YWCA works every day to eliminate racism and empower women. Through advocacy and local programming, we create real change for women, families and communities.

The history of the YWCA is the history of progress in America. Established in 1858 as a voice for women's issues, we opened the first employment bureau for women several years later. That was only the beginning of more than 150 years of active advocacy and programming for women's rights and civil rights. We continue to evolve to meet today's challenges in eliminating racism and empowering women. We've shifted to a bottoms-up, grassroots structure. We've launched a revitalized brand that reaffirms the mission of working aggressively for women and people of color. And we're engaging women 18- to 34-years old to carry on the YWCA mission for years to come.

The YWCA advocacy issues reflect our mission and the values of our organization. We promote solutions to improve the lives of women, girls and people of color across the country.

From lobbying for pay equity and hate crimes legislation to the increased funding for Head Start and the Violence Against Women Act, the YWCA advocates on Capitol Hill while employees and volunteers empower women and girls in our communities.

Improving the health and safety of women and girls of color. Annually, over 900,000 women and families participate in YWCA health and safety programs and services, such as aquatics and fitness programs, health resources and referrals, and domestic violence and sexual assault services. YWCA seeks to improve the lives of women and girls by providing high-quality health and wellness programs that are too-often not available to disadvantaged and marginalized communities of color. Annually, YWCA provides more than 400,000 women, girls, and their families with programs and services designed to address health inequities. Nationally, YWCA continues to advocate for increased access to healthcare and supports public policies such as Affordable Care Act expansion that would greatly benefit the women, girls, and families we serve every day.
Increasing the equal protections and equal opportunities of people of color. Annually, more than 160,000 individuals participate in YWCA racial justice programs and services that increase awareness, build coalitions, and transform local and national inequities in areas such as employment, housing, and voting. YWCA's approach to racial justice goes beyond changing hearts and minds. We strive to transform communities, systems, and public policy. Most recently, we have been focused on addressing racial profiling and police violence as they impact women and girls of color. Past issue priorities have included hate crimes, immigration reform, voting rights, and fair housing. In addition to our direct services and programs related to racial justice, YWCA USA also sponsors the annual Stand Against Racism campaign. Stand Against Racism, builds community among those who work for racial justice, raises awareness about racism, and encourages community members to take action for change.
Each year, 76 percent of women and children served by YWCAs have incomes below the federal poverty level or less, the equivalent of about $23,850 a year for a family of four. We work to address the unique needs of those living in poverty and strive for outcomes that increase emotional and economic self-sufficiency. We provide more than 122,000 women with economic empowerment programs annually, and more than 2,200 military veterans and their families with housing, health care, career education, and counseling. YWCA also has an ongoing commitment - truly, a mandate of our mission - to provide leadership development opportunities to women and girls.

You can make your online donation as a one-time gift, a pledge with convenient monthly payments, or a gift in honor of or in memory of someone special.

Help us to support more than 2.2 million women and families each year by donating your car.


If you have questions about any of our giving programs, please contact: YWCA USA Development Department (202) 467-0801


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