1. Home
  2. >
  3. Newsletter



New Logo – New Ads!
You may have noticed something different about this issue of our newsletter!
Founded in 1905, the YWCA is KW’s oldest and largest women- and children-serving organization, providing homelessness and housing programs, youth development programs, youth recreation, early learning and childcare, programs for Newcomer children, summer camp, and coming soon, employment programs! But it happens every day. Callers ask about membership rates for our nonexistent gym. Job-seekers call us by the wrong name in their cover letters. Media gives credit to the wrong organization for our good work. Even funders depositing payments into the wrong organization’s bank account.
Earlier this year we took to the streets and asked 100 KW residents what they knew about the YWCA, and this is what they answered: “Is that the women’s YMCA?” “Fitness?” “I feel it’s the YMCA, but for women.” “Gym facilities.” “Is it like the YMCA?” “Swimming, track, weights.” And, “I’m thinking it’s a derivative of the YMCA.” Eighty percent said they’d heard of the YWCA, but 95 percent described the programs of the YMCA.
The YWCA and the YMCA are separate and distinct organizations, and have always been so, since our two organizations were founded a few years apart (and we were first) more than 100 years ago. But the similarities in our names – in the way they look in print and the way they sound when spoken – have led to a century of confusion, and we’ve decided that it’s time for some clarity. It’s time for a change.
So we’re doing what a number of other YWCAs in Canada have already done. We’re changing our name to YW. And we reached out to our community to help us to choose a fresh new logo that reflects the unique organization we are.
Close to 250 people responded to our logo survey and voted on eight logo options. Thirty six percent chose the same logo as their favorite. Fifty nine percent chose it among their top three. And that’s a pretty convincing win! We revealed our new logo at a launch party on October 16th and we gave our guests a sneak preview of our exciting new advertising campaign. Stay tuned for more about that!

YW People

It was a bitter sweet day last month when we gathered to say goodbye to retiring Early Childhood Educator, Maria Borquez, and listened to her farewell words.  

"Thank you everyone for coming today and thank you Ana for putting this reunion together. I truly can't believe I am leaving my career at the YW. I have loved my job very much and working with kids is something that comes naturally to me and has always been part of my life. It was a hard decision to make, a bitter sweet one, coming to work every day to be with "my kids , my fan club" and co-workers all this time.

It has been a fantastic ride since I first started my career in Canada in 1989. I still can't believe it's been 27 years. Where did the time go?  I am so lucky to be taking with me such wonderful memories. I hope you all know how important your roles are in forming positive experiences for the kids. They are wonderful, they love you unconditionally.  Cherish the memories, make new ones , laugh a lots and enjoy every day, because there is always a tomorrow.”  



When You Have No Place to Call Home!
Each year, some 3,500 people stay in one of the Region of Waterloo’s homeless shelters. On any given night, 350 are without a bed to call their own. The YW offers a range of homelessness and housing services to our most vulnerable neighbours. Our emergency shelter is a 60-bed shelter for women and families who are experiencing homelessness. Last year, we provided basic necessities, crisis support, housing help, advocacy, information, and referral to longer-term community supports and services to 397 adults and 150 children.
To see where and how this all happens, please join us for a quick video tour.



Project Shift!
According to a 2015 needs assessment conducted by YWCA Canada, “Cyber violence against young women narrows their horizons; it forces them out of spaces where they don't feel safe or welcome. It is a violation of their human rights. Cyber violence negatively impacts their sense of safety, limiting their access to economic opportunities or their contribution to online social discourse”.
The YW is proud to have been a partner in the recently completed Project Shift: Creating a Safer Digital World for Young Women. Project Shift was a national multi-year project led by YWCA Canada and funded by Status of Women Canada, that developed and implemented strategies and tools to prevent and eliminate cyber violence against young women and girls.

Two such tools are the online Rights Guide for Girls, Young Women and Gender Nonconforming Youth


and Project Shift: A Guide for Trusted Adults


 If you are a young woman, or if you care for one, we hope you’ll find these resources useful!
October 16th to 22nd is the Week Without Violence!
Each year during the third week of October, YWs in over 90 countries around the world mark the Week Without Violence, promoting diverse approaches to creating a violence-free world.  This year’s theme for Week Without Violence is “Be Kind/Prenez Soin”.  Tag us and tell us how you’re spreading kindness in K-W and we’ll share! 


 YW Upcoming Events
Everybody, every day - say it's #NOTokay!
Violence against women is everywhere. We live in a culture that teaches girls how not to get raped, instead of teaching boys not to rape. That’s not okay. Belittling, sexualizing and attacking girls and women online, on TV, or anywhere else is not okay. Blaming the victim is not okay. Accepting violence as a natural part of society is not okay. From Monday November 27th through Wednesday December 6th, we’ll stand with YWCAs across Canada and use our social media to say Everybody, every day – say it’s #NOTokay! We hope you’ll join us.

Fourth Annual Hockey Helps the Homeless K-W Tournament!
Friday October 27th will see us at RIM Park, for the fourth annual Hockey Helps the Homeless K-W  tournament. Last year, this wonderful event brought in $165,000, which was split between five local charities working to end homelessness, and we’re hoping to break that record this year! Come out from 8:00AM to 5:00PM to cheer on the men and women who’ve raised funds to play with the pros, including Gilbert Dionne, Shayne Corson, Wayne Primeau, Rick Vaive, Todd Warriner, Ric Jackman, Georges Laraque, Raffi Torres, Todd Bertuzzi, Laurie Boschman, Nik Antropov, Gary Leeman, Mark Bell, Brad May, Jason Woolley, Geraldine Heaney, Cherie Piper and Angela James! There are still a few male 19+ player spots available to play in our tournament. Please contact Scott Page at
scott@hhth.com to register.
For more details on the tournament itself, check out their website at

YW September 2017 Newsletter (click here)

YW August 2017 Newsletter (click here)