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Tuesday, December 16, 2014 at 9:10 am

YWCA announces new help line

post by Howard B. Owens in YWCA

Press release:

In another step to serve those in need throughout Genesee County, YWCA has developed the Care and Crisis Helpline, Executive Director Jeanne Walton says.

The Helpline will replace a portion of Regional Action Phone services 24 hours a day and 365 days a year. It will serve as a connection for people in crisis to find supportive and skilled responders who will assess the situation and provide real-time intervention and referrals as needed.

Genesee County Mental Health Department put out a request for proposal last month, which prompted YWCA officials to assess the nonprofit's current client services and develop a crisis-based Helpline. During its Dec. 10 meeting, Genesee County Legislature approved the contract and related funding for YWCA of Genesee County.

“When we found out that Genesee County Mental Health was seeking a provider for this service, it seemed a perfect avenue for us to extend our offerings to the community,” Walton said Wednesday. “Helpline Program Manager Holly Baxter has more than 30 years of experience in this field, and we felt that she will be key to making a smooth transition in the New Year. We are excited to add a Helpline to our other crisis and prevention services.”

The toll-free number (844) 345-4400 will be up and running as of Jan. 1. YW officials opted to keep their domestic violence hotline in place as well, since it has become widely established. That number is (585) 343-7513. While those calls are more concentrated on domestic violence issues, Helpline staff will be capable of taking those calls in addition to calls for any mental health-related issues, including depression, the loss of a loved one, suicidal tendencies, addictions, bullying, post-traumatic stress disorder and anxiety.

Trained staff will connect the caller to specialized agencies when appropriate, such as law enforcement, the hospital’s emergency room department and county on-call therapists established by Genesee County Department of Mental Health.

“Our goal is to provide a valuable community resource that gives every person going through crisis the help, support and encouragement needed to guide them toward a better path,” Walton said.

Hours of service will be 24/7, which not only fills an emotional need in the community, but will also create the equivalent of three full-time jobs. On-call crisis workers will receive extensive training to respond immediately to calls for help with everything from the holiday blues to rape and domestic violence. Interested applicants are encouraged to e-mail [email protected].

Holly Baxter will be the program manager as of Jan. 1. She has worked with hotline services for more than three decades, including at Life Line in Rochester and at RAP. She brings a personal passion and a wealth of experience in the field of crisis services with specialized training and intervention skills. She is also no stranger to YWCA, having been a victim advocate at the agency several years ago.

"I think it's a tremendous opportunity for people to receive crisis care from members of their own community," Baxter said. "There's a tremendous need, and our staff will be able to address everything from anxiety attacks and bullying to someone diagnosed with a serious illness. And we will constantly be updating training so that it's ongoing learning. You have to have a heart for people."

Area agencies may want to consider adding this service as a way to ensure ongoing care of their clients, Baxter said. For more information, call YWCA at (585) 343-5808.

A local number of (585) 344-4400 will be in place as well as the toll-free number (844) 345-4400. Both will be up and running by Jan. 1.

Wednesday, October 8, 2014 at 10:25 am

To increase awareness of domestic violence, YWCA wants you to wear purple when watching or attending sporting events

post by Billie Owens in domestic violencd, YWCA

Press release:

One in four women will experience domestic violence in her lifetime. In recognition of Domestic Violence Awareness Month, and in response to recent incidents involving professional athletes and domestic violence, the YWCA of Genesee County will “go purple” during the month of October.

The campaign “Go Purple With YWCA,” will help raise awareness about the prevalence of violence against women. In addition, YWCA will host its signature initiative, Week Without Violence, from Oct. 13 - 17, to mobilize people in communities across the United States to take action against all forms of violence, wherever it occurs.

