25 January 2012


I had to write an essay for work, my first writing assignment for my new position.  At first I was a little eye-rolly about topic but once I was done I actually felt a little better about my job.

I was asked to write about a woman in YWCA Bellingham history who inspired me. 
I immediately thought of Frances Larrabee who saw that there was a need for women's housing and made it happen. Without Frances, our lovely YWCA wouldn't exist.

The longer I thought about it, however, the more women I considered.  In a woman-centric program, singling out just one doesn't seem possible. I have encountered countless people who have been a motivation, an inspiration, or just touched my life in an impactful way.

My very first day, Diane brought me flowers as a welcome gift. The small act of kindness will never be forgotten.  She has been a constant here at the YW, volunteering her time whenever and however she can.  It is an especially happy day when Diane is here. Diane taught me about kindness.

Pam teaches dance for people with Parkinsons each week. I don't know if I've ever met a more positive person.  Pam makes you feel better every time you see her. Pam shows me what hope looks like.

Many volunteers spend time here at the YW.  It wouldn't be fair to single out just one. Watching them give their time week after month after year is incredible.  The Boutique would not be the amazing place that it is without them. They demonstrate the gift of time.

Countless women have lived at the YW while I've worked here. They each teach us something while they are here. Many demonstrate strength to us simply by taking the steps to make their lives better.

The YWCA has a variety of donors who support us in so many ways. We are always flattered when they stop by with clothing for the Boutique or items for the residence, and on the best days: treats and kind words.  Our donors seem to understand not just the giving part but also the caring part of contributing.
We were blessed with Julie, who brought the YWCA from turmoil and downturn into a thriving place that continues to grow.  Julie showed us tenacity.

Now we have Cheri leading us into the future.  She makes challenges seem like "Isn't this going to be an adventure!?!"   She is grabbing us all by the hand saying, "Let's see where we can go!"

Nope, there is not just one woman who is inspirational here at the YWCA.  There is an entire community.

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