On Wednesday, I attended the YWCA’s 20th anniversary Snohomish County luncheon, featuring keynote speaker Naomi Tutu. The speech was amazing on many levels, coming from a Tutu, the daugher of South African religious leader Desmond Tutu. As a black woman who grew up under apartheid rule in South Africa, Naomi Tutu spoke passionately about supporting the YWCA’s commitment to empowering women and girls, and to ending racism.
“Part of my passion is to stop women from selling themselves short,” she said.
Another speaker with an important message to share was Edmonds resident Mindy Woods. The YWCA helped Woods and her son after they became homeless several years ago. Woods, who is also active in the Edmonds Neighborhood Action Coalition, now serves as an advocate for affordable housing and homelessness issues. You can see more from the YWCA on Woods’ work at this link.
Earlier this year, Edmonds Police Sgt. Shane Hawley and I were proud to present a check to the YWCA’s Pathways for Women, an outreach program that provides housing and services for domestic violence victims. I donated the money after Hawley won the Ugly Sweater competition between the three police officers who do “Ask the Cop” video shows with me. I asked him to choose where the money should go, and he selected Pathways.
I remember thinking, as we stood there with that check, that it seemed like such a small amount. I also knew that it was all my shoestring budget could afford. Then came this amazing comment on the story that I posted about the donation, written by reader Betty Jimerson:
As Homelessness continues to be a major issue across our cities it always blesses my Soul, when any type of donation is given for the cause, and it does not have to be a Million dollars to be appreciated. It’s just as simple as your time, a Hotdog, a umbrella or even the coat off your back.
I thank you!!
There are many ways to give back to your community. Money is important of course, but it doesn’t have to be a lot to make a difference, especially if each of us gives a little.
In fact, Naomi Tutu said the same thing Wednesday, repeating a favorite quote from her famous father:
Do your little bit of good where you are; it’s those little bits of good put together that overwhelm the world.
Until next time,
Teresa Wippel, publisher