YWCA’s School Days is an annual back-to-school event to support the academic readiness of YWCA homeless and low-income school aged children. Community members make a direct impact on youth and clients through the program by:
Donors purchase backpacks and fill them with school supplies to be distributed to YWCA K-12 students
Volunteers assist in assembling backpacks for client families and preparing them for delivery
Vicki Dorway is the Community Resources Coordinator at YWCA’s Everett Regional Center (ERC). She works to provide resources to YWCA clients in Snohomish County. School Days is one of the programs Vicki oversees to support YWCA kids. Read our chat below about Vicki’s work at ERC and learn how School Days makes a difference in the community.
How long have you been working with YWCA?
Three and a half years.
How did you get started/what inspired you to work with YWCA?
I worked as a Fundraising Campaign Manager with United Way and YWCA was one of my accounts. While working on a campaign, a YWCA community member encouraged me to apply for this position.
What has been the most impactful lesson that you have learned from YWCA?
You can never judge someone by looking at them. There is always a larger story behind someone. This goes for staff and clients. You can’t assume you know where someone has been. It has been eye opening to hear the variety of challenges clients face and I’m impressed by staff who work with clients who have been through so much.
How do you work to support the community at ERC?
By building relationships with agencies, volunteer groups, and donors. We want to share what we do and do what we can to help our clients and work with our partners.
What is School Days?
School Days is a backpack and school supply program for youth enrolled in YWCA programs or living in YWCA housing or shelters.
Why is School Days important?
It helps kids have confidence to start the school year and have what they need so they don’t have to worry about having a notebook, backpack or pencils. They can fit in with their classmates and focus on their school work.
What are some of the biggest challenges with getting school supplies to kids?
We get requests for school supplies from people not involved in YWCA programs and it’s hard to not help them. We work to create a network of resources to refer people who need help.
If someone walked into ERC today and wanted to help, what could they do?
Someone could help with Working Wardrobe. Clothes and donations need to be sorted for clients coming into the Wardrobe. We also collect work-related clothing and accessories donations year-round, so there is always sorting to do.
What is something people should know or may not know about Everett Regional Center?
We are small but mighty. We provide a lot of services and help a lot of people from our little building.
See ywcaworks.org/volunteer to find more ways to support women and families near you.
Kendyl Hardy is the Volunteer Services Coordinator at YWCA Seattle | King | Snohomish. As an avid volunteer herself, Kendyl finds volunteering is a way to grow personally and as a community. Kendyl graduated with a degree in Public Relations with a concentration in nonprofit management. Throughout her college career, she worked to highlight the importance of civic service to sustain society and feature dialogue about issues affecting our communities.
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