February 2015
YWCA Mission Talk
Your contributions at work changing lives 
Welcome to the winter 2015 edition of Mission Talk. This e-newsletter will give you an update on the work of YWCA Delaware as together we strive to eliminate racism, empower women and enrich families in  Delaware. Our mission depends on supporters like you and we solicit your feedback and comments. Please consider doing and donating more. Thank you. 

Michelle Basham Announces a Successful 2014



CEO Michelle Basham speaking at a

racial justice event

Greetings YWCA Supporters,  


My first year has been a wonderful experience thanks to those who help us fund excellent programs and give so freely of their time as volunteers. With a successful year behind us, I am looking forward to meeting our goals in 2015. We are adding a Sexual Assault Crisis program now in development.  We are also very excited about  energetic leadership coming from the eight new members on our Board of Directors and we welcome Elena Kupchik as our new CFO.


YWCA Delaware is committed to eliminating racism, empowering women and enriching Delaware families. Witness our mission in action by attending one of our Home Life Management Center Mission Tours, even if you have participated in the past. And, don't forget to bring your friends and co-workers. The schedule of upcoming tours is included in this e-publication.


I am confident that with your continuing support we will make 2015 a year in which we change even more lives.




Wilmington University Awards Scholarship to Cheree
"This scholarship is the climax of my family's journey. It is gift of hope; something I intend to share with all those I have the potential to inspire someday." 



Cheree, Home Life Management Center client and the mother of four daughters, is the 2015 recipient of the Wilmington University four-year scholarship. Applications for this extraordinary opportunity are made available to all clients of YWCA Delaware. 

Starving and Killing in Wilmington

Poverty Perpetuated by Racial Injustice is the Focus of the YWCA Martin Luther King Action Forum

Carla Penny (left) and

Cynthia Primo Martin

attended the Action Forum 

 "Racial injustice plays a strong role in perpetuating poverty and crime in struggling communities.....you want to know why they're killing each other? It's because they're hungry.

I don't know if you've been inside some of the homes I've seen in Wilmington,

but they are starving." 

Dr.Yasser Payne


"There can be no social

or racial justice without economic justice and that was the war Martin Luther King was fighting at the end of his life and that is the war that is still going on now." 

Michelle Greene


On January 19th, Martin Luther King Day, YWCA Delaware held the annual Action Forum at The Episcopal Church of Saints Andrew and Matthew in Wilmington. The event was sponsored by the Quintin E. Primo Fund for Racial Justice and the Trustees of Color, both represented by Cynthia Primo Martin. The focus of the discussion was finding common ground to close the racial divide in our state.


 Panelists included: 

  • Michele Greene, retired attorney, chair of the U.S. Constitution, 4th Amendment Search and Seizure Committee of the Coalition to Dismantle the New Jim Crow
  • George Higgins, acting director, Delaware Coalition Against Gun Violence
  • Dr. Yasser Payne, associate professor of Black American Studies at the University of Delaware
  • Roy Sudler, Jr., member of Delaware State Human Relations commission

Approximately 130 people attended the forum which encouraged representatives of the community, business and government, including political leaders, to have an open and honest dialogue about racial justice issues. Recognizing that our collective well-being and strength rely on finding workable solutions, the panelists emphasized the power of diversity. Underlying all the racial justice challenges, the group agreed, was the need to create opportunity and eliminate poverty through employment.


Davida Baker, chair of the

2014 Celebration Breakfast

Breakfast 2014 

Goals are Exceeded and Generosity from the Heart Changes Lives


Celebration, aided by a little early morning caffeination, describes the atmosphere at the 2014 YWCA Breakfast. Over 200 guests enjoyed a delicious morning meal at the Chase Center at the Riverfront while listening to the stories of how their contributions are truly changing lives.

At this important fundraising event, YWCA Delaware was excited to announce a significant Breakfast Challenge in the amount of $92,500 to motivate contributors. Each stretch dollar donated or pledged in 2014 would be matched with the Challenge amount.

As the result of the challenge match and the generosity of YWCA supporters, the Breakfast fund-raising goals were exceeded and the entire match amount will be made available to YWCA for critical programs and services.

Many thanks to our new and loyal contributors!


In addition to generous individual donors, the YWCA would like to thank the following Breakfast sponsors for their support:



We Shall Overcome


On Thursday, January 8, the night before the movie Selma was set to be released at local Delaware theaters, the YWCA Delaware and other community organizations hosted a private screening at the Penn Cinema Riverfront. The film chronicles the tumultuous three-month period in 1965 when Dr. Martin Luther King led a dangerous campaign to secure equal voting rights in the face of violent opposition. 
The reserved theater was filled to capacity with over 300 people and the Penn Cinema added a screen for an additional 200. After the movie, people remained in their seats for the panel discussion which addressed how we can come together as a community to achieve long-lasting change benefiting us all.
A panel discussion focusing on the message of the film was heard by a capacity audience. 

Investor's Cabinet 

Don't miss the next gathering of the YWCA Delaware's

growing group of energetic fund-raisers. 


The topic will be Women Owned and Operated Businesses:

Driving Gender Equity One Dollar at a Time


Panelists: Linda Farquhar, owner of entreDonovan

                  Caroline M. Chahalis, CFP, and Ginger Ward, of

                  Chahalis Ward Wealth Management Group             

Thursday, June 11

5:30 to 7 p.m.

USB Financial Services

Greenvllle, Delaware


                For more information or to RSVP please contact Joan MIller.


Women and computer
Training opportunities change lives at YWCA Delaware

Training Halts a Downward Spiral
A Story of Achievement for Sonia

Sonia, destitute and homeless in New York City, moved to Delaware to stay with a relative and her three children. Due to continuing conflict, she was forced to move out of this temporary refuge and found security at the YWCA Home Life Management Center.  

HLMC also provided Sonia with a career opportunity. She enrolled in a medical training program, excelled in the course and was offered employment. Now happily living in her own apartment with her family, Sonia continues to use the tools and knowledge she took away from her hard work at YWCA Delaware. She manages her money, saves and is realizing her goals for herself and her children.


2015 Mission Tours

Witness the Power of Changing Lives 

You may have attended a tour of the Home Life Management Center in the past, but come and find out what is happening in this dynamic program in 2015.  


We are excited to announce that in April, our guest host will be First Lady Carla Markell. RSVP today so you won't miss out!


Here is a complete list of our upcoming tours. Remember to bring your friends.  

All tours are on Thursdays and take place a the YWCA

Home Life Management Center, 709 N. Madison in Wilmington. 


February 26, 5:30 to 6:30 p.m.

March 26, 12:00 to 1:00 p.m.

April 23  10:00 to 11:00 a.m.  Hosted by First Lady Carla Markell 

May 28  12:00 to 2:00 p.m.   

June 25, 5:30 to 6:30 p.m.

July 23, 12:00 to 1:00 p.m.

August 27, 5:30 to 6:30 p.m.

September 24, 12:00 p.m. to 2:00 p.m. 


We need to know if you are coming, so please RSVP with the date and names of your guests. We look forward to welcoming you on a Mission Tour soon.



Kemal Erkan and his company United Medical donated a new computer center for HLMC

Success by the Numbers

A Look Back at 2014 at YWCA

Home Life Management Center


167 people were served by our Home Life Management program, representing 54 families with 109 children


15 clients completed the culinary training program; 16 clients completed the custodial training program


Domestic violence interventions:

59 screenings and 67 surveys with over 70 percent of those contacted receiving domestic violence services in person or over-the-phone intervention.