YWCA Columbus

Hands on Work (choose from opportunities described below.)


The following opportunities are great for kids, teens, adults and families or groups. Volunteers under 13 years old must be supervised by a responsible adult:

  • Donation Materials Organizer: Organize donations into the two donation rooms at the Family Center.
  • Meal Hosting: Provide, prepare, and serve the families while keeping them engaged. If your group would like YWCA staff to prepare the meal, and provide a donation towards the cost of the food, please let us know. 
  • Activities Leader:  Host an activity for families ranging from arts & crafts, to puppet shows, or educational lessons. 
  • Garden/ Landscape Assistant: Perform routine garden and landscape maintenance for “Growing Home Community Garden” which supplements the kitchen with fresh fruits and vegetables. The garden is also used as a teaching tool for the after school programs and adult nutrition. Requested assistance includes: weeding, watering, planting, construction, and plant care.

These opportunities are available for teens or adults:

  • Lunch Server: Help to serve lunch prepared by our kitchen staff. 
  • Babysitter/ Child Engagement: Assist parents by providing child care while they partake in enrichment classes. 

Run a Collection Drive


Host a donation drive for regularly needed items. We are always in need of basic care items such as diapers, wipes, deodorant, and shampoo. Check our wishlist posted on this site or visit our website www.ywcacolumbus.org for our most needed items.

Who can help: Anyone!

Contact YWCA Columbus under the ‘Contact’ tab on the menu to your left to set up volunteer opportunities or service projects!

What is your organization’s mission statement?


The YWCA is dedicated to eliminating racism, empowering women and promoting peace, justice, freedom and dignity for all.

What population do you serve? 


YWCA Columbus provides programming surrounding supportive services and leadership for women at different stages in their life. The Family Center specifically serves families experiencing homelessness.

How many do you serve in a year? 


In 2013, YWCA Family Center served 1,987 families.

What region or area do you provide services in?


The YWCA Columbus provides programming to women in Columbus. And the Family Center provides shelter to families from Franklin County who are experiencing homelessness.

How and when did the organization get started? 
In 1886, something extraordinary began when five women set out to find a home for Columbus’ first YWCA.They found a 12-room house, and offered shelter to 25 young women who had recently moved to Columbus and were looking for a safe place to stay. Over the years, the YWCA continued to grow.  By 1910, we founded the first public childcare program in Franklin County.  In the 1940s and 1950s, we pushed to integrate racially segregated housing at YWCAs across the U.S. In 1988, the Interfaith Hospitality Network (IHN) began as the second housing network in the United States and grew to include more than 120 churches. The system allowed homeless families to sleep on cots at various religious institutions nightly and the next morning, were bused back to a day center (400 W. Broad St.). By the end of the 1990s, YWCA Columbus had assumed 24-hour responsibilities in transporting the families and managing day services. By 2003, the YWCA began planning its new Family Center and successfully completed a $7-million capital campaign to build it. 

How many employees do you have? 


The YWCA Columbus has over 200 staff members. About 90 of them work at the Family Center.

How many volunteers does your organization have? (click the “Service Projects” tab to learn more about volunteer opportunities)


The YWCA has about 5000 volunteers involved each year.

How do your programs or services help the community?


Each of our programs fit with our mission which is to eliminate racism, empower women and promote peace, justice, freedom and dignity for all.

Program Descriptions 


YWCA Family Center: The YWCA Family Center provides emergency shelter and critical services to stabilize homeless families in central Ohio. A national model, more than 64% of our families find housing within 20 days of entering the program.


Women Residency: Since 1886, we have provided affordable housing for women in transition. Today, the historic Griswold Building in downtown Columbus is home to more than 100 low-income women at any given time—many who are beginning their first jobs; recovering from drug-related, alcohol-related, and mental illnesses; or pursuing their education.

Racial Justice: It’s a fact: Racism still exists. And for as long as it exists, we’ll be helping our community understand, challenge, and eliminate it. We foster opportunities to engage in open dialogue about race, racism, and race relations—giving groups and individuals the training and support they need to address these topics in their lives and communities. 


YWCA Kids Place: The YWCA Kids Place offers affordable, dependable, and high-quality childcare during the school year for families in Gahanna, New Albany, and Westerville school districts. We’ve been empowering women and families for more than 20 years.

YWCA’s Wishlist:

For health reasons, ALL items must be new/unopened

Hygiene products

  • Body Wash 
  • Brushes and Combs
  • Deodorant
  • Feminine Hygiene Products (Pads and Tampons) 
  • First Aid Kits/Items 
  • Lip Balm
  • Mouthwash 
  • Q-Tips
  • Shower Caddies 
  • Shower Caps
  • Toothbrushes
  • Toothpaste
  • Travel Soap Holders
  • Razors/Shaving Cream
  • Shampoo/Conditioner
  • Nail Care Products
  • Sun Screen

Infant care items

  • Baby Food
  • Baby Wipes 
  • Pedialyte
  • Baby Lotion 
  • Bottles 
  • Pull-Ups
  • Baby Powder/Oil 
  • Diaper Rash Ointment 
  • Sippy Cups
  • Baby Shampoo/Wash 
  • Diapers (sizes 4, 5, and 6) 
  • Pacifiers

Home furnishings

  • Blankets Towels/Washcloths 
  • Laundry Baskets 
  • Sheet Sets
  • Home Cleaning Supplies 
  • Pillows & Pillowcases


  • Adult Socks (M/F, all sizes) 
  • Children’s Underwear (M/F, all sizes)
  • Adult Underwear (M/F, all sizes) 
  • School Uniforms (M/F, all sizes)
  • Children’s Shoes 
  • Toddler Clothing (M/F, all sizes)
  • Children’s Socks (M/F, all sizes)


  • Bus passes
  • Gas cards
  • Store gift cards (grocery, department) 

Name: Jessica Wichtman-Will

Title: Community Engagement Manager

Organization: YWMA Columbus

Email: jw-will@ywcacolumbus.org

Work: (614) 299-6600

900 Harvey Court
Columbus, OH 43219

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