White woman being carried by a bunch of orange balloons over a three story tan and orange shelter building. The words "Up, Up, & Away" are in the middle of the page. A Letter from our CEO, Miriam Barnett

I became CEO of the YWCA Pierce County in July 2005 and in July 2021, I will be retiring after 16 rewarding and wonderful years.  

In my time at the YWCA, I have met my vision of beautiful spaces for our clients to heal. These spaces-- the shelter ($5 million), the 405 building ($1.2 million) and Home at Last ($23.2 million), all send the visual message that our clients deserve the dignity and respect of safe, beautiful, artistic homes and shelter spaces. But visions are only possible if people support you. Thank you for being part of my vision, both financially and emotionally. I simply could not have done it without you.  

Before I go, I have one more dream to accomplish and so I am launching my retirement campaign: Up, Up and Away!  

My final vision is to have a functioning elevator in our shelter. The building was built in 1917. In 2008, we renovated and transformed what had been apartments into our new domestic violence shelter.  

Because of the dignity the space provides, the shelter was included in an exhibit at the Cooper Hewitt Design Smithsonian in NY City titled, “By the People: Designing a Better America.” Participating in the opening of the exhibit is a memory I will cherish forever.   

We opened the shelter in 2010, and since then, the original elevator decided to give up from so much use. This means the only option for clients and staff has been using five flights of stairs. Imagine a mom finding the energy to climb the stairs to her apartment, with baby, toddler and a young child in tow. Then imagine the mother's joy of pushing a button and safely arriving on her floor with her kids. And we all know how much kids love to push the button! 

We have worked with several consultants and have contracted with a company that will rebuild the system and elevator car for $600,000, bringing it up to code and making it functional and safe. If that sounds like a lot, it is, however, it is also half of what other companies quoted. The best news is four donors have already stepped up, donating a total of $235,000! We only have $365,000 left to raise.  

While donations of any size are appreciated, donors at the following giving levels will be listed outside the elevator on each floor.  
Basement (Ready to Rise):  $250-$999
First floor (Moving Up): $1,000-$1,499 
 Second floor (Finding Freedom):  $1,500-$2,499 
Third floor (Climbing to New Heights): $2,500-$4,999 
Fourth floor (Up, Up and Away):  $5,000 and up  

In addition, the inside of the elevator car will have a plaque listing the largest donor. 

I would be so grateful if you would help make my last vision for the YWCA come true and join me in supporting clients and staff in getting a lift. Your gift will make the lives of our clients so much easier as they access their apartments with ease and comfort.

Gratefully and with a full heart,
Miriam Barnett



When donating online for this campaign, please check the box next to "I want to contribute to Up, up and Away (Shelter elevator campaign)" to ensure your donation goes towards this project.