KINGSPORT — The Greater Kingsport Family YMCA is inviting the community to engage in its outreach efforts during its annual Week of Giving, happening now through Friday.
“We have been blessed beyond measure with the ability to do things differently,” said Kimberly “KC” Cousineau, president and CEO of the YMCA. “Our board of directors, which is comprised of strategies of volunteers and community leaders, approved a strategic plan this past year that included goals and based on the most critical social issues in our community, and we designed programs that helped bridge the gap within those issues ”
As a nonprofit, the YMCA relies on contributions from the community to operate various programs and services that enrich the lives of parents, families and individuals.
“Corporate partners and individual donors are the heart of our organization,” Cousineau said. “Without them we couldn’t put those programs into practice to help meet those important community needs.”
The YMCA needs your help to reach its goal of raising $25,000 during the Week of Giving to support the following outreach programs:
YMCA feeding program
The feeding program serves children a five-component meal daily, following the USDA’s regulations for nutrition. Children receive these meals Monday-Friday during the entire year.
Currently, the YMCA is providing around 450 meals to children at their Afterschool and Y on Wheels locations, with a goal to increase to an average of 500 meals per day.
A $250 donation provides around 70 meals for kids in the Afterschool and Y on Wheels programs.
Camp and afterschool scholarships
Scholarships funded through the Y’s Annual Giving Campaign will ensure that kids can attend YMCA Afterschool, giving them access to the safe and fun guidance they need.
Still unsure of what the 2022 fall semester of school will look like, the Y needs to plan to adapt to parent and child needs for safe care, no matter what the schedule may be. YMCA child care for school-aged kids will offer educational enrichment, physical activity, healthy snacks and positive role models. Many who require this care to continue working will also need scholarships to ensure they have access.
A $1,000 donation gives a child in need one semester of care in the Afterschool Program.
Hawkins County Brighter Horizons Youth Center
This new youth center serves as a hub for Hawkins County middle school students. The Hawkins County staff and leadership team provides safe, fun, educational and engaging care until parents/guardians are able to pick up their children.
In addition, this space is utilized as a kitchen and distribution center for the feeding program and will serve seven site locations in the Hawkins County area.
Youth Y On Wheels
Y on Wheels goes into under-served areas in the community to bring the Y to the kids and families living there. The YMCA has partnered with Kingsport City Schools and KHRA to determine which neighborhoods to visit once a week for a couple hours.
Y on Wheels offer snacks, games, activities, STEM activities and more each day. The feeding program at the Y also offers meals to send home with the kids. This project is funded under a grant contract with the state of Tennessee.
A $250 donation feeds 120 kids at the Y on Wheels site locations with a nutritious snack.
Active & Ageless Side Wheels
Active & Ageless Y on Wheels (ages 55+) travels to various older adult communities in the Tri-Cities area and offers a health and wellness education session and a 45-60 minute fitness and group exercise class designed to improve strength, mobility, stability and coordination to participants.
A $150 donation provides the resources needed to host health and wellness classes at the Active & Ageless off-site locations.
In 2022, the Y will continue to offer Parkinson’s cycling class, held three times per week at no cost to the participant. The Y also hosts a monthly support group the first Friday of every month, open to the community.
The YMCA has partnered with the Kingsport Aquatic Center to offer Parkinson’s Aquatics and is working behind the scenes to be able to offer Rock Steady, a Parkinson’s boxing class, toward the end of 2022. Ongoing staff and volunteer support, along with funding, are needed .
A $50 donation helps someone with Parkinson’s Disease attend the Parkinson’s Aquatic Class for an entire month.
How to help
The YMCA Week of Giving is a great way to learn more about what the YMCA is doing, as well as support the efforts that make the community a better place for all.
You can support the YMCA’s efforts by donating in one of the following ways:
- Using the YMCA PayPal account (Greater Kingsport Family YMCA)
- Visiting ymcakpt.org/give
- Texting community to 53555
- Mailing a check to the Greater Kingsport Family YMCA, 1840 Meadowview Parkway, Kingsport, TN 37660