker, Regina Wootton The YWCA Evanston/North Shore does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, age, nationality, sex, ethnic origin, or religious belief in its employment, provision of services, or in any other agency policies. corporate partners

Spring 2014


ywca evanston/north shore

YWomen matter! Of course women matter, and through educational and inspirational programming, the YWCA offers women from every corner of our community information and resources about critical issues that affect their lives. We know that what matters to women, matters to their families and to our communities. Learn more about women's programs and special events on our website at, including: •

Basic Money Management classes

Women’s Film Series

International Women’s Day Celebration

Garden to Table classes

Girls program with Y.O.U.

Peer mentors at Chute Middle School

Email Cece Lobin, YWCA Women’s Empowerment Coordinator, at for additional information.

basic money management Need help reducing your debt or making a budget? YWCA Basic Money Management classes offer low-to-moderate income women the tools to better understand budgeting, credit, and saving. Monthly Basic Money Management classes are available in both English and Spanish. And our partner, GreenPath Debt Solutions can work with you to

manage your debt more effectively. GreenPath has office hours at the YWCA Evanston/North Shore on Fridays from 9:00am to 5:00pm. Contact Pat Hunter at for more information.

garden to table Sign up at the YWCA now, or join Evanston’s "Women Out Walking" to join a pod and learn about the nutritional benefits and pleasure of eating fresh vegetables right from the garden. Pods meet weekly for three weeks to plant, harvest, cook, eat and preserve vegetables grown in our garden. Each pod receives a basic introduction to home gardening and learns simple, affordable cooking techniques designed to maximize the nutrition and flavor of fresh food. Pods are forming now, so don’t wait! Contact Cece Lobin at for more information. The YWCA’s urban garden Alex Piper, YWCA nutrition and is supported with funding garden educator from CoBank.

June 15, 2014 presented by

tech t-shirts, great goody bags, on-field refreshments, fun for the whole family plus a valuable message and a vital cause.....don’t miss it!

register today at YWCA Evanston/North Shore  1215 Church Street  Evanston, IL  847-864-8445

Spring 2014 newsletter