A Decade of Growth, Purpose and Connection with YWCA
I have been connected to YWCA Minneapolis for nearly a decade. Ten years ago, I was 22 years old and was a Minneapolis newcomer. I was beginning my career as a social worker and navigating all the joys and challenges of life as a young “twenty-something.”
A Desire to Get More Involved
At that time, I vividly remember a strong desire to get involved in local social justice activity within my own community. A mentor of mine told me about YWCA’s racial justice program and encouraged me to reach out. On a whim, I sent an email inquiry and soon enough, I was signed up for training to become a volunteer Racial Justice Facilitator. Little did I know that that email would be the beginning of my ten years (and counting!) journey with YWCA Minneapolis. Over the years, I’ve been a volunteer and also a fitness member.
Taking the Mission with Me Everywhere
YWCA’s mission of eliminating racism and empowering women is the foundation for my love and support for YWCA Minneapolis. I have seen firsthand how YWCA’s mission and multifaceted programs inspire change, learning, acceptance, inclusion, connection, joy, life and love. My YWCA membership, volunteering and relationships with others at YWCA have inspired deep reflection, growth and change within me. I take the beautiful mission and microcosm of YWCA with me to the outside world of daily life. Being a member of YWCA means I am an ambassador of its mission. It keeps me loving, caring, reflective and accountable.
Finding a Way to Express My Gratitude: Fundraising
YWCA has been my health and wellness beacon since becoming a fully vested member in 2011, quietly teaching me the true meaning of intuitive, sustainable self-care. YWCA has given me lifelong friendships and a profound sense of purpose and community. It has shaped and transformed me as a human being and neighbor. What was I to do with all this raw, boundless gratitude? The answer, to me, was fundraising. In a serendipitous twist of events, I learned that YWCA Minneapolis was a charity partner with the Minneapolis Medtronic 10 Mile race occurring in October 2019. I signed up, trained for my first-ever 10-mile race, and watched in awe as numerous friends and family donated generously to my YWCA fundraising campaign. I can now call myself both a race-finisher and YWCA Minneapolis fundraiser!
Helping People Find Connection and Purpose
The most important thing I’d want people to know about YWCA Minneapolis is that the staff, volunteers and members CARE about you and care about helping you find your place and purpose here in the community. If you’re curious about trying a specific fitness class, working with a personal trainer or nutritionist, volunteering in the racial justice program, learning more about the Girls & Youth programs or Early Childhood Education programs, or sharing genuine, heartfelt feedback with YWCA leadership, take a risk and connect with YWCA’s staff. YWCA staff are mission-driven, kind, knowledgeable and receptive. They want to be a resource and source of support for you.
Coming into the Fold of YWCA’s Community
So many of us come into the fold of YWCA Minneapolis because we care about the world and this Minneapolis community we call home. I hope and look forward to meeting you someday in passing while working out, relaxing and drinking coffee in the lobby area or attending a YWCA event together. Above all, don’t let fear derail you from feeling connected and invested in the beautiful, life-changing experiences and relationships that the YWCA community can offer.