BENEFITING: RAPPAHANNOCK AREA YMCA INC
ORGANIZER: RAPPAHANNOCK AREA YMCA INC
RAPPAHANNOCK AREA YMCA INC wrote -People need certain things to thrive. We need to eat well, stay safe, be active, spend time together, learn and grow. Sadly, in an increasingly technological and polarized world, it's not always easy to get what we need. Playing outside has become a rarity. Face time happens through a phone. And instead of seeing the income gap shrink, it seems all we do is watch it grow. We have many stories, but I'll share Jeannie and Janie's story. They began attending our Community's YMCA as preschoolers, enjoying all the activities and learning to be healthy, to eat well, and more. Both girls graduated from Preschool and started school. One day Dad walked out on the family, leaving Mom and the two girls without money they needed for survival. Mom had to take a low paying job just to make ends meet. She put Jeannie and Janie into the Y's Afterschool Program because the YMCA offered the financial assistance she needed for the program. Janie entered Middle School and the school did not offer an afterschool program, so Janie had to go home and be on her own until Mom got home. One day Janie decided to not ride the bus home from school, and decided to run home. Crossing the busy street, Janie was hit by a car and was medevac to a hospital. Putting her on the helicopter, the paramedics were told she would probably not make it alive. Medical staff were waiting her arrival and she immediately went into surgery for the injuries to her skull and brain. She also sustained broken bones in her chest, crushed legs, slivered spleen. Lying a coma for many days, the family was at her bedside night and day. As any 7-year-old would feel, Jeannie was scared and began feeling very insecure due to the 24/7 attention being given to her sister. Mom knew that the YMCA was a safe and caring place and talked with Jeannie's counselors about the situation. Jeannie's counselors immediately stepped in to help Jeannie and make sure she was given the love and attention she needed. They helped her with her homework and did many things for Jeannie that Mom would normally do to help get her through this difficult situation. Janie's recovery was long and she was left with Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI). As a result of the TBI, Janie continued to required 24/7 attention and care. And the YMCA counselors continued to make sure Jeannie felt secure, cared for, continued teaching her how to be healthy and to eat well, even though she was going through this very emotional stage in her life. Through the YMCA's Bright Beginnings Program, Jeannie was provided the opportunity to be paired with a shopping buddy prior to starting school and was allowed to get $100.00 worth of new school clothes, fed, and given a new back pack full of the school supplies she needed. The YMCA was there for Jeannie and her family and Jeannie was able to start school with the confidence she needed rather than worrying about what she lacked. This is just one of many stories of how the YMCA builds relationships with children, with families, and they extend this service to all--children, adults, families, seniors, those with special needs, and all. This year's Bright Beginnings Program took 132 children shopping for new clothes, school supplies, and back packs. The YMCA also provided 26 at-risk children with a summer of learning through the Summer Learning Loss Prevention Program--the children were picked up at home and taken to school. They were fed, provided a morning of learning, given lunch, and afternoon filled with fun activities and field trips, and then were returned back to their homes. All this to help these children to not be left behind and to be ready and at the appropriate level to start 3rd grade. The YMCA provides many children free swimming lessons so they are safe in the water. The Y has partnered with our Community's hospital to provide those in the Community the ability to participate in various therapeutic wellness classes to improve their health and well being. The YMCA Staff is passionate and caring about each person who walks through our doors and we are there to reach out and provide the help, services, and programs to them. Everything the Y does is in service of making us better--making you better! "For a better YOU. For a better community. For a better country. For a better us! Please give generously!