Join us for this FREE ONLINE EVENT!
Gratitude Gathering, December 5, 4:00-5:30 pm pst
Every year we gather in community to express our gratitude to all the individuals and businesses that support our work in affirming the self-worth of all girls as we lead toward a world where all youth are confident, resilient and resourceful.
This year, in light of COVID19, we are holding our Gratitude Gathering online and combining it with our year-end fundraising auction. Our Silent Auction begins at 9:00 am on Tuesday, Dec 1 at 9:00 am and ends during our Live Gratitude Event on Saturday, Dec 5 at 5:30 pm.
Registration is Free: https://www.empowerment4girls.com/events.html
In the midst of all that’s been challenging about 2020, Empowerment 4 Girls was blessed this summer with a large bequest from the estate of Ina Fennell. I did not know Ina, nor did anyone else in our organization. We are deeply moved by this tangible expression of encouragement and appreciation for our mission to affirm the self-worth of all girls.
Ina worked for Olympia Parks and Recreation until retiring due to cancer at the end of 2017. Her battle with cancer ended on April 17, 2018 and it was her wish that her estate be shared among 5 local nonprofits, including Empowerment 4 Girls. This thoughtful estate planning shares Ina’s financial legacy with the organizations in her community whose work she believed in and that she wanted to support, even after she was gone. Our hearts are filled with gratitude for Ina Fennell.
In planning for this gift in her estate, Ina couldn’t have possibly known how important it would be, arriving as it did, in the middle of a pandemic. This gift came at a critical moment for our young organization as we quickly worked to adapt our in-person programming to on-line and socially distant camps, to ensure our girls stay socially supported and connected during this time of physical distancing to reduce community spread of Covid19.
I am 10 months older than Ina. She and I could have been school mates if we’d grown up in the same rural part of America somewhere. We both became legal secretaries after high school, and moved away from our hometowns after graduation to forge our own paths. She and my mom shared a distant and unknown bond as members of the Rainbow Girls. Ina and I grew up in different parts of rural America somewhere and although we didn’t know each other, we could have been friends. Yet, even without knowing each other Ina and I personally touched each other’s lives through this organization. These small connections build on each other and support the positive changes we all want to see in our small, shared world.
It’s September 2020. Pandemic rages across our planet; fires are raging across the American west; earth’s children are yelling, crying, dying for justice and equality; our mother earth is under assault by those who would enrich themselves, ignorant of the cost to people or planet. Antiquated systems of social order are being laid bare for us all to see how badly it all needs repair, so we can get on with the work of attending to those repairs. We ARE rising to this challenge! Humanity is surging and shifting to make way for a more conscious, compassionate world. Ina’s planned gift to Empowerment 4 Girls is a beautiful expression of the shift of trust to womxn and girls to guide the way forward in the face of our history, to a more just, equal and empowered world for everyone.
Ina’s generous spirit and gift of grace will carry Empowerment 4 Girls through these dark times and beyond as we continue our work to help create a world where all youth are confident, resilient and resourceful.
Blessed be and blessed rest, Ina Fennell.
In deep respect and gratitude,
Empowerment 4 Girls
Ina Davidson Fennell
Born in Brooklyn, NewYork 12-12-1961. She was the third child and her parents were much older (Father 54 and Mother 43) when she arrived. Her Father worked for RCA Radio. She lived in Florida, Kansas, and Roy, WA. Graduated from Yelm High School and attended Capitol Business College to become a legal secretary. Soon after graduating she started working as a secretary for the Olympia Parks & Recreation Department. She would always light up the room and the customers loved her. She retired from the Parks Department 12-31-2017 due to cancer. On 4-17-2018 at the age of 57 she passed away of pancreatic cancer.
In high school Ina belonged to the International Order of the Rainbow Girls and was their Worthy Advisor. She has always been an advocate for girls to be independent and respected. She was independent, owned her own home and two other properties. As a young woman she tragically lost her husband in a quad accident (he drowned trying to cross a river) after being married only a short time. Although she moved on to another longterm relationship it eventually ended. She did not have any children of her own, but loved kids. She herself struggled with some of her relationships. She read many books about relationships and sought counseling to help her understand them.
