November 2021

November 2021


In November, we are reminded of the people and blessings that we are grateful for. It’s a time of giving. It’s a time where I am reminded of those that have helped me through some dark times.

Recently, I watched an older movie called Enough on television. The plot was about a woman who tried to escape the abuse she endured from her husband, a man with great influence in their community. She and her young daughter reached out to friends and family members for help, but the abuser’s henchmen threatened them if they were to help her. He alienated her from people. He blocked her use of their financial resources. He threatened her life. Without family, friends, and financial resources, how would a woman, like the one in this movie, escape to keep herself and her child safe?

Other movies like Sleeping with the Enemy and the Netflix series Maid have similar storylines. While I realize these are shows made for entertainment, much of the plot reflects real life experiences. YWCA Northeast Indiana helps people experiencing intimate partner violence in real life. 

As a domestic violence survivor, I know what it is like to wonder if people will believe me if I shared with them what is really going on in my home. I lived with the fear that my former abuser would cause a scene at my employer. Worry and fear can often halt people from getting the help they need. Would my abuser cause trouble for those that may try to help me? Am I doing what is best for my child? Am I even worth a life better than what I have?

I am grateful for the people who were able to help me. I am also grateful for YWCA Northeast Indiana, who provides life-saving services for people experiencing intimate partner violence, as well as those experiencing sexual abuse. YWCA NEIN also provides addiction recovery residential and outpatient services for women and community education about domestic violence, dating violence, and diversity.  Our Dress for Success program provides professional attire for women with low income seeking employment.

We are also grateful for the many leaders we are featuring in this newsletter. Please learn more about Dr. Kim Barnett-Johnson, Rachel Blakeman J.D., and Dawn Clopton. These women are remarkable and worth a moment to get to know them.

Additionally, we give our heat-felt thanks to our Circle Committee, whose efforts helped generate revenue exceeding $145,000, surpassing our $120,000 Circle event goal. These women have given their time, talents, and treasure, and are passionate about our mission.

We have a lot to be grateful for, and we hope that you will reach out to those in your life who have helped you along the way, and remember to give to the nonprofit entities within our community who are doing great work. We hope you include YWCA Northeast Indiana in your giving, but if your heart leads you to other nonprofits, we are thankful for that as well. For community needs to be met, all nonprofits and their supporters are needed.

We are thankful to you, our ongoing supporters. We simply could not do what we do without you!

With gratitude,



Holiday Hugs

Did you know that YWCA staff work hard every year to plan holiday activities for our residential clients? The holidays are a difficult time to live in residential care, especially for children. Throughout the holiday season, we do our best to create meaningful experiences that give clients and their children chances to make positive memories.

About twenty years ago, a volunteer named Holly Amber helped YWCA start an annual holiday party for residents. Every child deserves a gift for the holidays and the opportunity to see Santa! Holiday Hugs was born. Holiday Hugs is an annual holiday party planned by YWCA staff and volunteers. This year, Holiday Hugs will include a nice dinner, motivational speakers, craft time, hot cocoa station, carolers from PFW’s Music Therapy program, and (of course!) a visit from Santa and Mrs. Claus! Every child will receive a gift from Santa and Mrs. Claus and be able to get their picture.

Other activities during the holiday season include cookie decorating, crafts, movie night, Kwanzaa celebration, and more!

Holiday Hugs is made possible each year by generous donors; to support YWCA’s holiday activities, click the “Donate Here” button at the bottom of this email and specify “holidays” in the memo line. Thank you for helping us make meaningful memories during a challenging time!

For more ways you can partner with us for Holiday Hugs, email Hannah Shoue at


25th Annual Circle Steering Committee


Pictured (left to right): Kristina Nussbaum (YWCA Chief Revenue Officer), Barbara Phillips, Kimberly Wagner, Anna Belote (Circle Co-Chair), Dottie Davis (Circle Co-Chair), Karen Richards, Paula Lewis, Lydia M. Runge-Quinn, Danielle Burns, and Marilyn Moran-Townsend

Not pictured: Teresa Schomburg

We give our heat-felt thanks to our Circle Committee, whose efforts helped generate revenue exceeding  $145,000, surpassing our $120,000 goal. These women have given their time, talents, and treasure, and are passionate about our mission.


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!


Rachel Blakeman, J.D., (she/her) is the director of the Purdue University Fort Wayne Community Research Institute (CRI) in the Doermer School of Business. She works with clients to provide impartial, contract-based research and analysis to enable leaders to make informed decisions. A tidbit of advice Rachel shares is to “apply for that job where you don’t meet all the criteria in the job description… Let the employer decide if you can do the job, not you. You’ll be surprised how qualified you really are.” Learn more about Rachel here.


Dawn Clopton (she/her) is Vice President of Community Development at Premier Bank. She is very involved in the community and takes advantage of those opportunities to lead. Dawn empowers other women by using her platform of financial literacy and homebuyer education to help the community realize their potential in achieving the American Dream. “I educate others on how they can become self-sufficient and take the first step in gaining wealth.” she says. Learn more about Dawn 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.




YWCA Northeast Indiana invites you to season your giving with a little extra by making a donation in honor or in memory of someone special. Who in your life empowers you to be your best? Who stands up for what is right? Do you know someone who is a role model for peace and dignity? Pass on their gift to you by giving a gift to YWCA for them!

When you give on by making a donation to YWCA, the person or family you are honoring will receive a special letter of thanks acknowledging that someone gave a gift in their honor. Gift amounts will not be disclosed; we just want to help you celebrate and thank the unsung heroes among us!


Dr. Kim Barnett-Johnson


Featured in this month’s Empowering Leaders Video Series is Dr. Kim Barnett-Johnson, Chancellor of Ivy Tech.


Learn more about Kim here.

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


Brand Awareness Survey


We would love your help gauging awareness of YWCA Northeast Indiana and our services! Please consider taking this short, 3-minute survey!

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.


We have recently updated our Amazon Wish List with current holiday and seasonal needs. Your purchases can be sent directly to our location.

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