Nearly twenty years ago, someone donated to the YMCA and I was a recipient of a youth membership scholarship as a result of their generosity. I often look back on the last 20 years, the leaders, mentors, friends and experiences I’ve had at the YMCA. I think about the donor that gave $100 and how they will never truly know the impact that their gift has had and continues to have on me.
In high school I was one of the youth that was “in the middle”. I was not an athlete, I wasn’t extremely academically gifted and really didn’t feel like I had my place or group in high school. It caused me to find friendships and acceptance in places that were not great for me or my future. That was until I found the YMCA as an afterschool youth.
The staff at the Y believed in me, challenged me, encouraged me and stood by me in a way that I wouldn’t allow my parents or even teachers at my school to. The power of a caring adult is significant in the lives of our young people.
After receiving a YMCA college scholarship and graduating from the University of Nebraska at Omaha in 2009, I made the commitment to claiming the YMCA as my career of choice.
Every day I’m inspired by our staff, members and donors who all create such meaningful experiences for our neighbors.
On Tuesday, March 23 the YMCA of Greater Omaha will be hosting its first ever YMCA Day of Giving. This year has been very challenging for our kids, families and seniors and the gift of YMCA programs and services has a ripple that many of us will never really be able to describe, I am a walking testimony of that.
As you consider your philanthropic priorities this spring, please consider a charitable contribution to your local Y. You just might impact someone’s life forever.