In early September, YWCA Executive Director Karen Forbes and I had the pleasure of participating in a wonderfully informative meeting with BCWAC’s Tam St.Claire and Nancy Morrill where we had the opportunity to share some of the many activities, programs and initiatives that YWCA Bucks County regularly undertakes to empower women and improve their lives. It is truly an exhilarating experience to sit down with people who represent an organization that shares so many similar goals and initiatives that are dedicated to building better, more self-sufficient lives for women and girls in our region.
Of the many initiatives discussed during our get-together, two in particular came to the forefront of our conversation. The first was the importance of National Voter Registration Day on September 23, 2014, and getting all eligible women registered to vote so that they can have a strong voice in the “hiring” of those who will best represent the needs of women at the local, state and national levels. This is clearly one of the YWCA Advocacy Committee’s priorities. So as part of our outreach on September 23, we were so pleased to utilize the Get Out the Vote (GOTV) Toolkit developed by BCWAC, AAUW and the League of Women Voters in bringing the importance of voting to the many diverse women we serve through our programs and services at our YWCA Family Centers. We registered four women on 9/23 and continue to register more.
The other topic that captured our mutual attention during our discussion was the importance of healthy living habits of women, especially those who may be disadvantaged and underserved. Through the YWCA’s Healthy Living Initiative, women at our Family Centers learn the value of regular exercise like walking, as well as the importance of eating healthy foods to develop and maintain healthy lifestyles. The YWCA partners with Rolling Harvest in setting up free produce stands at our Family Center locations.
One upcoming event that we are encouraging all health-conscious men and women throughout our region to consider participating in is YWCA Bucks County’s first-ever Race Against Racism on Sunday, October 19, 2014, at the Garden of Reflection Memorial Park in Lower Makefield. There will be a 1-Mile Fun Run that begins at 8:30 a.m., and a 5K Run/Walk that begins at 9:00 a.m., and the first 200 participants to register will be guaranteed a Race Against Racism T-Shirt. The 5K course starts and ends at the Garden of Reflection Park. The Run will be professionally timed by Lin-Mark Sports. We shared with Tam and Nancy that anyone interested can get more information about the race and register at www.ywcabucks.org. Or they can call the YWCA at 215-953-7793, ext. 104 to request and receive a race application. Sponsorship opportunities are available. Proceeds from the Race Against Racism will benefit programs and services that empower Bucks County women and their families for a brighter future.
Karen and I sincerely thank Tam and Nancy for taking the time to meet with us and gain a broader understanding of YWCA Bucks County’s unswerving commitment to diverse women, girls and families eager to build healthier, happier and more self-sufficient lives. Our partnerships with strong and highly-focused organizations like the Bucks County Women’s Advocacy Coalition are invaluable to us and clearly serve to make us more able to meet the ever-increasing needs of women and girls in Bucks County. We share in the Coalition’s commitment to educate and advocate for women to promote gender equality and economic independence for all, and we are greatly enriched by their knowledge, dedication and community passion.
Director of Family Services
YWCA Bucks County