Y associates are asked to juggle a million balls at once, and they are amazingly talented in doing so! I’m know that my colleagues must sometimes think, and understandably so, that their “heart is big but I only have so many hands!” The Y Giving Tree Project may well feel like yet another thing to try to remember to do, another ball to keep in the air, but it is so much more than that. This initiative, like so much of what we do, isn’t simply “another task” on a checklist, but an opportunity to be a change agent to help someone have a truly better life.
We recently sent surveys to those community members who receive the Y’s Open Doors assistance. Open Doors, funded through the generosity of the Y’s donors, ensures that everyone can participate in the Y’s programs and membership opportunities regardless of income or circumstances. Open Doors is one of the key linchpins in our ability to create community and to be truly “For All.” The survey responses were, indeed, illuminating and incredibly stirring. Take a look at a very small sampling of responses to the question: “How has being a part of the Y impacted your life?”
- “The Y has had a huge impact on my life over the last three years. Between healthy living and providing my daughter with preschool so I could return to work, the Y impacts our daily living significantly. “
- “This was a blessing to my grandchildren to belong to a place to go and not hear we can’t afford to go anywhere.”
- “It is nice to be able to get out of the house and interact with others of my generation.”
- “It’s helped us spend more time together as a family.”
- “Brought joy back in my grandson’s life.”
- “It has been a positive place for me and my boys to go since the death of my husband and their father.”
- “It’s a great community-building place. My daughters and I work out there. It’s wonderful when we have the opportunity to go together. It’s been a godsend to have the financial assistance.”
- “This place is like a second home for my daughter and me because the Y’s people have been nothing but the kindest people ever and they make you feel so very welcome and answer any questions or concerns that you have. So, this is such a very wonderful place to me. Thank you for helping us.”
There is precious little time left to make a big impact on the year-end Giving Tree campaign. As we juggle the seemingly endless list of priorities necessary to responsibly operate our centers and sites, we will continue to actively encourage member and participant involvement in the Giving Tree.
It’s an old fashioned but true notion: people help people, for a better us.
If you have questions about this campaign, please contact Deborah Crites at firstname.lastname@example.org.
All the best,
John K. Hoey
President & CEO
The Y in Central Maryland