ywca Minneapolis

Celebrating $1 Million Raised for YWCA Girls and Youth

Posted on Mon, Nov 13 2017 11:00 am by Kelly Prosen-Hara, YWCA Grants Officer

ywca girls and youth celebration

When Christa Perkins, now Director, Girls Inc. at YWCA Minneapolis, joined the YWCA Minneapolis Girls and Youth Department 18 years ago as an Americorps Fellow, she didn’t know she’d end up as an individual fundraiser. During the recent YWCA Girls and Youth Campaign, she got to do just that.

“It’s been very exciting to go to events and talk to people about the impact of our work.”

Over 100 Individual Donors Reach $1 Million Goal

YWCA Minneapolis recently concluded a $1 million campaign to inspire new donors and obtain multi-year gifts for YWCA Minneapolis Girls and Youth programs. Over 100 individual donors stepped forward in providing critical sustaining support. YWCA Minneapolis Girls and Youth programs serve 1,400 youth annually, providing afterschool and summer programs that address the broad opportunity gaps young people face.

Supporting Youth During Crucial Out-of-School Time

Youth spend only 20% of their waking hours in school. YWCA Minneapolis programming runs afterschool, during school breaks and in the summer during crucial opportunities for growth and learning. These are also times of tremendous risk and lost opportunity for youth who are home alone and unsupervised. Youth who participate in quality out-of-school time programs are more likely to be on track to graduate from high school.

How Many Daily Challenges Do Youth Face?

Youth in YWCA Girls and Youth programs face a number of daily challenges before they arrive at their afterschool program. Christa and her colleague, Mark Campbell, Contact Plus Coordinator, demonstrated this to new funders who attended the YWCA Girls and Youth Campaign celebration event by setting up a piece of plexi-glass in front of guests and asking someone to sit behind it. They walked through a day in the life of youth served by YWCA Minneapolis programs, stating challenges youth often faced. For each challenge, a post-it note was added to the plexi-glass. For example, a youth may come to school hungry, they may be bullied at their school, they may have had to help sisters and brothers get ready for school. By the time staff finished listing off the challenges, the plexi-glass would be almost completely covered. Guests were then asked what they noticed had happened.

“You can barely see her!” “She can’t see us!” “How can she see where she’s going?” Were some of the responses from the guests.

YWCA Youth Program Impact

Christa and Mark then began to talk about the impact of YWCA Minneapolis Girls and Youth programming: when youth come to program they’re greeted by name and invited to talk about their day, they receive a healthy snack and they have a trusted adult and peers with whom to talk. With each positive aspect of programming, a post-it note would be removed. At the conclusion of walking through the youth’s experience at programming, nearly all the post-it notes were gone. Christa and Mark asked the guests again about what they noticed.

Christa said, “Our youth have a lot more obstacles—and opportunities—than people know.”

Thank You Donors and YWCA Community!

The YWCA Minneapolis Girls and Youth Campaign gave Christa and other Girls and Youth staff the opportunity to meet donors and talk about what inspires them—empowering youth and girls.

Thank you to the community and to all the generous donors who made this campaign a success!

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