By The Pasadena Journal
“Women helping women” sums up the efforts of the girls from YWCA Pasadena’s Girls Empowerment After-School Programs on two consecutive Tuesdays this month.
This army of 15 teen-aged girls busily ﬁlled treat-bags and folded and wrapped blankets for the 100 care packages destined for women who are being treated for cancer. The effort was in service of the Foundation for Living Beauty, an organization that has provided supportive services to women along their cancer journey since 2005.
The Foundation for Living Beauty distributes between 150 – 200 bags each year, free of charge. These Wellness Kits are an important part of Living Beauty’s services for women with cancer. “Chemotherapy can be a very taxing journey, and our Wellness Kits are ﬁlled with wonderful products to help keep women comfortable while receiving treatment,” says Ariana Barnett, Assistant Director at the Foundation for Living Beauty, “We want women to know they are loved and supported as they go through this challenging time.” The kits are made up of donated items from supporters such as organic body butter from ellovi, lip balm from Weleda, a cap to keep their heads warm from Craft’d with Love, a soft ﬂeece blanket made by the Saint Mark’s Episcopal Church Youth Group, CBD products from Budberry, other items like fuzzy socks, ginger candy, a Chemo Companion Guide, a note from a Living Beauty, and the bag itself from The Dollar Fund.
“It was fun,” said Gabriela, a YWCA participant, “I love doing this kind of thing for other people.”
The effort was coordinated by friend of the YWCA Pasadena, Raquel London, a cancer “thriver” and former client of the Foundation. She shared some of her involvement with the Foundation for Living Beauty and what the kits meant to her. Of the girls’ volunteer work Ms. London said, “You touched me right at the center of my heart. [It] makes me so happy you are young leaders that are willing to help others.”
The YWCA’s Girls Empowerment After-School Program is a free multi-disciplinary After-School Program for girls ages 10-14. Registration is open from October-May. Activities include science experiments, robotics, 3D- Printing and Design, painting, drawing, screen-printing, conﬂict resolution, discussion, and volunteer work. You can find more information on the program at the YWCA Pasadena-Foothill Valley’s Website at bit.ly/GEAP2018.
“Our girls not only practice empowering themselves, but also practice empowering others around them,” says Jomie Liu, a Program Coordinator for the Girls Empowerment Programs, “By volunteering and taking the time to create care packages for women ﬁ ghting cancer, the girls are given the opportunity to create positive change in their community and are shown that their actions can make a difference.”
About the YWCA Pasadena-Foothill Valley: The YWCA acts via a wide range of programs that strive towards the elimination of racism and the empowerment of women and girls in Pasadena and throughout the Foothill Valley. Learn more and donate to the programs of the YWCA at www.ywca-pasadena.org. (626) 296-8433. The YWCA is located at 50 N. Hill Avenue, Suite 301, Pasadena, CA 91106.
This article originally appeared in the Pasadena Journal.