During the COVID-19 pandemic, YWCA Greenwich is here to meet the needs of the community. Thank you for your support.
Resilience, above all others, is the word that best captures the unprecedented journey of YWCA Greenwich during the last fiscal year.
Resilience defines the ingenuity and courage of our staff, who solved daily challenges to serve our constituents—from preschool students, Dolphins swimmers to victims of domestic violence – and fulfill our mission to the community in the face of the most serious public health crisis in a century.
Resilience also defines you and all our loyal members, donors and community partners, who repeatedly demonstrated your loyalty and commitment during this challenging period.
In July of 2019, YWCA Greenwich had just celebrated its centennial and was launching into its second century as a true community center with a myriad of programs for members and the general public. We reconfigured our lobby, opened Arcuri’s Café and created a welcoming space for people to gather. We ramped up our community programs offering invaluable content from a variety of experts, and we provided platforms to discuss social justice and encourage community engagement.
In the fall we held our first Walk the Walk Against Domestic Violence as we commemorated Domestic Violence Awareness and Prevention Month. We welcomed UPenn’s Professor Susan Sorenson to discuss violence against women as a public health issue and worked throughout the month to raise awareness about domestic violence in our community and beyond.
The fall also brought the second annual Women Who Inspire Awards Luncheon, where we honored six inspirational women, as well as Pitney Bowes for its exemplary advancement of women in the workplace. This award, which celebrates achievements of women in our community, is a source of continuing pride for the over 500 women to have been honored to date.
Our preschool and afterschool programs began the school year with the implementation of our DIVE (Diversity, Inclusion, Values and Equity) curriculum, which provides age appropriate activities, books, and videos to promote equity and inclusion for all. We increased our capacity in technology for our older students with grants from Greenwich Alliance for Education and Google, helping us to expand our computer coding programs for youth.
In March, to comply with Governor Lamont’s orders, YWCA Greenwich closed its doors and suspended most programs. All our domestic violence services were provided to victims and survivors through this period, either in person or remotely, and the number of crisis services increased 243% over the prior year. Victims in crisis called from closets or cars, and we supported them with our 24/7 hotline, crisis intervention, shelter, counseling and more.
Program leaders in our education, health and fitness and aquatics programs quickly developed remote live and taped content, and a new website and other platforms hosted these offerings. Our robust remote programming and our regular outreach to our members maintained a genuine and much-appreciated connection to our members and constituents during the shutdown period.
In April, we took our annual Stand Against Racism with YWCAs across the country, and in May, we were shocked and saddened by the death of George Floyd. As a local leader in the fight for racial justice, YWCA Greenwich issued a strong statement condemning the violence and ongoing systemic racism in our nation. In addition, we hosted a zoom conversation titled Beyond Petitions and Protests: The Art of Being an Authentic Ally, which explored how to make a personal and authentic difference in promoting racial equity. YWCA Greenwich will continue to ramp up racial justice programming in the coming months with the addition of a Director of Women’s Empowerment and Racial Justice to our staff.
With the easing of COVID-19 restrictions and with strict protocols and procedures in place, we brought back our programs in a phased approach. We had a successful summer with our Dolphins swim team, baseball teams, Camp TAYITO and our Preschool Camp. We welcomed back members to the building, and they are happy to be exercising in our fitness center and swimming pool once again, as well as enjoying a variety of live and remote classes.
Resilience will continue to define YWCA Greenwich during the rest of 2020 and during 2021, as this essential local institution continues to serve the community in a variety of ways. We thank you for your partnership, and we look forward to seeing you back at YWCA Greenwich soon.
Mary Lee Kiernan
President and CEO
Our Mission & Values
YWCA Greenwich is dedicated to eliminating racism, empowering women, and promoting peace, justice, freedom, and dignity for all. Through leadership, innovative programs, services and educational opportunities, YWCA Greenwich is a driving force for a healthier, safer and more equitable community.
We thank you for the financial contributions that enable YWCA Greenwich to continue its important work to eliminate racism and empower women and girls. We raised money through contributions, grants, and events to support our programs and services. Every effort has been made to list names accurately. Please accept our apologies for any errors.
It Takes Courage
It Takes Compassion
It Takes Commitment
Our mission — to eliminate racism and empower women and girls — is as relevant today as it was 100 years ago, when this organization was founded. Today, the 35-member YWCA Greenwich Board of Directors, all women, have expertise in medicine, law, marketing, finance, consulting and other professions. They are mothers, sisters, aunts and friends who have come together to work toward a healthier, safer and more inclusive community. They inspire others to fulfill YWCA Greenwich’s mission.