Rotary’s Generosity and Impact Grows As YWCA Prepares to Open Topeka’s First Day Center for Survivors of Human Trafficking

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Rotary’s Generosity and Impact Grows As YWCA Prepares to Open Topeka’s First Day Center for Survivors of Human Trafficking

Categories: Center for Safety and Empowerment, News


TOPEKA – After receiving an initial generous grant from the Topeka Rotary Foundation, YWCA Northeast Kansas is proud to announce that a total $120,500 will be invested in their Center for Safety and Empowerment Human Trafficking Day Center thanks to the collaboration of Rotarians locally and abroad. “While Rotary is all about service above self, we are so grateful to be benefiting from the hard work, dedication, and incredible generosity from our local Rotary district right here in eastern Kansas as well as Rotary District 3141 in Mumbai, India. This truly encapsulates Rotary’s theme for 2019: ‘Rotary Connects the World’,” YWCA Northeast Kansas CEO Kathleen Marker said.

Rotary global grants support sustainable endeavors that align with one of Rotary’s areas of focus and and are designed in cooperation with the community to address a real need. Funds for this grant come from Topeka Rotary Foundation, Topeka South Rotary, Rotary District 5710 (Eastern Kansas), Rotary District 3141 (Mumbai), and a private donor and are matched by the Rotary International Foundation. Rotarians involved in this endeavor include (but are not limited to): Joan Wagnon, Patti Mellard, Subodh Bohra, Faron Barr, Lori Rowe, Lon Lewis, Bette Morris, Blanche Parks, Carol Wheeler, Jason Leib, and Larry Dimmitt.

Topeka Downtown Rotary Club members assist in transforming the Day Center for YWCA human trafficking clients.

Rotary is dedicated to six areas of focus to build international relationships, improve lives, and create a better world to support peace efforts and end polio forever.

 “Many of us think of human trafficking and exploitation as something taking place in other parts of the world. The harsh reality is that it is in fact a significant industry right here in Kansas and in our community. Supporting YWCA Northeast Kansas in their innovative new project in a significant and sustainable way was an obvious choice when we understood that this was our chance to make meaningful change happen right here in Topeka,” said Patti Mellard, Chair of the Rotary District 5710 Peace Programs Committee.

In 2018, the YWCA Center for Safety and Empowerment served 118 victim-survivors of human trafficking. Plans are set for the new day center to open by mid-October.

The YWCA Center for Safety and Empowerment, formerly the Battered Women Task Force, has provided vitally important services to victims of sexual and domestic violence for over 40 years. Services include a 24-hour crisis hotline, emergency shelter, individual and group counseling, court advocacy, public education, and case management. The organization provides services to thousands of survivors each year, providing direct services to over 3,000 survivors, taking over 2,500 hotline calls and sheltering over 300 women, men and children annually. Find out more information on how to get involved in our mission here.

If you or someone you know needs help, please call the 24-hour crisis line: 1-888-822-2983.


Media Contact:

Allison Marker

Resource Development Director

785-233-1750 ext. 222