Blog

We believe that lasting personal and social change can only occur when we all work together. That’s why, at the Y, strengthening community is our cause.


Camp Tradition

Did you ever attend summer resident camp? If so, no doubt there were traditions that helped define your camp. Those are some of the memories that we will hold on to for a long time! We learned about values, morals and making friends from all over. I thoroughly enjoyed going to camp for many summers and have wonderful memories. Find out about Camp Greenwood’s traditions in CEO Gray Stallworth’s blog at http://gwdylinks.blogspot.com/.

Welcome to All

THE ESSENCE OF THE Y – With a commitment to nurturing the potential of kids, promoting healthy living and fostering a sense of social responsibility, the Greenwood Family YMCA ensures that every individual has access to the essentials needed to learn, grow and thrive.

EVERYONE IS WELCOME – The YMCA welcomes all who wish to participate and believes that no one should be denied access to the Y based on their ability to pay. Through our Open Doors Scholarship Program, the Greenwood Family YMCA provides assistance to youth, adults and families based on individual needs and circumstances.

COMMITTED TO OUR COMMUNITY – Determining assistance amounts is handled by our YMCA in a fair and consistent manner. Every YMCA member receives the same membership benefits, regardless of whether or not they receive a scholarship. YMCA members can feel confident knowing that they are a part of an organization that cares greatly for the well-being of all people, and is committed to youth development, healthy living and social responsibility.

GIFTS MAKE IT POSSIBLE – Over 350 individuals, small businesses, corporations and churches have made contributions to the annual Partners with Youth Campaign. This campaign effort underwrites the assistance needed to support the Open Doors Scholarship Program. The 2012 Campaign has reached 65% of the goal of $90,000. No gift is too small!

 


Fighting Summer Learning Loss

There is no doubt that over the summer kids of low-income families have fewer enrichment opportunities than the middle class kids. Documentation shows in fact that over the summer, low income kids suffer from summer learning loss. The Greenwood Family YMCA fights that summer learning loss through our High Hopes Summer Literacy Program. This program is supported by our local United Way and through our Partners with Youth Campaign (over 350 individuals, small businesses, corporations and churches.)

The High Hopes program serves kids who live in the local housing authority units and neighborhoods. This summer, the collaborative program, uses a brand new facility within the Fairfield-Winns Complex owned by the Greenwood Housing Authority. Almost 60 kids are registered and attend the three day per week program. The program serves a hot lunch and then the kids participate in literacy activities. This includes selecting books from the library’s Bookmobile, as well as other literacy based activities. The kids want to attend Mondays and Wednesdays because the highlight of their week is a Friday trip to the Y. That includes swimming and recreational activity on the Y campus!

This program is entirely underwritten by donations. Families who live in the Housing Authority neighborhoods have to qualify for that assistance. Our focus is on the children and breaking the cycle of poverty by contributing to their education. Studies show that activity over the summer (and over the school year which we also do) in a high quality program contributes to school success and a higher graduation rate.

So, by supporting the YMCA Partners with Youth Campaign, donors are making it possible for children living in poverty to have a better chance of high school graduation! Thank you all for loving our community so much that these children are given the opportunity to better themselves and have a fighting chance to get through school despite their economic situation.

 


SPLASH Teaches Water Safety in the Lakelands

Over 350 individuals, small businesses, corporations and churches contribute to the annual Partners with Youth Campaign that underwrites this critically important program in the Lakelands. Water safety is a serious lifelong skill that can save your own life and the lives of others. In the Lakelands, where there are various bodies of water that attract kids of all ages, this becomes even more serious.

Through a collaborative program with School Districts 50, 51 and 52, over 1000 youth participate in the 5-day SPLASH program. Further cooperation with friends like the Star Fort Club, and the Ware Shoals Fire and Rescue Department and the West Laurens Swift Water Rescue Team, participants get a first-hand look at these skills in action.

Recently, the Y staff completed the program with about 200 students from Ware Shoals and Ninety Six schools. Staff visit the classroom for two days to deliver a lesson plan built around awareness of the dangers of water and what to do if in fact someone gets in trouble. Then the students get to get in the water for some basic lessons. Students learn to ‘reach, row, throw but DON’T go’. They practice those skills along with proper wearing of a personal floatation device. This is the first time many of the students would have ever worn such a device. Furthermore, they learn to jump into deep water with the PFD on, and get into a rescue ready position. They also feel what it’s like to turn over from a rubber boat! That’s their favorite part! By the end of the week they have demonstrated many basic water safety skills and have gained in confidence and knowledge of different dangers around bodies of water.

Drowning is a part of our reality in the Lakelands unfortunately. Having a fear of the water is sometimes good, but having respect, a knowledge of the dangers, and an awareness of basic water safety skills is BETTER. Thanks to many who contribute their resources to the effort, over a thousand students EACH year gain in that awareness, knowledge and respect.

 

 


Donors Support Camp Greenwood

Our annual Partners with Youth Campaign makes it possible for families to participate in Camp Greenwood. Without financial assistance through our Open Doors Program, many youth would remain at home unsupervised during the day. However, through the efforts of volunteers who tell the YMCA story and ask for donations and support, over 20% of our day campers attend camp with financial assistance. This makes it possible for a parent, many times raising multiple kids alone, to know their children are in a supervised, structured and fun program.

A week of summer day camp comes to $105 for one child. For a single parent surviving on a minimal paying job, and raising two or more children, you can see how much of a burden summer camp can be. Thanks to YOU we can reduce as much as $40 per week in camp fees. That saves the parent over $400 per child over the course of the summer.

Attending Camp Greenwood is a great way to stay safe, strengthen confidence, forge friendships and sharpen character. It just would not be possible for many children if it was not for generous donors.
Over 350 individuals, small businesses, corporations and churches have contributed this year to the Partners with Youth Campaign. You have all made a huge impact by providing the means for the YMCA to reduce fees and remain accessible. The program these campers participate in certainly helps them grow. You have enabled the Y to fulfill our mission “to put Christian Principles into practice through programs that build a healthy spirit, mind and body for all.”