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YWCA launches Warm Beds Initiative

YWCA of Rochester and Monroe County
YWCA of Rochester and Monroe County
YWCA of Rochester and Monroe County

The Gallina Development Corporation, The Rochester Riverside Convention Center, Kodak Tower, and the Rochester Public Library will all glow orange this week.

The Rochester skyline will temporarily take on the signature persimmon color of YWCA of Rochester and Monroe County for its Warm Beds Initiative. The event is held annually to bring awareness to women and children the organization serves.

 President and CEO Myra Henry said having the event during February is intentional.

“We really want to bring attention to and support for those women and children who come into our shelter during the coldest part of the year,” Henry said.

Henry joined the organization in December 2020. She said during her short time being CEO she has seen many women achieve their goals with the help of the housing and supportive services.

 “A young woman who was not from Rochester was on drugs and had been in and out of jail worked closely with our program managers to find value and meaning to her life,” said Henry. “She is one of our major success stories that we share often.”

This year, KeyBank has partnered with the YWCA to raise $50,000 to support the housing and young adult programs that serve 1,000 women and children annually.

Henry said a donation of $50 provides a woman in need with more than just a warm bed for the night.

“Women often come into the shelter with just the things that they have on their back,” said Henry. “We have everything from person hygiene supplies, we have a food pantry that they have access to and every night we also prepare a hot meal.”

More information about gifts in support of the YWCA programs for women and families can be found on their website.

April Franklin is an occasional local host of WXXI's Weekend Edition.