WE CAN: Empowering Women Across Cape Cod

WeCanlogonew5.1 WE CAN focuses on providing positive change to women from all over the Cape. Through support and unique services, WE CAN is able to bring assistance to women going through challenges in their lives. WE CAN not only helps these women on a personal level, but the support also effects their families and in turn the community itself. By mentoring, educating and supporting women, WE CAN can bring new opportunities and stability to the women within the Cape Cod community.

Together We Can: Cape Cod Broadcasting Media and WE CAN

For over ten years, Cape Cod Broadcasting Media has been a proud sponsor of WE CAN. CCB-Media airs every single PSA about WE CAN programs and workshops, special events and fundraisers. In 2014, CCB Media has spent time with WE CAN Executive Director Andi Genser and others and made a special effort to target WE CAN news to high-volume listening times and appropriate stations. When WE CAN has asked women how they heard about a particular program or workshop, the answer often is the radio.

With arguably the strongest Cape-wide reach and largest audience and the ability to target WE CAN’s messages, CCB-Media is an outstanding resource.

For several years, CCB Media has also been a sponsor of WE CAN’s major fundraiser, “A Day of Words, Wit and Wisdom”. In 2015, CCB Media also sponsored the inaugural Cape Designer ShowHouse to benefit WE CAN. CCB-Media provided very strong on-air promotion, with frequent and well-targeted information about the ShowHouse prior to and during the two weeks when it was open. As a result, many people who did not know WE CAN came to the ShowHouse. Not only did they enjoy a tour of a superbly designed and decorated home, but, equally important, they were introduced to the important work that the organization does.

“Thanks in no small part to CCB-Media, the financial results far exceeded our expectations and we now have significantly broader awareness of WE CAN!”

Mission and history of WE CAN

WE CAN had its beginnings in a Cape Cod Community College program called “Women in Transition”(WIT), which was designed to help women of all ages and demographics improve their lives through education. When the program ended in 2000, several individuals realized the need was still there. They met and formulated what became WE CAN —Women’s Empowerment through Cape Area Networking.

That first year, 2001, WE CAN helped 15 women, providing guidance on options, including how to get back to school, and making connections to volunteers for mentoring and support; helping to complete forms for emergency fuel assistance, financial aid for education, job applications; and offering information and referrals to other organizations on the Cape.

By 2011–WE CAN’s 10th anniversary year–they had served approximately 1200 women with a broad range of programs and services. They had achieved financial stability by then, and had grown beyond what their founders could ever have imagined.

During 2011, “A Day of Words, Wit and Wisdom”– launched in 2004 by a group of volunteers including authors Joan Anderson and Anne LeClaire– sold out to 350 people, tripled sponsorship, and raised more than $55,000 to support programs at WE CAN. (In 2014, the event sold out to 410+ people, requiring us to increase Wychmere Beach Club’s capacity by erecting a tent where 70 people viewed the program via simulcast! Thanks to the generosity of their business sponsors, net proceeds from the event topped $90,000!)

That year, 2011, we also published their first Annual Report and held their first Annual Meeting, which was an opportunity to celebrate the conclusion of our 10th year serving Cape women. The event, which drew more than 250 people, honored several individuals, including WE CAN’s founders and key volunteers, winners of the 10-Word Story contest, and “The Women of WE CAN,” program participants, who briefly told their own stories.

At the beginning of 2013, following a highly successful capital campaign, they moved into a permanent home on Route 28 in Harwich Port with a sign prominently displayed for all to see. This increased visibility and a broadened awareness of the effective work WE CAN does across the Cape community, drove tremendous growth in the number of women they served in a very short period of time. In the first nine months of 2014, they handled over 5200 contacts, and nearly 2000 women participated in their programs or received services.

To keep pace with the growing demand for our programs and services, and to meet the emerging needs of women from all Cape communities, in late 2014 they launched a capital campaign “Keeping Our Commitment”, with the goal of raising $250,000. These funds will be used to help us build collaborative relationships to expand service delivery, expand office space, and completely upgrade our technology.

Over the past 14 years, much has changed at WE CAN: the range of programs and services we provide; the number of women of all ages who turn to them for support; and the breadth of support for WE CAN.

But some things haven’t changed at all: in early 2001, the first WE CAN newsletter said, “WE CAN is dedicated to empowering Cape women through mentoring, information, education, networking and support.” They remain firmly committed to that mission.

How Can You Support WE CAN?

WE CAN could use your support through either volunteer work or through donations. For more information on how to help support WE CAN, please click on the discover more button below.

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