Tiffanie Keck • Director, Resource Development & Administration YWCA Greater Harrisburg

Editor’s Note: On the first Thursday of each month, the eNews feature article highlights the mission focus for the month. In January we’re lifting up Women’s Equality, Justice, and Opportunity. The Joys & Concerns section of the weekly eNews always includes the mission focus for the month.

Eliminating racism. Empowering women. Our mission lives in the soul of everyone here at YWCA Greater Harrisburg because we demand a world of equity and human decency. We envision a just community for all and we commit ourselves to the work of transforming lives. 

For more than a century, the YWCA has been an integral part of the Greater Harrisburg community. In 1894, during the Industrial Revolution, a group of women came together out of concern for girls who were flocking to the city to find employment. These community leaders wanted to ensure that young women had safe and suitable conditions under which to live and work with access to activities and education that would help them better their lives.

The YWCA Greater Harrisburg’s vision of creating a just community for all began 125 years ago. As the role and the needs of women adapted over time, the YWCA has historically expanded its impact, becoming a driving force that transforms lives.

In our community and beyond, we answer the cry for justice by serving more than 35,000 individuals each year. We offer housing to women seeking safer lives. We provide child care, so their families can build their futures. We dismantle systemic racism because the future deserves all of us. From emergency shelter and a legal clinic to supported employment services, supervised visitation, and Veterans programs, we could not do this important work without the generosity of our supporters.

Our community demands justice in a thousand different ways. Our power comes from the women and girls we serve and those who support us. We are thought leaders. We are fearless movers. We are innovative shakers. We move justice out of our doors and into the power structures that determine the future. Our voices rise together to do the work. Here, a woman is empowered to leave an abusive relationship. Here, students of color capitalize on their brilliance. Here, a young woman cracks the glass ceiling to achieve the promotion she earned. 

Here, we bear witness to their dignity, and celebrate their victories. They keep our commitment to justice strong because we know first-hand how much more work there is left to do. At the YWCA Greater Harrisburg, we are eliminating racism and empowering women. 

It is only with the support of community-minded individuals — and organizations like Derry Church — that we can continue to fulfill the immediate needs and provide comprehensive services that support women, children, and men as they regain their self-esteem and independence. On behalf of the YWCA clients who will benefit from this generosity, we thank you!

As we continue on, we will get up and do the work until injustice is rooted out, until institutions are transformed, until the world sees women, girls, and people of color the way we do: Equal. Powerful. Unstoppable. 

YWCA Eliminating racism. Empowering women.