"In addition to our annual Stiletto & Sneaker Walk, which was Oct. 2, we now look forward to going purple in an even bigger way," Executive Director Jeanne Walton said. "I challenge everyone to wear purple in support of domestic violence awareness, snap a picture of it and post to Facebook or send it to us. While it's so true that there's safety in numbers, we need to remember the numbers one in four and how crucial it is to stop domestic violence altogether."

The YWCA is one of the largest providers of domestic violence services in the United States with more than 200 local YWCA associations in 46 states and the District of Columbia. Each year, the organization provides hundreds of thousands of women and families with programs and services for both survivors and perpetrators, including emergency shelter, crisis hotlines, counseling, educational programs, prevention training, support groups, and abuse intervention. The YWCA also provides domestic violence training to businesses, law enforcement, and medical personnel across the nation.

Throughout October, YWCA of Genesee County encourages supporters to “join our team” and wear purple when watching or attending sports events to raise awareness, and share their photos on social media. In addition, we encourage supporters to change their Facebook and Twitter profile pictures to our Go Purple jersey during football games on Sundays and Mondays, to show solidarity with domestic violence victims and survivors. This virtual jersey features the phrase “1 in 4,” to represent the number of women that will experience domestic violence in their lifetimes. To learn more about the “Go Purple With YWCA” campaign, visit www.ywca.org/gopurple.

Batavia-based YWCA offers Domestic Violence Crisis & Prevention Services that include advocacy, court accompaniment, access to free legal services, safe housing and, currently in development, the You Engaging Success program that will connect victims to community professionals for the necessary training, education and motivation to stop the cycle of abuse.

There will also be a panel, "Dressing for Distress," featuring ordinary women who have gone through extraordinary things. Despite horrific circumstances these women got through it all with faith, strength and courage. Join them for an evening of sharing hope. It's set for 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. Oct. 23 at Stuart Steiner Theatre.

For more information about any of YW's programs, call (585) 343-5808 or go to www.ywcagenesee.org.

About the YWCA

The YWCA is a voice for every woman. For over a century, the YWCA has spoken out and taken action on behalf of women and girls. The YWCA is dedicated to eliminating racism, empowering women and promoting peace, justice, freedom and dignity for all. More than 2 million people participate each year in YWCA programs at more than 1,200 locations across the U.S. For more information, visit: http://www.ywca.org.

Saturday, September 13, 2014 at 8:43 am

Sponsored Post: Bidding on a Brighter Future Gala & Auction is tonight! Tickets available at the door

Bidding on Brighter Future Gala & Auction tonight at 5:30 at the Forum at Genesee Community College.

Join us for live, silent and basket auctions, appetizer, entree and dessert stations! Emcee of the evening events is Hiram Kasten. Entertainment provided by M.A.C. Auctions by Harris Wilcox, Inc..
 
Tickets are $50/per person or $400 per table of 10.
 
This event is to support the Kiwanis Club of Batavia's efforts to purchase a new home for the Justice for Children Advocacy Center.
Monday, August 4, 2014 at 10:46 am

Two boards signs, perhaps mistaken for trash, missing from YWCA on North Street

post by Billie Owens in YWCA

Press release:

This summer has meant ups and downs for YWCA of Genesee County, and the latest is a downer.

Two valuable signs were apparently mistaken as trash Monday morning and have disappeared from the YW's North Street property.

If you have seen or taken an A-board sign with information about a kickball tournament and/or a sign for My Sister's Closet, please call YWCA at (585) 343-5808.

These materials were an investment that cannot quickly be replaced by the nonprofit agency.
 

Friday, August 1, 2014 at 10:14 pm

YWCA presents $10K check to Wheels and Heels raffle winner

post by Howard B. Owens in YWCA

Jenny Hoehn received her $10,000 prize today as the winner of the Wheels and Heels charity raffle. Executive Director Jeanne Walton presented the check.

Photo submitted by Jeanne Walton.

