Hello everyone. My name is Donna Sittard, and in my role as Development Director at the YMCA of Greater Springfield I will be sharing with you where our grant awards, special event revenue, and Annual Campaign fundraising dollars come from and go towards and how it impacts our Y and the community. These quarterly newsletters and future emails are meant to give you a glimpse of how you have and can make an impact. So please join me as we discover more about the YMCA of Greater Springfield.
The YMCA, was originally founded as a Bible Study group to provide a safe-haven for young men in London in 1844. The YMCA later found itself responding to various social needs of the community. Soon programs were established to target the specific needs of the time and branched out to serve in a variety of ways. The YMCA of Greater Springfield has been a part of that great Y history since 1852.  

Today, YMCAs are the country’s largest provider of after-school programs and are at the forefront of the fight to combat the nation’s chronic health concerns. We are still driven by serving the community and meeting its needs. The methods and programs have changed but the cause remains the same. We have a history in the YMCA world with an enduring legacy, and as members, participants, volunteers and employees of the Y, we can continue the pathway toward Youth Development, Healthy Living and Social Responsibility.

“I want to express my sincere appreciation for your support and efforts in helping me with my financial aid transition and always being available for any questions. I am a foster parent and throughout the years I have been bringing my kids to the YMCA and the staff has always been great. Very supportive team."

Thank you, Sincerely,
Betsy R.

Traditionally, the YMCA of Greater Springfield annually serves 230 early learning children and over 700 before and after school participants at 16 sites. Because of the generosity of the community, through our annual campaign, the Y is able to provide the financial assistance needed to help families like Betsy R.'s and many others.  
Pre-Covid / Early Learning Center
Photo: Early Learning Center Springfield 2019
Unfortunately, nothing about 2020 has really been traditional since March 2020. During COVID-19 when all our operations were mandated to shut down, the Y stepped in to provide free emergency childcare programs for essential workers. We also extended our limited summer camp program by a few weeks between the typical end of camp and the start of the delayed school year. Summer camp is another area for which the Y provides financial assistance.  In both instances, we raised some of the funds needed through the state, the business community and with general donations.  
Currently, Mondays through Fridays our YMCA is providing all day child care and early learning classes in adaptive settings at the Y and in the community.  This assists families to take care of their children during remote learning while they are at work, offering financial assistance when needed.

Once again the Y has adapted to serve the community during the new times with new needs. 
To learn more about what the YMCAs have been doing to assist thier communtiy during the Coronavirus pandemic, click the button below.
The YMCA is always in search of volunteers; whether to lead a program, working in the administration offices on general projects, sit on a committee, volunteering at events, reading to the children, or as a project volunteer at summer camp. These and many other ways to volunteer at the Y are available, maybe not quite yet because of COVID-19 but there will be a time so if you are interested, start thinking about it and let us know.
In 2019, early learning and childcare services with the Y provided over $245,000 in financial assistance to help families across our association from Wilbraham to Springfield and all around to have a supervised, safe place for their children to go.  
Would you join the Y in making this possible for the children again this year? There are children and families who need our help.  Please consider joining the Y to make a difference in our community with any size gift by visiting our website at www.springfieldy.org and click on the GIVE button; mail in a donation to: YMCA of Greater Springfield, P.O. Box 15329, Springfield, MA 01115-5329, call your local branch, or on your next visit to our Y see our membership staff who can help you make this possible. 
We have some G.E.M.s at the Y and we hope you will consider becoming one as well.  What is a G.E.M.?  This is an individual who decides they want to perpetually support our Annual Campaign by Giving Every Month. Some people would like to donate to the Y….I say donate because the Y is a charitable organization….but feel they can’t because they think their amount is too small or it would be too much to give all at one time.  Nothing is too small. And to help with the larger gifts, we have set up a way for you to make smaller monthly gifts until you tell us otherwise. Our membership staff can set this up for you so let us know if you would like to become a G.E.M.  
Who, Where,
What, When & Why the Y
Who: Dexter Johnson
Where: YMCA of Greater Springfield, Association Office
What: President & CEO of the YMCA of Greater Springfield 
When: Dexter began his YMCA career in 1992. He served in multiple roles before coming to Western Mass in 2013. He took over as President & CEO in 2017.
Why the Y: My first experience with the YMCA was as an employee in the after-school program and camp counselor.  I was not familiar with the Y Movement at the time. I grew up on military bases and we always had our own youth programs and fitness centers.  I was studying to become a school teacher and thought that the Y would be an excellent opportunity to get some experience in the youth development field.  I really enjoyed the variety of working with a wide range of ages and interests.  
I then learned that the YMCA was not a fitness or child care center.  The Y is a worldwide movement designed to improve communities.  The Y may be the foster care provider, the homeless shelter or the GED center.  That is what the Y is all about, impacting lives.  That takes different forms in different communities, but serves the same mission.
Association Offices
Tower Square | 1500 Main Stree, Springfield, MA
PO Box 15329
Springfield, MA 01115-5329
P: 413.739.6951
Downtown Springfield YMCA
Tower Square | 1500 Main Street, Suite 200
Springfield, MA 01115
P: 413.739.6951

Scantic Valley YMCA

45 Post Office Park, Wilbraham, MA 01095
P: 413.596.2749

Facebook: www.facebook.com/YMCAofGreaterSpringfield
Instagram: www.instagram.com/ymcaspringfield/
Twitter: twitter.com/YMCASpringfield

Donna Sittard, Development Director
Association Offices
413-739-6951 (x3110)

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