What I Learned During my Summer Supporting Women

This past summer I had the pleasure of working for a non for profit organization called the Women’s Centre of York Region. I spent the summer helping support women in my community and I can easily say that it was a very rewarding summer for me. Women’s Centre of York Region dedicates their time to helping women grow and achieve their goals through various services and programs. During that summer I dedicated my time in aiding the centre in generating funding for these programs and in turn, I realized the importance of supporting the women in my own community. I’d like to share with you some lessons I took away from that summer, and hopefully they will open your eyes as well.

We must take pride in helping each other.

Working for this organization opened my eyes to how important it is for women to stand together and help each other be the best versions of themselves they can be. This centre provides assistance to women dealing with everything from building broken self-esteem, dealing with abusive relationships, one-on-one counselling, and even helping with financial empowerment for little to no charge. With these services, I have seen visible results from women who enter this centre lost in most ways and leave changed and empowered women. The work that this organization does taught me the importance in putting effort towards making women feel like they have a safe space and supportive peers to turn to. Everyone needs a little help sometimes, and it is much easier with a support system.

‘Never judge a book by its cover’

I learned that not all cases are what they seem and to not judge a person by their situation. Sometimes, someone can be in a situation they never wanted to be a part of due to something out of their control. I learned that life can throw you a curve ball at any time, and your whole world could be turned upside down without permission. This is what happens every day to women in your community, and you may not even know it- I know I didn’t.

Pay attention and be mindful of those around you

I learned the importance of paying attention of the people around you in your community. To be mindful that everyone has their own story and they may need your help telling that story. When you look around your community, you never know who needs support that day, and you never know who is going to need just that little bit of extra help: your mother, your sister, your aunt, your daughter or even yourself.

Invest your money in meaningful ways

The importance in putting money into helping those women in your community unfortunately gets overlooked every day. That needs to stop. These women who are actively looking for help to make themselves better in countless ways need more attention. Spending my summer here made me hope that one day organizations like this will get the exposure and support they deserve. The support you give just one woman could give them the courage and opportunity to make a positive change in their lives and therefore have a ripple effect in the community around her. You never know the power one woman can hold, and what supporting her can do for your society.

The moral of the story is that sometimes we all need help and that’s more than okay. No one should feel embarrassed for this because we are all human, we all need support at one time or another. The importance of helping each other, I feel, is enormous, and I believe at times we forget to look out for each other.

This past summer job taught me to open my eyes more to that, to be aware and to be present in my community. You never know who is going to need help, and the smallest act could achieve something huge. Stand together and support one another. I will always grateful for this past summer and to this organization for teaching me these valuable lessons first hand.

If you want to learn more about Women’s Centre of York Region click here.