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909 fairfield road
gettysburg, pa 17325

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Letter from Deb

geesey_deb2014

The past year was a year of progress for the YWCA Gettysburg & Adams County. We once again expanded our services by adding a circuit room with programs for teens, seniors and those just starting out or re-entering a workout plan; we increased our childcare presence in the community with an after-school program at Franklin Township Elementary School; we added new equipment to the fitness center; and we rehabilitated several areas of our family recreation center with paint, lighting, and a new roof over our gymnasium (just to name a few things). We’re not only adding programs and services; we’re performing upgrades and keeping the facility in better shape than ever. And, we’re doing this with the support of our committed donors, members and volunteers.

In 2014, our board also approved a new strategic plan – a working and measureable plan. Our mission remains intact, “The YWCA Gettysburg & Adams County is dedicated to eliminating racism, empowering women and promoting peace, justice, freedom and dignity for all.” Our local association is constantly evolving to meet the needs of the community, and we are united by our “Living our Mission” statement – we will work to be the center for personal and community growth, a place to learn, to play, and to improve emotional and physical well-being. By connecting cultures, encouraging healthy lifestyles, and empowering all who walk through our doors, we will guide Adams County to positive change.

Our strategic plan serves as a living document to guide us in decision-making, planning and use of resources for the next five years. Each year, we will develop an operating plan, with goals, to help ensure we attain our five-year goals and visions. In our current plan, we have four areas of focus: Diversity, Fiscal Health, Community Engagement and Member Experience.

Regarding diversity, the plan calls for our membership, staff and board to mirror the makeup of the community. We were pleased to see in the initial data acquired that, for the most part, our membership demographics reflect the community makeup and are on track to be a stable representation of the community for the coming years. No major gaps were identified, but opportunity does exist to attract representation from even more demographic segments (race, age and sex) at the YW. This area of focus will constantly be revisited. We pride ourselves in offering opportunities to the community to engage in dialogue, to learn about the differences in each other and to remove barriers. We develop programs to attract and engage all people in participating.

When it comes to Fiscal Health, we feel that the YWCA currently has a strong financial footing but needs to prepare for a sustainable future. Over the past six years, we have seen modest but consistent profit and positive cash flow. We have continually upgraded our equipment and building systems, and we have addressed maintenance issues as they have arisen. In my eyes and simply put, we are in pretty good shape! I would say that all non-profits go through hard times, and the YWCA has certainly had our share, but through strategic steps, tough decisions and strong partnerships, we are now the best we have been. We are in the initial stages of developing a five-year financial plan that will guide our decisions to meet our needs and deliver our services in all of our areas of focus.

In our efforts for Community Engagement, we want to guide Adams County to positive change by reaching out beyond the walls of the YWCA. One key to our success will be working with our current community partners and engaging with others as we look at the demographics and new trends of the area. The other key is to have our YWCA staff live our mission, be the examples, and inspire others to pursue positive change and build healthy lifestyles. To do this, we need to develop a work environment that fosters enthusiasm and top-rate customer service.

And lastly, I want to explain our focus on Member Experience. We want to make every visit to our YWCA a positive experience for all who walk through our doors. We want to build genuine personal relationships with everyone we encounter; every life that is touched by the programs or services of our YWCA. This is a large feat and one that requires all of our staff and board to engage – all 165 of us! We will improve our understanding of what we may be lacking by listening to the collective voices of our members.

 Our journey through this process is not an easy one, but our ultimate goal is absolute progress and our new strategic plan will take us there!