Inspiring People for 130 Years 420963640_782462603914856_438212074755001045_n.jpg

130 years ago, Waypoint started as Cedar Rapids’ chapter of the Young Women Christian’s Association (YWCA). In going over our history, it feels like we’ve been on the same journey of inspiring people to move forward in times of change since our inception. That has always been our central purpose, the foundation that has been our true north as we grew to become the Waypoint we are today.

However, no mission reaches a 130-year anniversary without some changes. We are not the YWCA anymore since we disaffiliated to become Waypoint in 2001. Our services have evolved from their beginnings in helping women get their start in the Cedar Rapids community into services helping households experiencing violence, housing instability, homelessness, and loss move forward, as well as providing quality child care in our home community.

We are Waypoint, a temporary resting stop for community members experiencing hardship and change. Our anniversary this year is a powerful testament to the legacy we have built in service to this mission of “inspiring people to move forward.” I’d like to speak to where this legacy is built from.

No matter how we describe our legacy (and please hear me when I say, after 130 years, there are a lot of ways to describe our legacy), it simply comes down to the people who are living out our mission each day. Our staff, including the multiple positions in Housing Services, Advocates in our Domestic Violence and Survivors’ Programs, KidsPoint teachers, administrative teams, and leadership team members, are some of the most powerfully positive people I have met. They have a strength that comes from knowing not just kindness, but kindness in hardship. I hear that so often in the stories of my colleagues that they found their way forward in their own trials, and sincerely want to be a part of inspiring that for others. That alone is not what causes them to stand out as Waypoint staff, though. It is also how they come together to share this strength with those seeking housing, domestic violence, survivors’ program, and child care services.

I also see this strength echoed throughout the greater community because I know the same dedication our staff shares is also in our volunteers, board members, donors, and the many other community partners that have come to make our services possible.

Our legacy of 130 years is from this reverberating tradition of providing hope, of helping people move forward. I am simply honored to have a part to play in this legacy, and look forward to how this legacy shall continue, first into this year, and then into the years to come. Anniversaries serve as a way for us to celebrate that which stands the test of time, that which inspires love and hope in times of hardship, and that which gives peace when those hardships fall away.

We hope our stakeholders will continue in this legacy with us by joining us at our upcoming Celebrate Waypoint! event in March, continuing to volunteer with us in our critical services or child care, donating to our agency, and learning and sharing our impact with the community.

At Waypoint, we empower people and instill ownership in how they can choose to move forward. We have been doing this by both embracing diversity and always having compassion. I am excited to share this hope with our community as we move deeper into this year.

- Words by Jade Riley, Volunteer & Community Engagement Coordinator

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For over 125 years, Waypoint has existed as a vital community resource for individuals in need.

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319.366.7999 -or- 1.833.739.0065

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