I think she picked Empowerment for Girls because she felt it was important to build strength and self esteem in girls so they are able to recognize and be empowered to make decisions on what a good and bad relationship looks like.
Ina had many friends and acquaintances and loved her many pets she had over the years. She volunteered helping to put on and decorate at many events at her work and for Senior Services which are both in the the Olympia Center building. Her mother had patronized their services before her passing.
Ina registered kids for activities at the Olympia Center and generously willed money to a program that pays for kids who cannot afford to attend the programs.
She was an avid antiquer and loved collecting anything useful, unique, or beautiful to decorate her home. She was a dreamer full of ideas clipped from magazines in her dream book for gardening and remodeling her home to incorporate all her treasures and antiques.
She was generous and thoughtful ... giving cards, small gifts or flowers to her friends as a thank you or just to brighten their day. She was always up for attending gatherings and social events. She was a beautiful person...kind, funny, and serious.
Monday, August 24: Self Awareness Day
Guest Speaker: Emily McMason 1:30-3:15 pm
“Living in a Social Media World” — It can be a great way to connect. It can also disconnect us from what’s important. We’ll talk about some cool research—the bathing suit test and the kitchen table test. We’ll look at some not-so-little laws—how old do you actually have to be to have a Snapchat account? We’ll dive into brain-behavior—what happens inside your head when your device buzzes at you? And talk about how to decide what to share on social media and with whom.
Tuesday August 25: Self Expression Day
Guest Teacher Andrea Mikita 10:45-11:45 am
Andrea is a Blue Belt Nia and Moving to Heal instructor. Nia is a holistic movement blend of dance arts, healing arts and martial arts. Connect body, mind and emotions through a journey of self-discovery, awareness and connection with the JOY of movement.
Guest Speaker: Marie Poland 1:30-3:15 pm
Heartfire Astro Renaissance: We will utilize Astrology to take a closer look at who we are. Each of us was born with specific characteristics, including the various ways we think, feel, act and who and what we are most drawn to. We will look at the location of the planets at our birth to support a greater acceptance for ourselves and our path.
Wednesday, August 26, Self Responsibility Day
Guest Teacher: Annette McQueen 10:45-11:45 am
Our world is becoming more and more complex with more and more people experiencing anxiety, stress, and apathy. Our youth have unprecedented challenges. This YOGA class will offer some movement, breathwork, and meditation to strengthen our bodies, reset our nervous system, and calm our minds. We will learn some techniques which will empower us to take responsibility for our own wellbeing and perhaps the ability to extend some guidance to others.
Guest Speaker: Jennifer Johnson 1:30-3:15 pm
Learn how to use your knowledge to clean, sanitize and make your house smell good, safely! We’ll learn how to read labels on common household products to be responsible shoppers. Learn to use, store and dispose of household products responsibly to create a healthier home. We’ll play bingo to learn about safer products and make a green cleaner to take home.
Thursday, August 27: Self Love Day
Guest Teacher: Kelli Mae Willis 10:45-11:45 am
Know thyself. Yoga is a powerful tool to awaken your inner knowing. We will use yoga, mindfulness, and reflection to deepen an inner calm, grow our self awareness, and explore the most true part of who we are. We’ll learn about neuroplasticity and how the mind prefers to hang on to the negative, and practice ways to tip the scales back toward balance.
Guest Speaker: Jennifer Dawn 1:30-3:15 pm
During our time together, we will deepen our dive into the notion and practices of Self-Love. Each of the girls will have an opportunity to write a letter to either an empowered aspect of themselves or to an aspect that was particularly challenged at some point in their life. We will write to ourselves from the wisdom, grace and insight that we really wished we had received in those moments. The girls will also have a chance to create some Post It Love Notes of kindness, encouragement and compassion to themselves and to those they hold dear to be distributed as touch stones of Love shared inward and out.
Friday, August 28: Self Empowerment Day
Guest Speaker: Sarah Meyer 1:30-3:15 pm
Building our own personal resilience is something that takes practice and attention. We never know what life is going to throw our way, so it's important for kids and adults to have a resilience practice. Much like taking a vitamin daily to make sure we have the nutrients we need, a resilience practice is very similar. In this "I Am" workshop we will explore different tools for building resilience through games, group discussions, and quiet reflection.
E4G Needs Your Help!
