July 2021

July 2021


We are excited to share some wonderful news with you about the forthcoming name of our new building and domestic violence crisis shelter! The William J. and Bonnie L. Hefner Foundation has generously invested in YWCA Northeast Indiana; in recognition of their ongoing support for our mission, our new building (formerly the Hall’s Guesthouse on Washington Center Road) will be named The Hefner Center. Additionally, our domestic violence crisis shelter will be named Bonnie’s House, after long-time supporter Bonnie Hefner.

“My grandparents’ wish was to always include YWCA Northeast Indiana in their giving, and we couldn’t be more happy to be able to support YWCA in their growth”, said Aimee Myers, Executive Director of the William J. and Bonnie L. Hefner Foundation.

YWCA Northeast Indiana CEO, Paula Hughes-Schuh, offered her appreciation to the Hefner family, “On behalf of the YWCA Northeast Indiana board and staff, we are very appreciative of being bestowed the honor of aligning with this generous family. We could not be more pleased to be able to honor the Hefner family by placing their name on our building and by naming our domestic violence crisis shelter after Bonnie Hefner. We appreciate their ongoing support for our mission and the faith in our future within our community.”


In our Program Spotlight below, we highlight Bonnie’s House. Did you know there has been a 175% increase in intimate partner violence-related fatalities in Indiana between July 1, 2020 through June 30, 2021 compared to this same 12-month time frame from the year before? Read more below about the services YWCA Northeast Indiana provides through our crisis shelter, Bonnie’s House, as we strive to keep our community safe.

Also in this issue, we recognize two remarkable volunteers. Allyson McBride, an IU-Bloomington student who is passionate about our mission, volunteers her time at our front desk. And, Kate Miller, Senior Trust Officer at STAR Financial Bank and Compliance Officer with STAR Wealth Management, serves as our Board chair. Kate’s tireless leadership includes leading a capital giving campaign for the Board, which recently met Kate’s fundraising goal! Our Board members are generous with their time, talents, and treasure, and Kate leads by example. Thank you Allyson and Kate!!

Read below to find out who our POP stars are for this month. Also, learn about the benefit of being a “misfit leader” from our Empowering Leaders video series featured leader, Dr. Kristal Walker, Vice President of Employee Wellbeing at Sweetwater Sound. Take a moment to click on the video to find out how “mental protein has contributed to her success.

If you are chomping at the bit to be a part of our mission at YWCA Northeast Indiana, please know we are actively recruiting Table Captains for our 25th annual Circle event, taking place on October 21st. This event will be nothing like you have seen before! To be a Table Captain, we ask that you register to attend and invite seven of your friends or colleagues. For further information, please contact Hannah Shoue, Development Coordinator, at hshoue@ywcaerew.org. To financially support our mission, please click on the donate button at the bottom of this newsletter.

We are grateful for you! It is because of people like YOU that we are able to serve our community with our life-changing services. YOU are making the difference in our six county northeast Indiana service area. Thank you, dear friends!

Bonnie’s House

Bonnie’s House, YWCA Northeast Indiana’s 66-bed crisis shelter, was founded in 1976 in response to a 1975 study reflecting that domestic violence was a serious health crisis in Indiana. Domestic violence remains a health crisis today, with increased fatalities in Indiana.   During the time period between July 1, 2020 through June 30, 2021, there were 95 intimate partner violence-related fatalities in Indiana, resulting in a 175% increase since last year for this same 12 month time period. The increase is attributed to the ongoing effects of the pandemic and the subsequent economic struggles families are continuing to live through.    YWCA Northeast Indiana provides a comprehensive continuum of care for victims and survivors of domestic violence staying at Bonnie’s House, which includes:

  • Housing coordination to help plan for stable housing and after-shelter life
  • One-on-one case management, referred to as advocacy, which includes safety planning, assistance with navigating the legal system, assistance with protective orders, and connection to community resources
  • Licensed therapists onsite that provide free counseling
  • Comprehensive support for children, including individual and family therapy

For more information on the services we provide in Bonnie’s House, please reach out to Carla Kilgore, Director of Opportunity Services, at ckilgore@ywcaerew.org.


