The Family YMCA’s 2016 goal to raise $140,000 for financial assistance scholarships was met this year. The tally today stands at $145,148 donated by 381 donors and corporate partners.
“We are so thankful to our community members for supporting each other and our teens,” Y CEO Linda Daly said.
According to Daly, in 2016 the Y has provided 286 individuals (up from last year’s 275) in 136 families with assistance. Of these 286 individuals, 160 were youth and 126 were adult members.
“But the true impact is on the individual, ” she said, and shared the story of an anonymous Y member:
“My two-year-old son and I moved to Los Alamos to be closer to family, and to be able to afford living expenses. I have always made physical activity a part of my life, but did not have the financial means when we first moved here to allow us to attend a gym regularly. I heard of the Y’s financial assistance program, through a friend.
‘I was very encouraged and so applied. Since receiving assistance, our lives have been much enriched! We attend the gym four or five times a week, and my son has the opportunity to play with kids in the child-watch program. He has grown and learned so much from the activities there, and has made some wonderful friends. The counselors there help each child to feel welcomed and comfortable, and go above and beyond the regular “babysitting” duties. I am always confident that my son is safe and in a good place when he is there.
“As for me, I am so grateful to be able to have time each morning to focus on my physical health. It has been a wonderful outlet, as being a single mom is very demanding. The instructors and class members are so enthusiastic and take an honest interest in my well-being. It is definitely “Family” at the Y! Thank you to all who donate a little extra each month to make our lives more enjoyable!”
Daly said the value of the scholarships total $115,000, with the rest of the funds raised going to support 2000 teens served at the Y’s teen centers in Española and Los Alamos, as designated by donors. The goal had aimed to provide $25,000 to the teen centers, but all raised above that amount will go to cover operations in Española as grants and contracts have fluctuated this year, and it is needed there, she said.
Daly said the communities of residence for these 136 families were Los Alamos and White Rock (115), Chimayo/Dixon/Espanola/Santa Crus and San Juan (15), Santa Fe (4), and Jemez Springs (2).