Saturday, July 26, 2014 at 5:00 pm

Photos: YWCA's Wheels and Heels at Stan's Harley-Davidson

post by Howard B. Owens in batavia, Stan's Harley-Davidson, YWCA

Kaden Lyons, 9, models his Harley-Davidson gear atop his dad's bike at the YWCA's Wheels and Heels fundraiser today at Stan's Harley-Davidson.

The event featured a fashion show and Kaden was one of the models.

Funds raised will be used for the YW's for domestic violence programs.

The event's band was "driVen," with Mike Warren on bass and vocals, Dylan DeSmit on lead guitar and vocals and Alex DeSmit on drums.

Thursday, July 24, 2014 at 11:57 am

Community members come forward with donations to replace memorial lights destroyed at YWCA

post by Howard B. Owens in batavia, crime, YWCA

So far, the YWCA has at least 108 Malibu lights to replace the 36 that were destroyed by a vandal over the weekend.

The lights were part of a display called the Walkway of Hope, and were meant as a symbol against domestic violence. The lights were placed during a ceremony honoring Nicole Sheehan, who was murdered, allegedly by a domestic partner.

Sheehan's mother, Suzanne Ball, was at the YWCA on North Street on Wednesday evening to help reinstall some of the lights, along with Steven Foster of Adams Welding and Fabrication.

Stevens said Adams wanted to donate lights because giving hope to the victims of domestic violence is important.

"If one person walks up the walkway and saves a life and gets help, it's not in vain," Foster said.

Lights have also been donated by Mike and Norine Adams and John Peck, and at least one other man has called, according to Executive Director Jeanne Walton, to say he was bringing lights.

"It's been overwhelming," Walton said. "We've been shocked by the support we've gotten from so many people like Adams Welding and Fabrication, as well as a few others, that have just come forth and brought us lights to replace the ones that were destroyed."

All of the lights will be placed outside the Y, Walton said. That will send a powerful message, she said, to whomever destroyed the first set of lights.

Ball agreed.

"We're letting them know nobody is putting our lights out," Ball said.

Mike Adams called The Batavian after the story appeared and said he wasn't looking for any publicity of the plan (at that time) of his wife and he to make the donation, but he didn't mind being quoted calling the vandal a "coward."

"My only statement would be I guess is getting the point across, who's the coward out there who would do something like that, destroying a memorial for that young girl?" Adams said. "We're pretty upset about it."

So are a lot of other people.

Tuesday, July 22, 2014 at 4:33 pm

YWCA's Wheels & Heels is Saturday at Stan's, benefits kids affected by domestic violence

post by Billie Owens in Wheels & Heels, YWCA

Press release:

YWCA's 2014 Wheels & Heels event includes something for everyone, from a cool vehicle show and motorcycle ride to a bicycle rally, basket auction, fashion show, food fest and children's games. It's set for 1 to 5 p.m. Saturday, July 26 at Stan's Harley-Davidson, 4425 W. Saile Drive, Batavia.

The party is being thrown to benefit YWCA of Genesee County, specifically to fund new programs for children affected by domestic violence.

As bicycles head out on a 25-mile trek, motorcyclists will go on a 100-mile trip around Genesee County. There will be a few stops and goodies along the way, with the finale at Stan's, where more fun will continue.

The registration fee for the vehicle show, motorcycle and bike rides is $25.

Admission to Wheels & Heels is $5, and that includes entry for a drawing tickets, registration forms or more information, call (585) 343-5808.

Assorted foods will be available for purchase, including lobster rolls, seafood chowder, grilled hotdogs, pulled pork, ice cream treats and popcorn. Spectators may also want to check out the assorted vehicles on display, fashions on a flatbed and live entertainment.

"driVen," a three-piece rock band from Genesee and Orleans counties, features Mike Warren on bass and vocals, Dylan DeSmit on lead guitar and vocals and special guest drummers Alex DeSmit and Dan Ryan. The band has been performing for about a year at various locations in Western New York and bills itself as “not just another cookie-cutter classic rock band.” It features both classic and modern rock. Warren was previously the bass player and vocalist for Savage Cabbage and Dylan DeSmit was the founder of Above the Fog and currently performs with Zero, Delano Steele, The Night is Young and Methanol.