Allyson McBride


Meet Allyson McBride, a front desk volunteer for YWCA Northeast Indiana! Allyson is a senior at IU Bloomington studying English and political science. In her free time, she likes to read fantasy novels.

“I chose to volunteer because YWCA provides valuable support to members of my community. YWCA’s mission aligns with my personal values and the work that I do at IU. It’s hard to think of better goals to work toward than eliminating racism and empowering women.”

Thank you Allyson for all you do to help further our mission!

Kate Miller


Meet Kate Miller, board chair of YWCA Northeast Indiana! Kate currently works for STAR Financial Bank as a Senior Trust Officer and Compliance Officer for STAR Wealth Management.

Kate has been our fearless board leader, taking on this role during a capital campaign for our new building. She led the Board capital campaign for investments, and with the generous support of our board members, she met her goal!! Soon, there will be an intake room named after our generous Board, as they have been a part of the strategy to acquire the building and better position YWCA Northeast Indiana to meet the growing demand for our services.

“I am the youngest of five children, four of which are daughters. Our parents raised us to be strong, confident women, and they instilled in us the importance of giving back to the communities where we work and live. YWCA Northeast Indiana is dedicated to empowering women and eliminating racism, and I have always been inspired by the mission of the organization.”

Thank you Kate for your leadership!


YWCA Northeast Indiana’s Power of Persimmon (POP) initiative honors empowered women who diligently seek to help empower other women through mentorship, networking, and education. Kudos to these remarkable women


Jenna Leffers started with Vera Bradley as a Sales Associate in August 2010 and celebrated her 10 years with the company this past year. She began her career in corporate in the marketing department and then moved to Public Relations in early 2016. “A lesson learned in my career is to stay confident in yourself and your work will show it!” Learn more about Jenna here.


Kimberly Wagner
 serves as Chief of Staff to the Chancellor at Purdue University Fort Wayne. “I am an encourager to my core. I learned several years ago that when I said yes to experiences that would take me out of my comfort zone, they ended up being the greatest and most memorable of my life. And I encourage others to do the same!” Read more about how Kim empowers others here.

Stay tuned to upcoming newsletters to see who will be featured next in Power of Persimmon! Thank you to our media partner, glo magazine.


25th Annual Circle Event


In addition to celebrating our 25th year of Circle, we will also provide a “silver screen” preview of our new home at the event. Why a Mary Poppins theme?!? Please join and you will quickly realize why Mary Poppins is this year’s theme. To not miss an opportunity to register, please connect with our social media



Dr. Kristal Walker


Featured in this month’s Empowering Leaders Video Series is Dr. Kristal Walker, Vice President of Employee Wellbeing at Sweetwater Sound.

Learn more about Kristal here.

Thank you to Dr. Kristal Walker for being our featured empowering leader! We are also thankful for our corporate partner, Fort Wayne Metals, for sponsoring this initiative.


Table Captain for our 25th Annual Circle event

Are you an empowering leader who knows seven people? Then we need you! We are asking for a few devoted community leaders to help bring awareness to YWCA Northeast Indiana and our life-saving domestic violence programs by serving as a Table Captain at our Circle event. Serving as a Table Captain is an easy way to help us out, but don’t let the simplicity devalue the importance of this role! Table Captains are crucial to the success of this event.

So, what does a Table Captain do? Very easy. You register for the event and seek out seven of your friends and colleagues to fill your table. Please do not miss this year’s event — we are planning a celebration of our 25th year of Circle, which includes a sneak preview of our new building! We also have a fun Mary Poppins theme with exciting interactive components. Lunch and parking is provided in the registration fee. Your table guests will not regret attending this event!

Will you be one of our Table Captain champions? Please email Hannah at hshoue@ywcaerew.org if you are interested in serving.

Goldstein Family Scholarship Program


The goal of the Goldstein Family Scholarship Program is to help female survivors of domestic violence improve their self-sufficiency and quality of life by completing higher education. The scholarship fund provides financial support for tuition, books, rent, utilities, and childcare. Learn more here.


If you would like to financially support YWCA Northeast Indiana, you can access our donation page by following this link.