CCCY President’s Fall Newsletter
Date: October 25, 2022
IT’S ABOUT OUR COMMUNITY
I hope that this message finds you and your families well and looking forward to a great fall season. I have been blessed in my career to have a group of mentors who have taken the time to offer valuable perspective on my growth as a Y professional. I have often referred to these moments as a nudge in the right direction. One of the biggest nudges (more like a shove!) came from our YMCA of the USA CEO who joined me in an elevator during a meeting break and asked me how things were going. Ready with my data, I launched into a regurgitation of how well my branch was doing in managing finances, making the board happy, cleaning the building, raising money, etc. He stopped me after a few sentences and said “No, Dave, how is your community doing? How many kids in your school district are on free or assisted lunch programs, and what are you doing to improve academic performance and help them lead a healthier life? How many single-parent families live in your community and what kind of support do you offer them? Who are your potential partners and what have you done to work more closely with them to strengthen a collective effort to serve your community?” I had no answers, and prayed for the elevator to stop so that I could get off. That 90-second meeting took place thirty years ago, and left an impression on me that has served as an inspiration and direction to this day – it’s not about the Y, it’s about our community.
Attending to the health of our YMCA is important – but it is not our purpose. The life-changing work that the Y does must be evaluated by the measurable impact that our volunteers and staff have on youth, families, and adults. Here are a few examples. Through the first six months of 2022, 23,873 low-income youth have received special support designed to prevent the achievement gap (up 29% from 2021), 5,346 youth have learned to swim and be safe around the water (up 15%), the number of chronically homeless in Bridgeport has remained very low due to the work of the Y and our partners in providing supportive services and creating new homes. The news, however, is not all good. The number of our neighbors experiencing food insecurity has grown in 2022 while we have served fewer meals this year (64,110) as compared to last year (83,831). Our hearts have been lifted by the growing number of committed volunteers (180) who have joined our rapidly expanding number of Togetherhood programs (15) – a figure that has doubled since 2021!
Thank you for your incredible support that allows the purpose of the Y to come alive in the spirit, mind, and body of those we serve.
Best wishes for a safe, happy, and healthy fall season.
Click to read more: CCCY Newsletter Fall 2022