Not to be left out, kids can play in a bounce house and will have the challenge of a scavenger hunt with opportunity to win prizes. Youth and adults will be walking the runway to show off fashions from local merchants.

Announcement of the YW's $10,000 cash raffle will be made at 4:30 p.m., though winners need not be present. Tickets are going fast, at $15 each, $60 for five or $100 for 10. There will also be several items up for bid in a basket auction.

All proceeds will help serve some of the most vulnerable victims of domestic violence: the children, Executive Director Jeanne Walton said.

YWCA staff has developed the You Engaging Success program for victims of issues that come about for children who are being exposed to domestic violence in the home.

"So that they can move forward, away from the cycle of fear and anger," Walton said.

Monday, July 21, 2014 at 4:59 pm

Vandal destroys 'Walkway of Hope' lights outside YWCA

post by Howard B. Owens in batavia, crime, YWCA

The lighted path leading to the door of the YWCA was intended to be a symbol of hope for the victims of domestic violence and a remembrance for a former Batavia woman who died recently.

The lights were installed just a week ago.

This weekend, they were all destroyed.

"I personally think it was a malicious, intentional act," said Jeanne Walton, the YWCA executive director. "I think somebody did it to be mean and nasty and to make a statement."

Ever single Malibu light was broken. None remain usable.

"It was a symbolic remembrance of recent murder victim Nicole Sheehan, who had been killed during a domestic dispute," Walton said. "We put in the Walkway of Hope up in her honor."

If anybody has information that may assist in the criminal investigation, Walton asked that they call Batavia PD at (585) 345-6350.

Wednesday, July 16, 2014 at 2:07 pm

YWCA gets $11,000 HopeLine grant from Verizon Wireless to help domestic violence victims

post by Billie Owens in domestic violence, YWCA

Press release:

YWCA of Genesee County has received a grant for $11,000 thanks to the generosity of the Verizon Wireless HopeLine grant program.

HopeLine's goal is to provide funding for domestic violence organizations as a way to support client services, raise public awareness, train staff or help in other related areas.

YWCA is in the process of developing a transitional program for victims of domestic violence. Its name of "You Engaging Success" means exactly that for victims who want and need to move on from a crisis: success comes through counseling, training and being more secure with social, financial, emotional and physical aspects of life.

"As an organization that strives to empower women, YWCA is the perfect catalyst for change in domestic violence situations. We know that this type of program can offer victims a boost for their self-esteem while providing practical lessons," Executive Director Jeanne Walton said. "We want to offer hope to victims and help them to move on with their lives. You Engaging Success is saying YES to a life free from physical or emotional abuse."

This new program is slated to begin by early 2015. YWCA, a nonprofit agency based in Batavia, has set a goal to raise $100,000 to get it off the ground and flourishing over the next several years. YW's Domestic Violence Crisis & Prevention Services program serves approximately 700 new victims a year. If 10 to 20 people participate in the transitional program each year, that could have a residual effect on hundreds of others who are affected by domestic violence as friends, neighbors, family and coworkers, Walton said.

The new program would not be possible without generous businesses and organizations such as Verizon Wireless, she said.

Domestic violence is, unfortunately, a prevalent issue in our community, said Chris Felix, president of the Verizon Wireless Upstate New York Region.

"It’s organizations like the YWCA that are on the front lines of this issue, working hard every day to make our communities safer," Felix said. "At Verizon Wireless, we’re just fortunate to have some resources available to help organizations like the YWCA do their job. We thank the YWCA for everything they do to support domestic violence survivors in our community."

For more information about YW's programs and services, which also include quality child care and a Summer Adventure Camp for kids, call (585) 343-5808.

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