I’ve been honored to support Empowerment4Girls for the past year and a half. As outgoing Secretary and Board member, I’d like to take this opportunity to ask for your support.
This program and its operations are run by Kristen Rubis and Jeannine Anderson, two empowered women who are two of the founders. They are also fiercely dedicated to E4G’s continued success. And we all need it to succeed.
I’ve volunteered at some of the Empowerment Camps and love seeing the positive effects they have on the girls. From the start, Kristen sets the stage to make the environment safe and welcoming, and the girls love and trust her. It’s inspiring and encouraging to see how the girls respond, interact and ask questions about what is being presented to them.
The setting also encourages them to share their own stories and express themselves authentically. There are guest speakers who bring a variety of topics that loop back to the main area of focus: self-empowerment. There are giggles, laughs and the occasional snort as they move through yoga poses that transforms into calmness when Kristen guides them back to centering themselves and being in the moment. It’s something special to witness and be part of.
Conscious Minds, Conscious Bodies™ is the newest offering. Kristen and fellow Curriculum Committee members have spent many hours developing the curriculum, which deals with a serious and much-needed conversation with girls about their bodies. Specifically, this camp provides education about body awareness, giving participants the tools to become empowered with knowledge about their bodies, sexuality, boundaries, gender identity and much more. This powerful camp needs the chance to make a difference for our girls in the years to come.
E4G has come up against the same challenges that many organizations and small businesses have in the face of COVID-19. Funds are running low and there are salaries to be paid. While donations usually go toward supporting the programs, education and other camp-related expenses rather than administrative costs, I’d like to offer this up for consideration: Our two staff members who run the programs, pursue fundraising opportunities, keep the books, and ensure all the paperwork and accounting are handled properly are what keep the organization afloat.
They also often work far more hours than their salaries support, and every effort is being made to rectify that. In the meantime – and especially now – donations to help keep the E4G staff financially afloat will result in being able to continue to keep the E4G programs alive and well.
Please consider making a donation to support core operating costs in support of our staff members so they in turn can continue to support Empowerment 4 Girls.
Thank you in advance for your contribution.
Past Secretary and Board Member
Happy Summer Blessings to you and your family. I hope that you are feeling safe and supported where ever you may be in this beautiful world. I wish to also acknowledge any hardship that you may be experiencing during this challenging and transformational time.
As we move through a growing collective examination of the systemic injustices against Black people in our society it is gut-wrenchingly clear; we have SO much work to do in ourselves, our families, our communities and the greater world. May we learn together, as a community and as a nation, how to use our personal power to respond to and support the forces of transformative change working to bring about an inclusive, anti-racist, culturally responsive, human-centered society that treats everyone with equity, respect and compassion.
Until we see an end to the race-based disparities that exist in our society, pushing people of color to the margins of our economy, educational systems, healthcare systems, justice systems and environmental security, we will affirm BLACKLIVESMATTER. We encourage you to educate, nurture and empower yourself to be an ally and an advocate for those who suffer an antiquated system that seeks to place the value of one human higher than that of another.
We have started to read, watch, listen and learn more as an organization. We understand this will be a lifetime process. Please reach out to us with your own #BLM resources and we can add it to this ongoing list. Thank You.
Thank you in advance for your continued support during these challenging and unknown times.
In Love, Gratitude & Service,
Founder & Program Director
EXPLORE AND READ:
BLACKLIVESMATTER - Healing in Action Toolkit
YWCA of Olympia - Racial Justice
Ava Duvernay - Award winning filmmaker
Rachel Ricketts - Thought leader and outspoken champion for Black and Indigenous Womxn.
A Kids Book About Racism - by Jelani Memory
Hop Hopkins - Director of Strategic Parnterships Sierra Club
A collection of TED Talks on the topic of race
Dr. Robin DiAngelo discusses "white fragility"
13th - a Netflix original film by Ava DuVernay
Empowerment 4 Girls Zoom Sessions provide an opportunity for our girls to stay socially and emotionally connected during these challenging times of physical distancing. Yoga, art, talking circles and other aspects of our day-camps are included, along with at-home activities that will be directed by Kristen and other Guest Speakers. We understand that families may need financial support during this time. Thanks to generous donors, we have ample partial or full scholarships available.
