YMCA Making Waves of Change in Port Orange
By Cathy Padilla
The YMCA of Port Orange kicked off its annual Strong Families Campaign on Monday, February 5, with the theme Making Waves of Change. With a goal of raising $50,000 in donations and pledges that are due by December, the YMCA has already received donations or pledges of nearly $13,000 and will continue its campaign until the end of March. Every dollar raised goes back into the Port Orange community.
Ginni Hiers, Executive Director of the Port Orange YMCA, explained that the funding is essential because it enables scholarships to those in need. Scholarships are given in the form of memberships, the ability to play a sport, enrollment in summer camp, swimming lessons, and breakfast and lunch for those who are hungry. She shared the story of a family of four last summer, a single mother and her three children, who were living in their car. It was an especially hot summer and the mother went to the YMCA to see if she and her children could shower. Instead of just a one-time pass, the family was given a three-month free membership. Hiers shared that they then came to the YMCA every day. The children were given breakfast and lunch, they swam in the pool, enjoyed the air conditioning, showered, and were able to burn off their energy playing or working out.
"She has a place for her and her children to live now," shared Hiers. "And all of that happened because of donations."
Hiers shared the YMCA staff is reaching out to the community for the campaign in several different ways. Beyond decorating the YMCA building and setting up a table in the lobby to engage members to donate, businesses are being asked to sponsor a banner that will be hung in the YMCA all year. The donation is $1000 and gets the business a membership to the Chairman's Round Table. One business helping out is McKenna's Place. On March 4 a portion of all proceeds from food sales at the restaurant in Port Orange will go to Making Waves of Change. They have also thought outside the box and secured a portable jail cell to "arrest" willing volunteers who will then need to post bail through donations. Both the owner of McKenna's and a detective with the Port Orange Police Department are potential "suspects.'
If you would like to donate, visit vfymca.org/donate/
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