The YWCA of Hawaii Island received a $10,000 grant from the Harry &Jeannette Weinberg Foundation Friends Program, earned by the Rotary Club of Hilo Bay (RCHB) sweat equity. Rotarians worked for four hours on Feb. 22, painting the YWCA’s preschool center in warm vanilla and bright persimmon, the YWCA’s signature color.
The work project was part of the Weinberg Friends requirements for hands-on community service in order to earn the grant for the agency.
“For Hilo Bay Rotarians, the work day is more than community service,” said Cedric Mitsui, president of RCHB. “It affords members a different kind of fellowship and bond.” The YWCA Preschool on Ululani Street in Hilo offers a safe place for youngsters to learn emotionally, intellectually and physically, to prepare for kindergarten. Studies show that preschools with structured programs give children skills for school success.
“Preschool is expensive for many of our island families,” said Kathleen McGilvray, CEO of the YWCA. “We intend to use the Weinberg grant money to help defray the cost for some families who need it, both for tuition assistance and for nutritious snacks. More than 70 percent of the families who use our preschool are at or below the federal poverty level.” The Rotary Club of Hilo Bay, chartered in 1988, averages about 50 members representing business, non-profit agencies and the professions. The group meets weekly on Wednesday mornings for breakfast. For more information, visit hilobayrotary.com
YWCA Hawaii Island is a not-for-profit membership organization whose mission is the elimination of racism and empowerment of women. Established in 1919, the organization offers services and programs which include: a nationally accredited preschool; the only Teen Court for the Big Island; and the only home visitation program to prevent child abuse and neglect for 0-3 year olds in all of East Hawaii. The YWCA Hawaii Island is part of the YWCA USA, the oldest and largest national women’s organization with the mission of empowering women and eliminating racism. Nationally, the YWCA represents 2 million women, girls and their families in the US each year. Globally, the YWCA USA is a member of World YWCA, which has affiliates in over 100 countries that serve 25 million women and girls worldwide.