90 Minute Yoga Sessions:
Wednesday 11:00 am - 12:30 pm
Cost: $25 each or $95 for four sessions
These sessions include: Introductions, talking circle, breath work, meditation, yoga class or yoga game, sound healing and a closing circle.
2-Hour Empowerment Sessions:
Fridays 12:00-2:00 pm
Cost: $50 each ~ discounts for 2 or more
These thematic sessions include: Introductions, talking circle, yoga/meditation/breath work, art/lecture, dance and closing circle. We'll take a few minutes for feedback and end the session with our Girl Power Rocks cheer!
April 17 - Self Expression
April 24- Self Responsibility
May 1 - Self Care
May 8 Self Love
May 15 Self Image
May 22 Self Accountability
May 29 Self Expression
Dine-Out 4 Girls! Enjoy find food, great company and support life-changing camp experiences for girls ages 9 to 16. Mercato Ristorante is donating 20% of their proceeds on Sunday, March 8, 11 am to 9 pm to Empowerment 4 Girls on International Women’s Day! So while you’re enjoying your meal, you can also enjoy the fact that you are helping empower girls, their families and our community. Bring a friend and see you there!
111 Market St NE, Olympia, WA 98501
Body Awareness for Empowered Choices for Girls 9-16 years.
Conscious Minds Conscious Bodies™ Day Camp
Saturday, February 29 ~ 9:30 am - 4:00 pm
Is your child starting to go through puberty or beginning to ask a lot of questions about their body? This One-Day Conscious Minds Conscious Bodies™ Camp will support their process by offering accurate information to navigate the changes along their path during this time. We like to encourage this to be an empowering time in their life by providing space for them to be just as they are.
During this one day camp, folx will learn about anatomy/physiology, changes that bodies go through during puberty, the menstruation cycle, a variety of menstrual products for most comfort, proper terminology about all bodies and an opportunity to learn more about their changing bodies in a safe and accepting environment.
Camp Includes: art, yoga, meditation, breathing exercises, body awareness techniques, self care tools, sound healing, dance, health lectures, talking circles, Q & A, organic snacks/lunch, cultivating community & lots of fun.
Camp Participants will also leave with new friendships, anatomy packet, handouts, organic period care products from Seventh Generation and an original CMCB™ Zine full of local and global resources!
The Historical Coach House
211 21st St SW
Olympia, WA 98501
Our incredible board member and my co-facilitator Michele Drake did an amazing job educating about the menstrual cycle in our Conscious Minds – Conscious Bodies™ one-day camp on Feb 29. The girls enjoyed learning the details of our cycles as well as making a collage of their inner female anatomy. It is such a joy and honor to hold space for these girls to learn about their changing bodies in a safe, nurturing and empowering environment. We are changing the world one girl at a time! Our week long CMCB™ Camp is July 20-24 and our fall CMCB™ One-Day Camp is October 24, 2020.
"I loved making new friends in camp!" ~KP Age 13
"I loved learning new things." ~ES Age 11
"I liked feeling comfortable when talking about puberty. It's a weird time and I felt good about being in this camp." ~ND Age 10
"I loved coming back, thanks! ~BP Age 12
Morning artwork, icebreakers, meditation, breath work and yoga was awesome in our first Empowerment 4 Girls Day Camp in Montesano! After our delicious organic lunch we had our afternoon Guest Speaker.
Thanks to Environmental Educator and President of our Empowerment 4 Girls Board, Jennifer Johnson, for supporting our Self Care Day. Her presentation:
“‘Get Out of My Hair! Toxins in Personal Care’– Learn how to read labels and choose personal care products that keep you looking and smelling good while also protecting our water! We will make an all-natural lip balm to take home and share resources to make buying decisions easier.”
The girls loves learning about more natural body products such as Alaffia, as well as, how to read labels and where chemicals are often hidden like in the word “fragrance”.
They also loved making their very own peppermint lip balm and getting great resources such as the “Pocket Guide to Safer Personal Care Products”!
Testimonials from Montesano Camp:
"It's almost the best thing ever!" VM Age 13
"I honestly loved the experience here, thanks!" ED Age 11
"The whole day was fun, but the end was best with dancing!" PW Age 10
"I'm so glad I got to attend this camp. I love life even more now." DS Age 12
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