Jun 01, 2018 12:00AM
When Joyce Phillip first became involved with the Young Women Christian Association (YWCA), she had no idea she’d still be volunteering her time and talents over four decades later. Phillip started working with the YWCA in the 1960s and 1970s teaching African American literature. As years passed, Phillip’s busy life caused her to become a bit disconnected with the YWCA. It wasn’t until some 20 years later when she began working in human resources at Anne Arundel Medical Center—a significant partner of the YWCA— that she reconnected.
Phillip, a former nurse and English teacher, feels as though she has watched the YWCA grow, evolve, and expand over the years. The YWCA’s mission of eliminating racism and empowering
women is what inspires Phillip to continue to donate her time and talent.
“Once you’re connected with the YWCA and their mission, you are drawn in,” Phillip says. “It’s a community of caring women, and it’s a wonderful place to be.”
Phillip served as President of the YWCA’s Board of Directors in the early 2000s, and is now a member of the finance committee and co-chair of their Capital Campaign. With Phillip’s help, the Capital Campaign has raised $4.8 million dollars and secured a 7.5-acre campus, which will soon be home to a 10,000 square-foot safe house.
If more people spent time volunteering, the community would be richer in spirit, you give so much, but you also get so much in return.”
The YWCA’s primary focus is to make sure survivors of domestic violence have access to the tools and resources they need to heal. The organization offers programs like career planning and counseling for both women and children.
“Many of these women leave their homes with just the clothes on their back,” Phillip says. “It’s important to bring them to a place that is welcoming and homelike so that they can start the healing process.”
In addition to her work with the YWCA, Phillip helped start the early hospice movement in Annapolis. In the late 1970s, Phillip was part of a group that started the Hospice of Annapolis, which eventually became the Hospice of the Chesapeake. Now, she serves on the board of the Hospice of the Chesapeake.
“Health care is something that is near and dear to my heart,” Phillip says. “Hospice and palliative care is something I truly believe in, so it’s been exciting to be a part of that.”
Phillip feels fortunate to have had the opportunity to meet and work with so many inspiring women through the YWCA. According to YWCA CEO Molly Knipe, Phillip has been a vital part of much of the YWCA’s success.
“One of the most significant gifts of working with the YWCA has been the incredible relationship I have enjoyed with Joyce,” Knipe says. “The organization has experienced incredible expansion and [Phillip’s] engagement allowed the organization to grow in the way that was most needed by the community.”
Phillip says what keeps her going is seeing strong women coming together and working towards a common goal, and the strong friendships she has made through the organization.
“If more people spent time volunteering, the community would be richer in spirit,” Phillip says. “You give so much, but you also get so much in return.”
To learn more about the YWCA of Annapolis and Anne Arundel County visit annapolisywca.org