YMCA Group Vice President Buddy Evans said it will be a challenge to reach that goal in a recession, but the need is greater than ever.
"Now it's even more critical that we campaign for this," Evans
"Because we are getting a lot more requests for financial assistance."
Families who formerly paid in full for their memberships can sometimes no longer afford them when the layoffs and hard times come, he
"They have to get a scholarship or drop their membership, and we don't want them to have to do that," said Evans
"If you're having trouble holding onto your house, the YMCA
can be a safe haven for families -- a place where they come and relieve some of that stress," he
said it's important for people to know that the YMCA
"never turns away anyone for the inability to pay" for programs and services.
"Nobody is ever turned away from the Y," he
said that the campaign also gets "100 percent participation" from YMCA
board members and staff.
"We do that before we ask anyone else in the community," he
pointed out that it's not just kids that benefit from the scholarships.
"We also have Club 55, with programs for active older adults," he
About 115 older adults were assisted last year and developed "a sense of belonging through social activities, volunteer events and wellness programs," he
"It's about developing a healthier lifestyle, about people feelings better about themselves," said Evans