TOPEKA, Kan. (KSNT) – The Topeka YWCA has been open and serving women for over a century, and in that time their goals have never changed.

The YWCA works to eliminate racism and empower woman in the community through service and advocacy, according to Northeast Kansas YWCA CEO Kathleen Marker. Because of this, they are one of the organizations receiving donations from KSNT’s Weekend of Giving.

“The needs of women in our community have changed over that 132 years, and the over 165 nationally,” Marker said. “It is a big mission eliminating racism and empowering women and we do that through direct service and advocacy work.”

Since the start of coronavirus, the YWCA has been focused on directly helping people with their daily needs through a grant from the Topeka Community Foundation.

“[It has] allowed us to pay for an increase for that food, but also to get food out to the folks we have in hotel rooms right now, to make sure they’re getting nourished as well,” Marker said.

Before the pandemic, they also assisted with transportation. Now, the organization has found a creative way to still provide rides to their clients.

“Prior to the coronavirus, our staff would transport clients to appointments. Maybe it was to a therapy appointment or a doctor’s appointment,” Marker said. “We are no longer doing that to keep our staff safe, and so there’s an added cost of being able to pay for them to have a taxi service.”

Without the Topeka Community Foundation, Marker said their organization could not have provided everything they have so far.

“We were very grateful that community foundation has been able to step in throughout our community and fill in those gaps,” Marker said.

To support local organizations through the Topeka Community Foundation, you can donate to KSNT’s Weekend of Giving. All of the donations will go to organizations helping the community amidst the coronavirus pandemic.