Fall Message from our Executive Director

Dear Friends,

“Economic Crisis”, “Recession”, “Debt Crisis”.   It seems like this is all we hear about these days. Here at Walnut Avenue Women’s Center we have indeed experienced what seems like more than our share of all of these. At the same time, we have experienced an amazing boon in our donations of time, goods and services. I am writing to share this great news since you played a role in our success last year .

In any non-profit budget, there is a line item called “in-kind”. This line item allows us to show how engaged our community is with us through the giving of their own time and treasures. Last fiscal year, we received our greatest in-kind donation amount in our almost 80 year history. The total value of all in-kind donations (i.e. volunteer time, goods and services) was an amazing $1,524,850. Is that a lot? You bet! That is 20% more than our total cash budget. Truly amazing!

Our volunteers donated nearly 35,000 hours of time to the Walnut Avenue Women’s Center. This is equal to over 16 full time positions! Almost 70% of the services of WAWC are provided by trained volunteers.

So, what does this mean to our community? It means youth get mentors to help them navigate the challenges of experiencing violence in their homes and the adventures that come with adolescence; battered women have a caring voice to listen to them when they call the DV hotline; families learn how to set and attain their educational and professional development goals; our infants, toddlers and preschoolers learn in an optimal environment for their success; food bags are ready every week; and there is a compassionate human to greet you at our door.

Nearly 1,000 individuals and businesses donated goods valued at over $550,000. The majority of this was channeled directly into the basic needs program of our Community and Resource Development Department which provides food, clothing, diapers, household items etc. so families have more energy and time to focus on moving from surviving to thriving. We recognize the impossibility of looking into the future (my own or that of my children) if I cannot feed, clothe or house them. Our basic needs program allows our families to get a small breath so they can see the possibilities in their lives.

Is there a cost to all of this remarkable sharing of time and treasures? It does indeed take time and money to manifest and manage all of this. It takes staff time and some resources. Last year the Walnut Avenue Women’s Center was able to leverage $152,000 in staff time and resources into $1,524,850 in time, goods and services. That is a pretty amazing return on investment!

This year, I am asking you to also become a financial supporter so we will have the capacity to continue to serve our community through incredible and life changing programs such as Youth Development, Domestic Violence Services and Early Education/ Family Literacy. Our goal is to raise the $152,000 for the “manifest and management” of our community’s overwhelming in-kind support. There are several ways you can donate. You can MAIL A CHECK using the enclosed envelope; you can visit our website (www.WAWC.org) and use a credit card to send in your gift or set-up a recurring donation. If your schedule permits, I would love for your to bring in your gift personally so I can meet you and show you the impact your contribution has on the lives of the families here at Walnut Avenue Women’s Center.

Thank you for your generosity of both your heart and your finances.