This past Saturday Y associates, volunteers, members and program participants from across the region came together in a show of community in support of our Big Brothers Big Sisters at the Y mentoring program, the newest addition to our Youth Development work. The forum was a clothing drive hosted and facilitated by Y centers throughout the region with enthusiastic support from the team at Big Brothers Big Sisters at the Y, along with volunteers and a nice boost from marketing to drive awareness and donations.
As you will recall, Big Brothers Big Sisters became a Y program this past July and since then a lot of hard work has taken place to integrate this important program into our overall Youth Development strategy and outreach, providing meaningful mentoring support for vulnerable youth (and who isn’t vulnerable at some point, and in some way, through the course of childhood and beyond?).
While we are still counting bags (which, after getting weighed, turn into a financial donation for our charitable cause and from there are sold at area thrift stores), from all reports the event was a huge success with box trucks having to make several runs to keep up with the steady flow of contributions!
The Hoey clan did its part, contributing three large and heavy bags of clothing to the cause. With rapidly growing seven year old twins, and a very tall 21 year old now at school, needless to say there were a lot of clothes sitting in our closets and drawers available for donation. There are a lot less this morning!
From what I can tell, this clothing drive was a big success and a hit with our members and community. It will now become a regular effort, with periodic donation opportunities throughout the year. To me this is perfect Y work; unleashing our large, community-minded “Y army” to turn used clothes into mentoring opportunities for our region’s most vulnerable young people. Our members get opportunities to participate, both as donators of clothing and as mentors. The Y’s mission on full display!
My thanks go out to all who worked so hard to make this effort a success.
All the best,
John K. Hoey
President & CEO
The Y in Central Maryland