Why the YMCA?

You guys really humble me. Through your generosity, we have raised $670 (and counting) for the YMCA. I honestly can’t say I knew what to expect. I knew we would get some donations but never imagined it would grow so well.

So why did I pick the YMCA? There are many worthy charitable organizations out there deserving our help, but my personal experience with the YMCA helped me decide to use our resources to help them. The YMCA is so much more than a fitness center. My association is involved in all kinds of outreach programs to help bring a sense of community to areas that don’t receive the same level of attention. To be honest, we could all be better people by following the YMCA’s core values of Caring, Honesty, Respect and Responsibility.

Disclaimer – I am a full-time YMCA employee (as of about 2 weeks ago). But I haven’t always been an employee. I was a member of my local YMCA for about 8 years, and the facility was essentially a very nice fitness center for me. About a year ago I volunteered to be a part of my Y’s Advisory Council and began to discover all of the really cool stuff going on in the background. Once that seed was planted and watered I decided to go back to work to try to make my small part of the world a better place. Here are some examples of the YMCA’s impact from my area:

  • When our state closed down except for essential businesses, the YMCA offered child-care for essential workers and first responders.  Kids spent structured time learning, playing games, doing physical activities, and enjoying meals provided by the YMCA or the school district in a safe environment. Many people of decent means don’t really consider the impact of closed schools on nutrition for the less fortunate among us. The Y delivered, and donations like ours made that possible.
  • The Y offers financial assistance to low income households to ensure they have the same access to top-notch programs offered by the Y. Those “scholarships” are funded by donations from people just like us! I have personally screened and approved several families in my short time in the job, and every one of those families was grateful and deserving. Your generous donations helped make this happen!
  • Many low-income families in our area were faced with a unique obstacle when schools closed and classes went virtual – no or poor internet access. With the prospect of having some of those children left behind in the learning process through no fault of their own, the Y took the initiative and outfitted several camp busses with WiFi capabilities and then drove those busses into the neighborhoods to give the families the access they needed. The project was called “Y On The Fly”, it was very successful and donations from people like us made it possible.

There are many worthy charitable organizations out there, and there is no obligation to donate to the Y to participate in this rally. I wanted to share why the Y is so important to me and I hope you are somehow inspired by stories like these and find your own way to make a difference. The Y is my choice, and I appreciate the generosity of this group more than I can possibly say.

And next week…one final destination reveal. And it is a good one, trust me 🙂

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