July 2022

July 2022

In this month’s edition, we are highlighting Bonnie’s House, our shelter serving individuals and their children who are experiencing domestic violence.

Our shelter is named “Bonnie’s House” after a long-time supporter, Bonnie Hefner (pictured). Bonnie passed away last year; in this newsletter, her granddaughter and Executive Director of the William J. and Bonnie L. Hefner Foundation, Aimee Myers, shares why she and the Foundation choose to support YWCA Northeast Indiana. Learn more about their legacy gift in this month’s Dash of Persimmon below.

We are also excited that Beacon Credit Union has given us an opportunity to receive some funding. But, we will need your help! For the nonprofit receiving the most votes, they will provide some funding and help to raise awareness for our services. Voting doesn’t cost a thing and takes only seconds. At a time when we are seeing a drastic increase in the need for our domestic violence services, we can use the additional funds. So far in 2022, we are seeing a 24% increase in crisis calls, 32% increase in the need for community-based services, and a 20% increase in crisis shelter services. Currently, we have exceeded our capacity in our shelter. Can you help? For more information and to vote, click here.

Please also take a moment to see which of our community leaders we have featured in our empowering women’s campaign and Power of Persimmon. We are grateful to these leaders for their service to our community and for their support of YWCA Northeast Indiana!

We hope you have marked your calendars to attend our 26th annual Circle fundraising event. This event raises crucial dollars for our life-saving domestic violence programming. We are in search of some table captains–read more about it in the Upcoming Events section. Also, we have included some photos from a past Circle event. Do you recognize anyone in the photos?

Please help us celebrate the work anniversary of Marty Kocks-Hamrick, our Dress for Success Coordinator. Marty, along with the rest of our YWCA team, is passionate about our mission and works hard to serve our clients. But we don’t do it alone! It is because of supporters like YOU that we are able to serve our six county community. Thank you for believing in us and supporting our mission!

Bonnie’s House

Founded in 1976, Bonnie’s House (YWCA’s shelter program) is the oldest and largest shelter in Indiana specifically for people experiencing domestic violence. Within our northeast Indiana region, Bonnie’s House is the only shelter that specifically targets services for people experiencing domestic violence. Sixty-six beds are available, and most nights we are at capacity. Clients typically spend 45–60 days in the shelter.

Clients at Bonnie’s House are provided onsite support groups and classes, including financial empowerment, nutrition, computer skills, job skills, and environmental empowerment. Onsite counseling with licensed therapists both in group settings and individual settings is offered. For the children in the shelter, a Child Advocate is onsite to better support their needs. The Child Advocate works with local community resources, including the Foster Grandparents program and tutors from the local public school district to support the enrichment of the children living at Bonnie’s House.

Each resident at Bonnie’s House is also paired with an Advocate, and residents will work with the same Advocate for the entire duration of their connection to YWCA NEIN, a best practice established by national and statewide domestic violence organizations. Advocates walk with their client from crisis to self-sufficiency and assist survivors with accessing supports such as housing, therapy, financial education, protective orders, legal assistance, and more. Our advocacy services streamline the journey out of domestic violence for our clients so that they can be supported and encouraged no matter where they are when they begin receiving services until they are ready to stand on their own.

In this year-long awareness campaign, local men and woman join together in solidarity to tell stories of how they help empower women. Stay up to date with our weekly featured community members here and learn more about YWCA Northeast Indiana here.

Kathy Rogers, Jenee Johnson, Kelly Rentschler, & Jill Kinder

“Be the woman that straightens another woman’s crown.”

“My mother had a beautiful crown and was the most kind-hearted, loving, and unassuming person I’ve known. She quietly helped others and offered love and support without judgment. She was the best and most empowering woman I’ve known in my lifetime. It has been my goal to continue her legacy, and to do my best to be positive, kind, engaging, and a good listener. To let other women know they are not alone no matter what life throws at them, I will be there for them. I have been blessed to be surrounded by the women I work with that share that same passion for caring and empowering women. We are a work family and have supported each other through life’s celebrations, opportunities and challenges. My hope is that other women realize the value of being present, lifting each other up, and straightening others’ crowns when they can’t do it themselves.”
Kathy Rogers (CEO, KB Search Team)

“I began volunteering with the Miss America Organization over fifteen years ago. A lot of people see the national competition on television, but what they do not see are the preliminary competitions. The candidate competes in local, state, and then finally the national competition. There is a lot of growth that takes place between points A and C. I host the Miss Three Rivers Festival Competition in the fall and have the privilege of getting to know the young ladies and their families. I have a chance to engage with these young ladies and to learn about their likes and dislikes. It is an opportunity to find out what it is like to take a walk in their shoes. I have come to learn that the things you may see as your flaws are what makes you unique. There are so many times that we compare ourselves to the next person in line. During my middle school and high school years I was very awkward, tall and heavy set with frizzy hair. I grew up in a single parent home and we made the most of what we had. Now that I look back, I can see where those struggles prompted me to become a more confident person. My friends taught me how to embrace those things, and I will always be grateful for that. Ladies, wear your crowns proudly, and surround yourself with friends that help you to embrace your uniqueness.”
Jenee Johnson (Program Manager, Junior Achievement of Northern Indiana)

“I believe that women should not only have a seat at the table, but have a voice in the room. It is my life’s mission to make every woman feel empowered to have an opinion and the confidence to share it. As the mother of a young daughter, I want to create a world where she doesn’t have to shrink herself to make people comfortable. Strong women paving the way, lifting each other up, and taking up space is the change I wish to be a part of for future women empowerment!”
Kelly Rentschler (Community Affairs Manager, Indiana Michigan Power)

“When I think back to when my career started, I keenly recall the women I wanted to emulate. They carried themselves with confidence, were kind and inclusive to those around them, and weren’t afraid to share their knowledge and opinions. Women beginning their careers need good examples, kind words of both encouragement and verbal accolades for a job well done, and, last but not least, an additional smile in the crowd to cheer them on. So many women were like that for me. I try my best to pay all of that forward.”
Jill Kinder (Business Development, MKS Michael Kinder & Sons, Inc.)

