YMCA begins annual support plan

Through the support of the community, a local facility is able to change lives for the better.

As a leading non-profit for strengthening the community, financial gifts given to the Wapakoneta Family YMCA will help advance programming and services that support youth development, healthy living and social responsibility.

The Wapakoneta Family YMCA is beginning their campaign with a kick-off event at 8 a.m. Wednesday, and it will feature stories from assistance recipients. One important fact is all gifts to the Wapakoneta Family YMCA stay in the community, and will have a direct impact on residents in Auglaize County.

The campaign will run from Wednesday to March 7.

“Through our community support campaign, we want to educate people that we are more than a place to go to exercise or swim, but an organization that does vital work thanks to the support of the community,” Wapakoneta Family YMCA CEO Joshua Little said. “The Y contributes to improving the quality of life in our neighborhoods through a variety of ways that benefit all of us who live and work in Wapakoneta.”

Last year, the financial support for the Wapakoneta YMCA made it possible for approximately 61 kids to have a safe place to learn and build confidence after school and in summer day camp. The financial support also helped more than 200 different families to reconnect and grow together. In addition, 75 children learned the lifesaving skill of swimming through the financial support.

Little said the Wapakoneta YMCA does not turn anyone away from becoming  members and offers assistance to people.

One anonymous YMCA participant who is on assistance notes how the YMCA has helped their family.

“Our daughter was born with multiple health issues and our on-going medical debt and expense is something we have surrendered to, but when she participates with other youth in soccer at the Y she can be a kid and play,” the participant said. “We can’t do this without the financial assistance program at the Y.”

To ensure that the local YMCA can continue to provide Wapakoneta, Waynesfield and Cridersville residents with life-enhancing services, it will be launching its annual community support campaign, and for an hour on Wednesday morning, people who benefit from the assistance of the YMCA  will be telling their stories.

During this campaign, the YMCA hopes to raise $100,000. This amount is their largest goal in their 15 year history.

“We typically allocate over $100,000 a year in our service area and we wanted to set a goal that helped as many struggling families as possible in 2013,” Little said.

The Wapakoneta Family YMCA expects to allocate more than $100,000 to more than 1,400 individuals in 2013.

“The need is not going down,” Little said.