The YWCA Central Alabama was honored to receive the Birmingham Business Journal’s Second Annual Nonprofit Award for organizations with revenue of over $5 million. The awards luncheon was held on March 14, at The Wynfrey Hotel. Over 200 people attended the event, which recognized the philanthropic work of nonprofit organizations and corporations around the Birmingham area. Finalists were selected by a panel of judges.
“There are many wonderful organizations in this generous community, doing great work. We were honored to be included and selected from the great nonprofits in this category. The recognition goes to the YW board and staff,” states Suzanne Durham, YWCA CEO.
Since 1903, the YWCA Central Alabama has planted seeds of hope – providing comfort where there is pain, love where there is loneliness and a light where there is darkness. Striving to create a more caring community, the YW continues to serve as a place of refuge, responding to the needs of women and their families providing them with hope and a new beginning in a warm, family-like environment.
The YWCA’s mission of eliminating racism and empowering women is evident in the services and programs offered to those in crisis. The four program areas include: affordable housing, child care for homeless and low-income families, domestic violence services and social justice advocacy.
The YWCA Child Development Center houses KIDS Korner (Kids in Distress), our child care for children of homeless families, and Calico Corner, our child care for children of low-income families. Calico Corner and KIDS Korner are NAEYC (National Association for the Education of Young Children) accredited and a bright spot in our state that is ranked 50th in resources for homeless children. Nationally, only 8 percent of child care centers are NAEYC accredited. KIDS Korner is the only child care in the state dedicated to children living in homeless shelters.
The YWCA’s neighborhood revitalization work within Woodlawn on Birmingham’s eastern side highlights an important achievement for both the organization and for the community of Woodlawn, an area that only four years ago was characterized by crime, blight, disinvestment and hopelessness. This work, known as “YWoodlawn,” has boldly invested in this neighborhood and has included the development and opening of 58 units of permanent housing for low-income individuals and families, a state-of-the-art Interfaith Hospitality House for families experiencing the crisis of homelessness and the YWCA’s Family Resource Center which offers a range of resources and programs geared toward supporting the individuals and families of Woodlawn. Recently the YWCA was awarded with the American Planning Association’s 2013 National Planning Excellence Award for Advancing Diversity & Social Change in Honor of Paul Davidoff for its work in the Woodlawn area.
The YWCA’s Domestic Violence Services provides the Family Law Center, a legal team provided free of charge that is available for victims of domestic violence, Justice on Wheels, legal services for rural victims of domestic violence and court advocates – women specially trained to walk with a domestic violence victim through the legal process. They also offer three domestic violence shelters for women and children and the only Department of Justice Supervised Visitation Center in the state for victims of domestic violence, their children and family members where children may visit with their noncustodial parent.
When we see one family move from a homeless shelter to independent living, when we see one child’s grades improve because a caring tutor helped her to understand the homework problems, when we see one woman escape from an abusive relationship, we are thankful that the YW, with its wealth of volunteers, donors and friends can make that difference in their lives.
To learn more about the YWCA Central Alabama or to make a donation, please click here.