Matthew Purkey and daughter (Micah), John F. Newbauer, Tom Salzer, & Marshall White

“Men of quality support women’s equality.”

“I refuse to accept a world where my daughter only makes a portion of what my sons do for the same work. Even a 1% gap is absolutely unacceptable. We all talk about wanting a better community, a society in which all live up to their individual potential. That is not possible when over half of us are being systematically held back. It is the responsibility of people who look like me to actively dismantle systems that were constructed to the advantage of people who also look like me. We need to first recognize that not all currently have the same opportunity to pursue and achieve desired progress. When I look into my daughter’s eyes for the final time, I want her to know Daddy did all he could, with what he had, when he had it, to ensure the playing field was properly leveled so her abilities, passion, and expertise were leveraged evenly leaving this world better than we received it.”
Matthew Purkey and daughter, Micah (VP, Regional Operations, The Mission Continues)
“For me, working toward the empowerment of women requires getting out of the way of the women who are doing, and have been doing, so much of the work that needs to be done. There’s no such thing, in my mind, as “women’s work” or “men’s work.” It’s humanity’s work. Women and men share responsibility for building the world and the future for our children. It’s obvious to me that for the past several thousand years, men have screwed things up by usurping power and authority from women and viewing them as less than men. It’s time to work together, with mutual respect and true cooperation as equals.”
John F. Newbauer Ed.D., HSPP (Psychologist, Family Counseling Center LLC)

“I’ve never thought about equality, success, or happiness as zero-sum games. Equality for women does not diminish my rights or opportunities, but rather it elevates everyone, and creates an environment of shared respect for an entire community. I expect my daughters to be given the same opportunities that I have had, and I would want that for anyone’s daughter.”
Tom Salzer (President and Founder, Bona Vita Architecture; YWCA Northeast Indiana Board Member)

“The divine design of humanity was done by the hand of our Creator with quality in mind for all human beings. In His infinite consciousness, the Creator never saw men more significant than women nor women greater than men. Both were uniquely molded, shaped, and fashioned to make them significant in essence and existence. The selfishness of man robs him of the joy of relishing in the greatness of all human beings equally and without bias or discrimination. However, celebrating all life should be the goal and purpose of all of us, learning daily to treat each other with love and respect. So, today I honor the life, contributions, and strength of women worldwide.”
Marshall White (Founder/CEO, Performing Arts Foundation, Voices of Youth Unity Choir)

Check out our website to see who else has been featured so far this year!

Dash of Persimmon offers you expert information on a variety of topics every month. We hope you will find this information valuable. May a Dash of Persimmon sweeten your cup!

Aimee Myers

In this Dash of Persimmon Video Series, we are featuring Aimee Myers, Executive Director of The William J. and Bonnie L. Hefner Foundation.
Learn more here.

Thank you to Aimee Myers for being our featured Dash of Persimmon expert!

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!

Chynna Presley

When I think of the term “empowering woman,” I think of a dimmed light inside of a person and a women who sees that light and says to herself, “they don’t even know how bright that light could get.” -Chynna

Learn more from Chynna, which includes a unique science lesson on Newton’s Third Law of Motion here.

Thank you, Chynna Presley, for being this month’s POP star!

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 Staff Anniversaries

What is Persimmon Pride? Persimmon is the orange Pantone color of our YWCA brand. Internally, #PersimmonPride is more than a hashtag or mantra. It is a belief in the impact the YWCA team is having in our community. It’s more than a saying. It is who we are and what we believe in.

“Assisting clients at Dress for Success, a program of the YWCA, is very rewarding and an example of how we as a team provide our clients with the tools that they need to thrive in work and in life.”

-Marty (Dress for Success Coordinator)

The passion from our staff, in addition to the unending support from our community, is what makes our work possible. Thank you to our staff and the northeast Indiana community for your support!

Circle 2022

You won’t want to miss our 26th annual Circle event! This fundraising event raises life-saving dollars for our domestic violence programming. With the drastic increase in our domestic violence services, every dollar is needed. You can help by attending this event. Your ticket price is a donation to our domestic violence programming. Registration will open soon – keep on the lookout for more information!

If you are able to serve in a greater capacity, please sign up to be a table captain. A table captain registers for the event, but also invites 7 of your friends to participate. You can co-captain a table with a friend as well. For more information on how to sign up to be a table captain, click here.

Circle Throwback

Take a trip down memory lane with these pictures from the 2012 Circle of Women event. For the 16th annual luncheon, the theme was “When Sweet 16 Isn’t a Fairytale.” Held on November 29th, 2012 in the Marquis Ballroom at the Marriott, this SOLD OUT event focused on the prevalence of teen and young adult dating violence. There wasn’t a dry eye in the house after hearing from keynote speaker and teen dating violence survivor, Johanna Orozco.

What year/theme has been YOUR favorite? If you’ve never attended one of our annual Circle events, be sure to join us on October 20th for our 26th year!

Thank you to Beacon Credit Union for shining a light in our community!

Project Spotlight – Vote for YWCA Northeast Indiana!

Project Spotlight is Beacon Credit Union’s community support program designed to discover worthwhile projects in each area that Beacon serves. Vote for YWCA Northeast Indiana here to help us win a grant and raise awareness of our services! You may cast one vote per day.

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 the link: ywcanein.org/donate