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"One of the many reasons I support the work of the YWCA"

(L-R) Ellen Dial, incoming YWCA Board Chair, Anne Repass, 2012 YWCA Inspire Luncheon Co-chair and Mary Anne Eng

by Mary Anne Eng, YWCA Board of Directors

Posted on March 12, 2013 at 10:00 AM

Updated Sunday, Nov 3 at 5:05 PM

I used to think this could never happen to me, but now I realize it can happen to anyone.

Over the past couple of years, I’ve witnessedmany friends and family members lose a job and have difficulty finding another one. These are professionals with educations and years of work experience—people who Ithought would have no problem finding meaningful employment. Some of themeven had to walk away from their homes—their biggest investment and source of security.

Then, I think of all the people in our community in this same boat—looking for work, and not all of them with an education or years of work experience. How do they cope? What if they have kids?Thinking as a mother, this thought makes me panic. 

I read a newspaper article not too long ago about Job Employment Banks and there was a picture of a young mother sitting in front of a computer screen filling out job applications while her young child lay asleep on her lap. I wanted to cry as I thought of my own children snug in their beds. 

How do we help someone in this situation?

Each person has their own challenges and needs beyond merely finding a job:everything from the basicsof a roof over head and foodto eat,to transportation, clean clothes, possibly childcare andmedical needs, not to mention access to a computer and a cell phone! How stressful these situations are, I can only guess. 

Some of the friends I mentioned luckily had savings—which they depleted while looking for employment—while others had friends or family members who loaned them moneyor a sofa to surf on for a while.During this tough time, a few of my friendsaccessed employment services and affordable housing resources through the YWCA Seattle | King | Snohomish.

In 2012, the YWCA provided programs and services to nearly 52,000 people throughout King and Snohomish counties. For job-seekers, it helped 6 out of 10 people find work. And, it helped 7 out of 10 people in emergency shelter move to more stable housing.

I see the YWCA as a vital and really strong part of our community—helping those who need a hand-up rather than a hand-out. The annual Inspire Luncheons are an opportunity for active community members like me to show support for the good work of the YWCA. Please join us!

YWCA Eastside Inspire Luncheon
Thursday, March 21| Noon - 1:30 p.m.
Meydenbauer Center in Bellevue
With keynote speaker America Ferrera

To learn more and register, visit

The YWCA Inspire Luncheons are non-ticketed fundraising events. At the event, guests will be asked to make a donation to support YWCA services. Most guests give at the suggested level of $150.

Mary Anne Eng
YWCA Board of Directors
2013 Inspire Luncheons Co-chair