Carrying Our Mission into the Second Half of 2023!

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Carrying Our Mission into the Second Half of 2023!

Categories: News

The year is only halfway over, but YWCA Northeast Kansas already has so much to share! Here is a little update on the programs, events, and services we provide for thousands of individuals in Northeast Kanas.

A collage of photos of YWCA staff and volunteers engaging in various activities.


Strengthening Families

Families know that they can count on YWCA for safe, supportive, and affordable childcare programs. At our Kids Quest Before and After School Program, over 140 Topeka students spent their mornings and afternoons with our amazing Kids Quest staff. They enrich their school day with supported learning, friendship building, and a unique STEM+ curriculum that took students to new heights!

In the YWCA Early Learning Center, preschool families recently celebrated an important – and adorable – milestone! We held a graduation ceremony for the pre-k students who are preparing to head to kindergarten next month. As always, YWCA is committed to providing the highest quality care possible for the hard working families in our community. We remain one of very few preschools in Shawnee County to accept DCF payments, and we offer a “transition classroom” for toddlers working on potty-training.

YWCA Northeast Kansas is on a mission to empower our youngest community members! 

Supporting Survivors

Junior League Volunteers pose with their generous donation of thousands of period packs

Advocates at the Center for Safety and Empowerment show up every day for survivors of sexual assault, domestic violence, stalking, and human trafficking. We provide free and confidential services, including a 24/7 helpline and a new textline, to survivors in Brown, Jackson, Shawnee, and Wabaunsee Counties. One of the CSE services that has grown exponentially in recent years is the support Advocates provide during SANE (Sexual Assault Nurse Examiner) requests, in partnership with the Stormont Vail Hospital Forensic Team. There were 99 requests for CSE advocates at SANE exams in the first six months of this year.

And we are excited to share some numbers from the rural CSE office in Holton, which serves Brown, Jackson, and Wabaunsee Counties. In just one month (June), rural advocates provided 125 services to 20 clients! We have been building more partnerships, and strengthening existing partnerships, with law enforcement, community organizations, and schools that have helped us increase our impact in our rural service area.

Promoting Justice

ELC Preschoolers hold up rally signs in support of early childhood investments on the steps of the Kansas statehouse

From marches and rallies to podcasts and blogs, members of the YWCA movement have been on the move this year, speaking out for equity and justice. Even our youngest advocates spent a day at the Kansas Statehouse in support of affordable childcare and early childhood education! And, as the legislative session moved forward with anti-LGBTQ+ legislation, YWCA CEO Kathleen Marker, board members, and members of our Advocacy Committee were a regular presence at the Capitol, standing with the LGBTQ+ community.

In fact, YWCA Northeast Kansas was recognized nationally at the YWCA USA Annual Conference, being awarded the Association Excellence Award for Mission Impact in the Field of Advocacy! We believe that our mission is not just to fill gaps with services and programs, but to disrupt and rebuild systems that work better for all – especially women and people of color.


“When we see that there is an injustice and it speaks to the mission of the YWCA, we have to stand up. We have to use our voice.” -Kathleen Marker, CEO, YWCA Northeast Kansas

Local leaders offered their insights with a panel discussion moderated by the Kansas Reflector at the Topeka and Shawnee County Public Library

Last month, 180 members of our local community participated in the annual Racial Justice Challenge, an interactive, virtual program that helps us build daily social justice habits while learning about different topics related to race and privilege. This year, we partnered with the Kansas Reflector to put a spotlight on local leaders each week. And we continued our partnership with the Topeka & Shawnee County Public Library to host a panel discussion and weekly Zoom chats throughout the Challenge. The live challenge is over, but all of the links and resources remain available online! You can sign up today and go through the challenge on your own time.

YWCA Northeast Kansas is on a mission to build a stronger, more equitable community for all!

We Do the Work Together

Volunteers and supporters show up every day because they believe in the world we’re building together. From January to June, 116 dedicated volunteers contributed 1,738 hours of service to our programs. Through their selfless efforts, our organization has been able to save an impressive $31,703 in just six months.

A volunteer group from IMA Financial helped revitalize our landscaping for spring and summer

Here are some volunteer highlights from the first half of the year:

  • In February and May, volunteers from Fontainebleau Apartments painted our self-care room; and a group of volunteers from IMA revitalized our garden beds!
  • During March, one Youth Services volunteer went above and beyond by devoting over 28 hours of service to support our Early Learning Center staff.
  • As we progressed into May, our Front Desk team witnessed an expansion from 3 to 11 volunteers, ensuring seamless support for our administrative staff day after day.
  • Our Center for Safety and Empowerment has been gifted with the tireless efforts of 38 dedicated volunteers, who have selflessly contributed over 1,190 hours of service over the past six months.
These accomplishments of our volunteers highlight the impact of their involvement in our organization. Through their dedication, YWCA Northeast Kansas continues to improve the services and programs that are positively impacting the lives of countless individuals within our community.

We’re carrying our mission into the second half of the year with even more passion, dedication, and energy than ever. Join us!