April 7, 2017
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When Laura Fliegel decided to become a YWCA Central Alabama AmeriCorps member, she figured she would serve her community for a year before going back to school to pursue a master’s degree in international relations. Six months later, she’s still planning on returning to school, but she’s focusing on a degree in social work instead.
Lots of little girls dream of being princesses, and 17-year-old Shenae will soon know what it feels like to be one, courtesy of YWCA Central Alabama.
The agency will host two Prom Palooza events this month, providing beautiful gowns and accessories to girls in need. “I can’t wait to find a dress,” Shenae said. “I can’t decide if I want a yellow one or a pink one, but I’ll know it when I see it. I’m so excited!”
If you’ve ever been to YWCA Central Alabama, chances are you met Steve Craig. He was our security guard for more than 10 years, but in reality, he was much more than that. He was our greatest ambassador, our biggest cheerleader, our staunchest supporter, and our dearest friend.
We lost Steve suddenly and way too soon last month, and our YW family – staff members, Board members, residents, clients and volunteers – gathered this week to remember him. We shared stories and hugs, tears and smiles. Mostly, though, we laughed, and that’s just the way he would have wanted it.
There are a million reasons to celebrate the success of YWCA Central Alabama’s 10th Annual KIDS Korner Luncheon. The event, held Feb. 16, 2017 at the BJCC East Ballroom, raised $175,007 (and counting) to support the YW’s KIDS Korner child development program for homeless children.
Midway through the luncheon, a project of the Junior Board, YWCA CEO Yolanda Sullivan announced a significant milestone. “Thanks to all of you, this event has raised $1 million to support homeless children in just 10 years,” she told the 650 guests.
Dot Mueller got her first taste of community service when she was a student at West End High School in the 1950s. She was a member of the Y-Teens program, a service organization for teenage girls, and she never forgot how fulfilling it was to help someone in need. “That feeling never leaves you, and you begin to look for more opportunities to serve,” she said.
After divorcing her husband, Shellane Green spent the next two years living in fear. There were constant phone calls and texts from her ex. He followed her around, waited outside her job and slashed her tires. He broke into her house and threatened her family. Eventually, he killed her.
A new year brings hope for new beginnings, and YWCA Central Alabama and Hope Inspired Ministries have joined forces to provide adults who are low-skilled, poorly educated and chronically unemployed the opportunity for a better life.
Not long after selecting gifts for her children at YWCA Central Alabama’s annual Santa’s Workshop, a mother named Shannon got tears in her eyes thinking about how special this holiday season will be.
“I think they’ll be real excited when they wake up Christmas morning,” she said of her young daughter and son. “If it wasn’t for this, they probably wouldn’t have a Christmas. It gives you the feeling that everything is going to be OK.”