YMCA Opportunity Center supports women through the pandemic

‘Healing lives’ part of mission as facility returns to in person programs

“Assisting women, healing lives” describes the mission of Delran’s nonprofit women’s services center. With the uncertainty of the pandemic in the past year, that mission has continued to be a driving force for the organization. 

Founded in 1981, the YMCA Women’s Opportunity Center is a nonprofit focused on providing women with necessary support services. It does that  through education, job readiness workshops, outreach, referrals and emotional support. Women gain economic, emotional and overall wellness skills that lead to self-sufficiency.

The center also advocates for awareness of women’s rights and issues along those lines.

“Where does a woman go when separation, death, or disability of a spouse disrupts her life? Frequently, she’s been at home for a number of years raising children and may very well find herself without support,” said Donna Lombardo, the center’s program director. “The Women’s Opportunity Center is often a refuge and haven for women who may not be eligible for any other type of services.”

The center promotes its free support of education and career development to help women succeed in the workforce.

When COVID negatively impacted businesses and organizations in 2020, the center still maintained its mission. The need for emotional, financial and physical support increased during the pandemic, so the center stepped up to help women in the community wherever possible.

The  YMCA also held workshops that pertained to educational, career developmental, emotional, physical and financial wellness. In an online format, the organization could still deliver its services and give women the help they needed when they needed it most.

Now that the world is slowly getting back to normal, the YMCA Women’s Opportunity Center will eventually be able to restart in person services. For now, the organization still works online. It holds a “Conscious Communication” online series on Wednesdays starting at 9:30 a.m., to help women build on their speaking and listening skills. 

The center also heavily utilizes social media to share important information, relevant workshops and uplifting messages.

“The women who are in need due to separation, divorce, death or disability of a spouse are given career and personal guidance so they can accomplish their goals of self-sufficiency,” Lombardo explained.

“The WOC empowers women to ‘move on with their lives,’ emotionally, physically and educationally, and the result is a better life for their families.”

For more information about the YMCA Women’s Opportunity Center,  click here.