Securing Our Future
Four donors have different ways of giving and for different reasons, but they all share a commitment to the WCA mission of providing safety, healing and freedom from domestic violence and sexual assault.
Bill S.: Memorializing a Loved One Today
“Dolly was the most important person in my life until the day she died. I felt like I was living for her, especially her final 13 months spent in hospice care,” Bill S. said.
Dolly was Bill’s beloved wife. In retirement, they enjoyed life—traveling, gardening, visiting with friends, and relaxing on their patio. A framed photograph of this lovely and vibrant woman sits on the mantle in Bill’s apartment. It was taken the year before she fell ill. When Dolly passed away in November 2009, Bill was determined to memorialize her in a way that was linked to causes that mattered to her. Bill made a generous gift to the WCA’s newly formalized endowment fund.
“WCA provides a necessary and vital service to the community. For some reason men like to beat on women. Don’t ask me why. I was brought up to respect women. There are more and more cases of women being beaten, the numbers are increasing. The WCA is going to need additional funding to take care of this growing problem. It is not going to stop,” he said.
Unfortunately Bill is correct. Domestic violence and sexual assault are harsh realities facing individuals in our community every day. Although the number of violent crimes in Idaho went down between 2001 and 2011, a shocking 87 percent of the number of total homicides during that decade were domestic violence-related.
There is much work to do. The WCA continues its community outreach to raise awareness, provide shelter and counseling to women and children, and focus on prevention.
“The WCA is a place to go for sanctuary. It should be on everybody’s list to contribute to if they have any money to help others,” Bill said.
Marjory Sente: Raising Awareness about the Prevalence of Domestic Violence
Susan Elaine Brewbaker Bredeson Newby mysteriously died while horseback riding with her husband in the Boise Foothills on April 4, 2008. That tragedy is what connected her sister, Marjory Sente (center below), to the WCA in 2009.
The autumn after her death Sue’s friends, Leslie Hampe (left) and Teresa Andrew(right), raised money to purchase two trees in her memory – a Horse Chestnut in Municipal Park and a Pin Oak in Ann Morrison Park not far from the fields where Sue played soccer. Some funds remained after the memorial trees were purchased, and Sue’s friends suggested giving them to the WCA.
“I checked out the WCA’s website and was thrilled to see all the services and support it provides for women and children,” Sente said. The donation was made, and conversations around a longer-term relationship began.
Out of those conversations came the WCA SueB Memorial Stroll and SueB Endowment Fund. Occurring during Domestic Violence Awareness Month in October, the SueB Memorial Stroll honors the memory of Susan, raises awareness of domestic violence in our community, and raises funds for the WCA SueB Endowment Fund.
“Almost everyone knows that one in eight women will be diagnosed with breast cancer during their lifetime. Few, however, know that one in four women will be a victim of domestic violence during her life,” she said. “This staggering statistic needs more attention. Domestic violence is pervasive in our society.”
She wishes more people in the community would recognize and support the important work that happens every day at the WCA.
“Don’t wait until your sister, daughter or mother is a victim of domestic abuse or sexual assault,” Sente said. “Step forward now and make an investment in the WCA to ensure it has a sustainable future.”
During her life, Sente has been involved with two organizations dedicated to helping women and children. One is in Pennsylvania and the other is Boise’s WCA. “I salute the staff and volunteers who work daily to make their respective communities a better and safer place to live,” she said.
Barbara Michener: The WCA Book Angel
A Boise resident for close to 37 years, Barbara Michener (center) was first aware of the (Y)WCA when her Boise Junior College classmate rented a room. Years later, Michener came back to the WCA to attend the If These Walls Could Talk tour.
“After completing the tour, I told them to ask me for whatever they needed,” Michener recalled. In the beginning the requests ranged from children’s furniture and a sandbox table and to plants, flowerpots and pajamas for women in the residential units. Providing for a range of needs, Michener’s main focus was on books.
"If I can provide educational books to staff, then they can help many others through that knowledge,” Michener said.
In addition to funding subscriptions to a handful of costly but essential periodicals each year, her monthly shopping list varies based on staff requests. She often buys an extra copy of a book for herself.
“I have always had an interest in sociology and the workings of humanity,” she said. “We have no training for this life. No one tells us what it will be or what we might run into.”
While acknowledging strides that the women’s movement has made, Michener remains astonished at instances that seem to be from the Dark Ages.
“Many times people don’t understand how a woman can stay in a bad relationship and not protect her children. It’s hard to explain being down-trodden, brainwashed or fearful for your life,” Michener said. “That woman needs to be in a safe place, to know that people care about her, to receive counseling and to feel better about herself. That support and those services are available at the WCA."
Michener adds: “Give something even if you don’t have very much. Give a little bit because that will make you a better person. Small amounts add up, plus the more people who give the more people who are aware of the WCA.”
Kaye Knight: A Focus on Children
“My volunteer life has been one of fundraising for many organizations over the years. I guess you could pattern it that way,” explained Kaye Knight.
That’s a modest understatement from a woman who has been making a positive difference in the community in so many ways, including the Boise Philharmonic, the Idaho Ronald McDonald House, the Morrison Center Auxiliary, and the Meridian School District School Volunteer Program, to name a few. Her accolades are many, and include the WCA’s 2011 Joyce Stein Award.
Kaye’s pattern is easy to follow, and often included a steadfast focus on the safety of children. As an Ada County planning and zoning commissioner from 1975 through 1982, she encouraged developers to include sidewalks and curbs as a part of new construction, and to seriously consider the impact of such construction on local schools. Soon after, as President of the Idaho State Medical Society Auxiliary, Kaye successfully lobbied the Idaho Legislature for passage of the first child restraint bill.
When Kaye sees a need, she takes action. A WCA Board Member from 1998 through 2010, she was instrumental in creating Serena’s House, building its garden, and securing funding for a playground there.
“Larry [Kaye’s husband] and I are big supporters of the WCA simply because it isn’t replicated anywhere else in the area. No one deserves to be battered. [The women who come to the WCA] deserve better and certainly so do the little children who are being abused,” Kaye said.
Kaye and Larry know the importance of continuing their annual gift to WCA for current operations, while their endowment gift helps to secure the WCA’s future. One of the first couples to make an endowment fund contribution, they hope their gift sparks others to do the same.
“If the WCA is ever going to have financial stability, we must go the endowment route. Many people can’t give anything right now. But they can make a pledge and consider remembering the WCA in their wills. This would be an enormous boost to the endowment effort,” she said.