How many of us go through old paperwork and documents, begrudgingly discarding them to make way for what will ultimately become more junk to sort through next year? It can be a vicious cycle, but every so often we can uncover meaningful pieces of the past at just the right time. This pure act of kismet was recently experienced by YWCA Executive Director Lori Jones.
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Lori shared that recently while her nephew was moving around some boxes, an old piece of paper fell to the ground. That paper turned out to be a 100-year-old pamphlet from a YWCA campaign raising money to support their mission and programs for women in need. The timing was uncanny, as the YWCA is currently embarking on a new capital campaign to continue to support this same work. The main difference between then and now is just a few zeros. In 1922, the YWCA was seeking $18,000. Today, $1.8 million.
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In a press conference held at the YWCA this afternoon, Lori announced the organization’s “Building Hope, Reclaiming Lives Capital Campaign,” where she hopes to raise the last $1.8 million of an $11 million campaign. This money will allow the organization to make necessary structural repairs and upgrades to the historic building that has housed the YWCA for more than a century. “This is a historic time for the YWCA. Since its original construction, the building has never had upgrades this significant,” said Lori. “We are thrilled to have received substantial historic and new market tax credit allocations, and now we’re relying on the community to help us raise this final $1.8 million”
The bottom of the 1922 pamphlet prompts, “what will be your share?” As the YWCA embarks on this ambitious capital campaign, Lori asks the community this same question. If you want to learn more about supporting the Wheeling YWCA so that their work can continue for another 100 years, you can visit them a ywcawheeling.org/capitalcampaign2023.
• Alex Panas is the Program Manager for Wheeling Heritage, where she works with artists, small business owners, and community stakeholders to provide technical assistance and create meaningful programs that enhance Wheeling. She also serves as the managing editor for Weelunk. Alex lives in St. Clairsville with her husband where they raise four cats and four spunky backyard chickens.