Way to Go, Woman Winners: Rebecca Ruth Ward
“I want people to hear that it is our duty to take care of each other. If we are able, we need to make sure our neighbors have food or our children’s friends have school supplies,” says Rebecca Ruth Ward, 31, winner in the Community/Activism category. Nominations were sent in by Today’s Woman readers.
The 2021 Way to Go Woman! honorees prove that they are inspired and inspiring others to make Kentuckiana a better place for all of us.
Making positive community change happen through activism, professionalism, entrepreneurial innovation, or leadership takes heart and hard work, and these women under age 40 have energy, enthusiasm and passion for everything they do.
Rebecca Ruth Ward, 31
Rebecca Ward saw compassionate giving modeled to her by her family members: “I remember my mom pulling over and giving people at the bus stops umbrellas from out of the trunk. My grandmother would make sure kids in the neighborhood had Christmas gifts. My family was how I saw mutual aid being put into work. They fed and took care of people just because,” she says. So it comes as little surprise that she herself would spring into action as families began to be impacted by COVID-19 school interruptions and job losses. The global uprisings against racial injustice also factored in. “I wanted children, specifically children of color in the West End, to know they aren’t forgotten,” she says.
No questions, no pressure
With Clothe The West, I pride myself in giving children new things with no sign up or questions asked. It takes the pressure and anxiety off of the parents not having to “see if they qualify.” I want to serve them with every piece of me for however long I can [since we run solely on community support].
A big wish
[If I could change anything], I would change how people in other communities (big organizations, businesses, etc.) come into our communities without asking what the need is and how or if we want them to help. I would like to have more working street lights, basketball courts, city trash cans, and bus stops with actual benches you can sit on.
I have found that some people don’t understand why people deserve new items and don’t have to take hand-me-downs. I have also found it challenging to gain support because I’m not a big organization. I still need help, but I am doing great work that everyone should support.