What: Founded 168 years ago, the YMCA has become synonymous with providing aid to people in need, the subject of a ‘70s disco song and one of the standards for community support groups. Take time this Dec. 29 to recognize and contribute to the social welfare organizations in your community in honor of the founding of the YMCA.
Background: The Young Men’s Christian Association (YMCA) was founded in 1844 in England to aid and care for the youth of London’s industrial revolution. The first U.S. branch was established on Dec. 29, 1851 by Captain Thomas Valentine Sullivan, an American seaman missionary. He believed it could provide a place for young sailors on shore leave to stay. Today, the YMCA continues to reach across cultural lines and is one of the widest spread social welfare groups in the United States.
Story Pitch: This event pairs well with community organizations and any groups or businesses that are looking to give back during the holiday season. Charitable groups can focus on their unique history and story, and on how they help communities. By detailing what role they play in the community, these groups can go on to layout holiday initiatives, as well as ongoing projects. Businesses and other groups not normally aligned with charities have a good opportunity to begin a relationship with their communities at this time of year, when the holiday season and weather means more people are in need of support. For any company, establishing a good relationship with a community support group to offer donations and volunteer can begin a partnership that will spread across seasons and over years.
Story Hook: According to the Annie E. Casey Foundation, an average 32 percent of children in the United States live in a family where no parent has fulltime employment. Community support can often be crucial in aiding these children and their families, but what are other ways in which these groups build stronger communities? Consider the following when making your pitch:
- What are some of the benefits that afterschool programs offer children?
- What services do community organizations typically offer adults?
- What are other ways groups and people can contribute to community centers?
- How has the economy affected charitable organizations and the demand for their help?
Tips: Be sure to provide contact information for those who organize and run community centers and outreach groups. They can provide ideas on how to help and give examples of specific successes in the community.
–Researched, compiled & written by Nicholas Testa
Event Dates from CHASE’S Calendar of Events