- Swim team is lifelong, family affair
- Venturing out of the comfort zone for a good cause
- Creating a tradition of giving
- Information overload
- More than a class, Stacie's Otters is a life lesson
- Learning the Ropes and other hints at the Y
- What gets your moving?
- Learning a life skill
- Fitting it all in during the holidays
- Trying to get it all done
Creating a tradition of giving
- Ronda Graff
Now in its 30th year, a tradition has formed at the YMCA which has an impact on swimming, on basketball, on yoga to name just a few areas of influence.
Yet, it doesn’t involve the basketball courts, nor the exercise equipment, not even water...unless you count the beverages consumed between phone calls trying to soothe vocal cords.
Next Wednesday, Feb. 20, the tradition of making phone calls for the YMCA’s Partners with Youth program will take place. On one evening, several dozen volunteers will make hundreds of phone calls around the community, asking for donations or pledges for Partners with Youth.
At the YMCA, no one is turned away because of an inability to pay. That is made possible in part because of the Partners with Youth program, which provides financial assistance for youth sports, for family and individual memberships, for the after-school program.
With partial payment from the beneficiary, the Partners with Youth program provides part of the fees for a child to play soccer, for a family to have a membership so they can attend recreational swimming together, for a senior citizen to stop by the YMCA every morning at 8 a.m. because that is their routine.
And Partners with Youth is made possible because of the generosity of our community. Year after year, local businesses and individuals step up with donations to make the program possible. They step up because they know this program is important for those families who simply could not afford these programs without assistance.
There is also the added benefit of knowing that every single dollar donated or pledged to Partners with Youth stays local, benefitting local families, local kids, local adults.
Over the 30 years since Partners with Youth’s inception, there really haven’t been that many changes. There are generous donors and there are families in need.
The biggest change isn’t visible to the public, but rather to the volunteers. Fourteen years ago, all the volunteers began gathering together in one location on one evening to blanket the community with phone calls.
For the volunteers, this has actually turned into a fun, annual ritual. While it isn’t easy to ask for money, the volunteers realize this program is vital to many families in our community. There are many children who simply wouldn’t be able to participate in youth sports without the financial assistance. There are adults who wouldn’t have that daily socialization during their walk on the track without their membership.
So if your phone rings next Wednesday, please don’t ignore it. Let the volunteer explain the program and explain its’ purpose. The needs in our community are not going to go away, so please be generous and join the tradition of giving to Partners with Youth.