Nov 25, 2014, 15:01 PM by

Join The Y and You Join The Whole Community

Today I was having lunch with a woman who is a long-time Y volunteer and one of the pillars of this community. I thought she knew everything about the Y. However, today she asked me what was new with the organization. I told her about our YMCA Diabetes Prevention Program, which we are running with the CDC starting the first part of 2015. I told her about the summer reading-loss prevention program that our camps will begin in May; it has been shown to add 4.5 months of reading skill. I told her about the learning gap program we started at Sanchez Elementary to complement the incredible work BVSD is doing at that school, our safe swim program that is being field tested this spring, all of our before- and after-school programs, and our adaptive sports program.

She looked surprised. I have to admit that I was also a bit surprised when I went through the list.

Here is what all of you probably don’t realize. Your membership and participation actually help make all of those opportunities possible. For your membership, we charge you about what it actually costs to run the Y. That means you help underwrite the overhead, so we can focus on these other programs. Additionally, many of you donate to the Y, which also helps to make these programs run.

We just learned that some of our camp programs for under-performing kids lost their government funding because the kids' scores have improved. The federal government's logic is that funding should be cut when the kids are no longer under-performing. Wow, you know that will really keep those scores up there! Can you sense my sarcasm? Now we have to figure out how to keep those programs, which have proven to be effective, in place.

Here is how you can help. Participate and donate (if you can). When you participate in programs and membership at the Y you help us fund programs that cannot sustain themselves (programs that may not be good for "doing business" but that are good for our children and neighbors). The more you participate the more we can prop up others in the community.

My favorite slogan is “Join the Y and you join the community.” It has been that way for 140 years here in the Boulder Valley, and it continues to hold true. So next time you are out there looking for programs for you or your family, take a second look at ours and see if something resonates with you. When it comes to the Y, you are not just doing something for yourself. You are also doing something good for someone else.

As a side note, starting this week we will have giving trees in the lobby. They will help you help others by donating coats and mittens for kids or even sending a kid to day camp who would have not been able to go without your help. My goal is to send 140 additional kids to camp this year who would otherwise not be able to attend.


Thank You, 
Chris Coker 
CEO/President of YMCA of Boulder Valley