Merriam-Webster defines empowerment as, “the granting of the power, right, or authority to perform various acts or duties.” It’s been part of the YWCA Metropolitan Chicago mission and vision for over 140 years now. We work to empower the women and families of Chicagoland through our programs and services, focusing on the root causes of societal issues.

We all have an opportunity to drive empowerment for others. For the YWCA, we seek gender equality and racial justice. You can create impact in these areas through four channels:

Earn-Invest-Spend-Give Chart

In order to facilitate impact through spending, YWCA Metropolitan Chicago created the YShop three years ago to serve as a platform for consumers to make great purchases with their hard-earned dollars while helping make real positive changes in the world. We call this the “Power of the Purse”. Our team has been honored to work with over 100 local and national businesses that share our belief in harnessing the powerful force of consumerism and using it to empower our communities.

One of those businesses is Equality Vines out of Guerneville, California. They are the “world’s first cause wine portfolio dedicated to equality for all people”. Jim Obergefell, one of the founding team members, was the lead plaintiff in the landmark U.S. Supreme Court case legalizing same-sex marriage. Each wine is designed to bring awareness to a specific cause. In our case, it’s the RESPECT series featuring a Rosé and Old Vine Zinfandel. You don’t have to be a wine drinker to appreciate the work that goes into a partnership like this.

We do our best to introduce you to business owners that have a message that goes much further than a discount or coupon code. A percentage of every sale goes directly to our programs and services. In fact, we have a number of local YShop partners that started out as clients in our Economic Empowerment Institute.

So the next time you’re sitting down to shop online, take a moment to think about the message your sending when you purchase from a particular website. Make sure it’s one that makes you proud to say you support their work.