Maria Rench, Executive Director of YWCA Quincy

Today, August 26, is Women’s Equality Day. Women’s Equality Day commemorates the passage of the 19th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, granting the right to vote to women. This day is about uplifting and empowering women and recognizing how far women have progressed from a time when women could not even vote in our country.

The YWCA is the oldest women’s organization in the entire world and has been in Quincy for 117 years. The YWCA’s mission is also to empower women and eliminate racism.

We had the opportunity to talk with YWCA’s Executive Director Maria Rench, who shares the YWCA initiatives and what women’s equality means to the organization.

“The YWCA Quincy empowers women by teaching them the skills they need to be successful in their career goals, as a parent, as a homeowner, and many other ways. Oftentimes they come to us with the myth that they must be dependent upon something else and cannot succeed on their own. We give them encouragement and show them how they can be models to their children and community. Women’s Equality Day is a day that we can celebrate those accomplishments and recognize how far women have come, no matter the obstacles that have stood in their way,” said Rench.

The YWCA’s biggest fundraiser, A Voice for All Women, lip sync competition is tonight at the Oakley-Lindsay Center. Quincy Medical Group’s very own, Dr. Erin Sheffield is a participant in tonight’s competition, and QMG CEO Carol Brockmiller is the 2017 recipient of the YWCA’s Woman of Impact Award. The YWCA works hard to put those words into action and provide a voice for all women.

“We give the most vulnerable a voice in many ways, by accompanying them to a court hearing, by attending an IEP meeting for their child, by assisting them to pursue their education, by showing them how to register to vote! Our Voice for All Women in Sync fundraiser highlights the achievements of women who have done amazing work in our community,” Rench continues. “The proceeds from the event impact our community by allowing a mother of four to move from living in her car into safe, stable housing while getting the medical treatment she so desperately needs. It impacts the community by seeing a woman with a substance abuse issue free of addiction and getting the supports she needs to maintain her sobriety, or by seeing generations of poverty impacted in a way that they are now debt free and a homeowner.”

Members of the community can support the YWCA through monetary donations, donating items, such as baby items and hygiene products, sponsoring an event, and even sharing a social media post. The more people who are aware of our agency, the faster the word can spread about the things we are doing and the impacts the YWCA makes on the lives of individuals and families in the community.

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