By: Carl Wolfrom, YMCA of Greater Erie Board Chairman
Over this past year, the YMCA of Greater Erie joined a wider national and community movement to articulate more clearly the work we are doing in our community. Our Y sits at the forefront of several key issues facing our community including chronic disease prevention, drowning prevention, high school graduation rates, nutrition awareness and early learning readiness. And, as funding from other community sources is being directed towards other community efforts, it’s more imperative than ever that the Y garner the support of the community.
In order to leverage our efforts in combating these issues, we must clearly articulate our cause and gather support from the community. The people of our community are facing insurmountable gaps – income, education, and well-being. You may be surprised by who is helped by the Y – your friends and neighbors, co-workers, or parishioners at church. They’ve encountered the unexpected – and they need your help to rise above.
I’m sure that you know the Y is now- as it has always been – a place of possibility and promise for all. What you may not know, is that we support kids, adults, seniors and families with programs that protect, teach, connect, heal, nourish and encourage. We can’t do it alone.
We do it by teaching kids and teens new skills that build self-confidence, character values and leadership. We do it by helping adults and families lead healthy lifestyles. We do it by preparing our youngest for a successful start in kindergarten and beyond and by believing that all people deserve to live their life to its fullest and healthiest potential.
This got us thinking about the causes within our own community – so clearly articulated by Erie Vital Signs. How can the Y leverage our programs and leadership within the community to make a bigger impact on these causes? That led us to outline a framework for our annual campaign that focuses our philanthropic efforts on four main causes directly affecting our community: safe spaces, meals for kids, learning and health.
With a gift to the Y’s annual campaign, the Y will support kids, adults, seniors and families with programs that protect, teach, connect, heal, nourish and encourage. It’s how we help our community and how the “us” who live here achieve our individual and collective promise.
We can’t do it alone. Donate or contact 452-1432 ext. 252 to learn how you can support the Y’s cause.