Editor’s Note: This is the second post in an occasional series about what we can do to help Champaign County families in need. (Last week: the Eastern Illinois Foodbank)
by Laura Weisskopf Bleill
When it comes to helping other families, we often focus on basic needs – food, clothing, and housing. But as all moms know, children need room to play, to exercise and to learn social skills in order to thrive.
For more than 70 years, the Champaign County YMCA has filled that role for local families who want to provide their children with recreational opportunities but do not have the necessary funds. Today, the Champaign County YMCA kicked off its 2010 Strong Kids Campaign, which provides financial support for local youth and families to participate in programs they could otherwise not afford.
In 2009, the Champaign County YMCA gave financial support and subsidies totaling more than $200,000.
“Reaching the 2010 Strong Kids Campaign’s goal of $100,000 is critical in keeping up with the need in our community,” said Bret Kroencke, the campaign’s volunteer co-chair. “The Champaign County YMCA is impacting lives each and every day. Please help us keep our promise that no one is turned away due to the inability to pay.”
The Strong Kids Campaign funds allow the CCYMCA to help with membership assistance; program assistance; and its military outreach program. They also underwrite activities such as the YSplash Program, where children attend five days of swimming lessons to learn critical life-saving skills for only $5.
All dollars raised in the local community stay in the community to support kids and families.
This past year the YMCA assisted:
o A single mother of five, who is currently unemployed received help with program fees, allowing her children to participate in swim lessons, basketball, and gymnastics.
o A single mother of six children under the age of 8, all who have special needs, home schools her children and uses the YMCA for time out of the house. They receive subsidies to participate in aquatics, football, and gymnastics.
o A full-time student who is a single mother of three received financial support so her children could attend summer camps.
For more information on the Champaign County YMCA and how you can contribute to the Strong Kids Campaign, please visit its Web site.