Increasing numbers of women and children in Missoula are experiencing or witnessing violence in their homes. Hundreds of individuals and families are also living in inadequate or substandard housing, while some have no homes at all. YWCA Missoula believes that everyone has the right to a life free of violence and that every person is entitled to safe and decent housing. We are determined to create a community where all people, regardless of gender or race, have opportunities for growth, leadership and power.
This year, YWCA Missoula celebrates 100 years responding to the emerging issues facing women in the community. It is through this rich history filled with compassion and dedication to families in Missoula that we are able to continue our mission eliminating racism, empowering women and promoting peace, justice, freedom and dignity for all people in our community.
We are seeking a Store Clerk for our two Secret Seconds thrift stores, which provide 30 percent of our income to help women and children in crisis.
The person in this position assists with all aspects of dealing with merchandise and customers in a thrift store setting, including waiting on customers, receiving donations, sorting and tagging. Outstanding customer service skills, high school diploma and valid Montana driver's license required. Performance of duties reflects the YWCA value that all human beings will be treated with respect and dignity and approached with recognition of their individual importance.
"There may be times when we are powerless to prevent injustice, but there must never be a time when we fail to protest."
- Elie Wiesel
In response to University of Montana President Royce Engstrom's "message to students" in his guest column printed in the Missoulian on Dec. 23, the YWCA would like to send our own message - a message that does not suggest sexual assault is the fault of the victims' overconsumption of alcohol ("If you drink, do so in moderation"); inattention to his or her surroundings ("Maintain control of what you ingest"); or immaturity ("Don't be naïve"). Our message does not ask women and men to limit their behavior because of the existence of rape.
But we do ask students and the Missoula community to help combat sexual violence by avoiding:
• Using language that objectifies or degrades women.
• Blaming the victim ("She asked for it!") or trivializing sexual assault ("Boys will be boys!").
• Objectifying one another's bodies.
• Glamorizing sexual violence.
• Telling sexually explicit jokes at the expense of women.
• Publicly scrutinizing a victim's dress, mental state, motives and history.
YWCA Missoula’s GUTS (Girls Using Their Strengths)! program is looking for smart, strong, committed and compassionate women volunteers for our unique, community-based empowerment program designed by and for young women ages 9 to 18.
Volunteers gain valuable professional experience as action-group facilitators in Missoula’s elementary, middle and high schools. The role of a volunteer is to help girls develop as leaders and create positive changes in their lives, as well as the Missoula community and the environment.
“With peer pressure, bullying and popularity contests, school can be a daunting place for girls,” said Roe Erin, GUTS! program manager. “GUTS! strives to create a fun and safe environment where girls can discover their strengths and gain the tools they need to deal with the issues they face.”
The YWCA will host orientations on Monday, Jan. 23; Thursday, Feb. 2; Tuesday, Feb. 7; and Tuesday, Feb. 14 for volunteers interested in advocating for women and children in crisis. Prospective volunteers need only attend one of the orientations.
After orientation, volunteer advocates must attend a 45-hour training beginning Saturday, Feb. 25 to prepare to take shifts at the shelter, advocate for survivors of violence, and/or answer the 24-hour crisis line. Volunteers join the YWCA’s team of staff advocates in providing crisis intervention and emotional support to women, men and child survivors of domestic and sexual violence.
Due to a winter storm warning and dangerous road conditions, the YWCA office is closed today, Jan. 19, 2012.
Life Skills classes scheduled for tonight have been CANCELED.
Our Brown Bag Lunch Series, Global Social Work - Women's Empowerment in India, has been RESCHEDULED for Friday, Jan. 27, noon to 1 p.m.