The YMCA and YWCA are not just for swimming lessons anymore. They do some incredibly important work in our communities, and I wonder how many people aren’t even aware of it.
Here’s the mission statement of the YWCA. YWCA New Hampshire’s mission is to eliminate racism and to empower women in order to attain the common vision of peace, justice, freedom and dignity for all people.In support of this mission, YWCA NH provides services to meet critical needs, promote self-sufficiency, reduce violence, eliminate racism and achieve equal opportunities for all people.
We believe that, working together, we can create a community where:* All women and families have a safe and stable place to live
* All adults are economically self-sufficient
* All children and youth develop the skills they need for successful lives
* All people live with dignity – free from violence, racism and discrimination
That’s a tall order, but they’re taking it on.
The Y organization is close to my heart and not just because they taught me to swim when I was eight years old and afraid of the water. This is where women and children can go when they’re being mistreated and don’t have a safety net.
Ever wonder why you don’t hear where all the battered women’s shelters are? It’s because, for safety, their locations must be kept off the grid. So how do those who need them find them? If they’re not referred by an emergency room doctor or concerned professional, they get to the nearest YWCA.
I was luckier than most. I had a loving and protective family who welcomed me and my infant daughter home. I had never seen domestic abuse growing up. I barely had any idea it existed. So when I was young, dumb, and in love, I was unaware of the warning signs. (In hindsight, they were all there.)
You might wonder why on earth I became a romance writer. Well, call me a hopeless romantic, but I ‘just knew’ there was someone out there for me. I had experienced Mr. Wrong, but deep in my heart I still believed there was a Mr. Right. I’m thrilled to say I found him--or more accurately, we found each other.
Perhaps because I experienced the worst, I really appreciate having the best husband on the planet. I call him Mr. Amazing in all my social media posts. All my readers refer to him that way We’ve even received cards addressed to Ashlyn Chase and Mr. Amazing!
So, there it is. I write romance, because despite a rocky start, I believe in love. I’m definitely living my happily ever after. Maybe through my books I can let others know it’s possible.
Profits from our recent Fall in Love with New England Romance Reader/Author Conference are going to the Manchester, NH, YWCA.