The partnership between the Call to Action Foundation and YWCA Utah has been instrumental in creating transformative experiences and opportunities for domestic violence survivors and their children. In 2021, the Call to Action Foundation approved a contribution of $658,700 over the course of three years to support the child survivors of domestic violence living on our campus. This generous donation addresses the complex needs of the children who live, learn, and play at YWCA Utah and ensures that they are receiving trauma-informed care and socio-emotional and experiential learning opportunities. Children receive ongoing support with their homework and participated in a 15-week reading tutoring session through the Costco Employee Volunteer Reading Program. Our Afterschool program has implemented the Second Step Curriculum to teach children about resolving conflicts, working with others, and forming healthy relationships. Through these and other efforts by our Children’s Services staff, we have seen an increase in emotional maturity among one particular child on campus who has experienced a year of retraumatizing events and, subsequently, has been expressing emotional outbursts. A recent Afterschool field trip to a splash park gave this child a safe space away from campus with friends and trusted adults to be carefree and enjoy themself. A staff member said this child was the happiest she had ever seen them. These socio-emotional learning and afterschool activities have played a vital role in improving the lives of child domestic violence survivors by fostering emotional well-being, resilience, and healthy coping mechanisms, empowering them to overcome trauma and thrive.
Children and parents have also participated in activities that have included family art nights, open gym evenings, monthly reading engagement activities, and themed events—like a Halloween party, Spring Fling festival, 4th of July BBQ, and more—that provide a safe space for them to spend fun, quality time together. Seventy-five people gathered for a July 4th picnic from across both our emergency shelter and transitional housing programs where they ate food and played engaging games together. Residents stayed out talking with their neighbors while children played, long after the event ended and was cleaned up. These activities for families and individuals on campus help establish a community where residents can support and encourage each other. Through this partnership, YWCA Utah has been able to retain high-quality staff members, provide increased educational opportunities, and promote community building, resilience, healing, and personal growth among the children and families who call YWCA Utah home.
YWCA Utah extends our deepest gratitude to the Call to Action Foundation for their continued support and commitment to improving the lives of domestic violence survivors and their children. Your unwavering support for the children and families living on our campus has helped YWCA Utah continue to provide programs and services that help them heal, grow, and build brighter futures. We look forward to further collaboration in our shared mission of empowering survivors, children, and families from our community.