Strong Kids Annual Campaign provides funding for programs and services that helps strengthen community bonds and instills a sense of togetherness for all.
In a time where communities are more divided than ever, the Kennebec Valley YMCA (KV YMCA) is a key resource to bridge gaps, bring people together and strengthen relationships among “Us,” including the youth, adults and seniors who contribute daily to the betterment of our community. Through the Strong Kids Annual Campaign, the KV YMCA has been successful in achieving this goal.
The Y understands the importance of learning from one another and helping all of us to reach our fullest potential. Here in the Kennebec Valley community, the KV YMCA aims to bring all together with one common ground through providing affordable access to Y programs and services that will make lasting personal and social change.
The KV YMCA is committed to helping families of the Kennebec Valley community who would otherwise be unable to use the Y due to financial hardship.
Annually, through the Strong Kids Annual Campaign, the KV YMCA awards scholarships that provide more than 1,000 community members an opportunity to enjoy the facilities, participate in programs and activities while growing in spirit, mind and body. In 2019, with the generous support of donors and fundraising efforts of dedicated campaign volunteers, the KV YMCA raised more than $260,000 to provide scholarships that allow youth and teens the opportunity to participate in programs such as summer camp, child care, swim team, swim lessons and enrichment programs.
As the need for scholarships increases, so does our goal. We have raised our 2020 Strong Kids Annual Campaign goal to $280,000. For more information about the KV YMCA or the Strong Kids Annual Campaign, please contact Ranae L'Italian, Chief Executive Officer, at 207-622-9622 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
By Angela Denis
My son, Daniel, is a home educated high school junior. Daniel was bullied in school, has always been afraid to talk to people and generally has kept to himself. When we moved to Augusta, we began his education at home. This was his 7th grade year.
When I sat down with Daniel to teach him, I worried about him. He was not involved in anything outside the home and had no friends. At this time, I was volunteering at the Y and so I decided to talk to Mike Griswold, the Youth Program Director, about finding a youth program Dan could sign up for. Mike was very helpful, listened to my concerns and suggested Dan join the Y Youth Running Club.
I asked Dan to just give it one day. I asked him to try it to see if he liked it and if he didn't, he would not have to go back. That first day, he sobbed, scared to death to go back, but he did go back. For a long time, I had to meet him outside the Y, walk him in and stay nearby until the Youth Program was finished for the day.
Dan is now in his 4th Youth Program. The staff, Mike, along with Feargal Semple and Levi Mason, have made a huge impact on Dan, giving him the feeling of belonging and encouraging him to do his very best. His confidence has grown and this has carried over to the rest of his life. He can now order for himself in a restaurant or go through a check out line in a store by himself. The Y helps to create a solid foundation for our children to build their lives on and become better, stronger adults and in turn this builds better communities.
Mike Griswold, Youth Program Coordinator and Camp Director, Dan and the Youth Running Club
WE NEED YOUR HELP! We are reaching out to our members again this year as we carry out our Strong Kids Annual Campaign. This is because you, our members, realize better than anyone else, the importance the Y plays in your everyday life. You also realize that the mission of the Y is that no child, adult or family is ever denied access to the Y because of inability to pay. Strong Kids like Dan, whose story you can read above, need your help.
We are asking your permission to increase your monthly draft-this means you allow us to add a monthly amount to your existing commitment (your membership dues) and you get a charitable deduction for your pledge. Please consider this:
$1/month... a child learns to plant, harvest, and enjoy eating the vegetables they have grown in our Learning Center Garden
$2/month... a senior meets new friends in a Silver Sneakers class, remedying their isolation and loneliness they felt just staying home all day
$3/month... a child forms lifelong friendships at Camp KV and realizes that this is where they DO belong
$4/month... an adult builds his confidence around water by learning how to swim
$5/month... a child engages her mind by participating in our KV YMCA KidZone After School activities
$6/month... a family bonds as they spend time together shooting hoops in the gymnasium