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For over 145 years, the YMCA of Greater San Antonio has served our community, adapting to serve and meet changing needs through difficult times. Like all of us, our adaptability and strength has been tested, yet never the Y’s commitment to community and our mission. We believe in accessibility, opportunity, and equity for all.  

While 2020 and the first few months of 2021 have brought some extraordinary events, the YMCA of Greater San Antonio is returning to doing what we do best: serving the community and making a meaningful difference in the lives of others.

Throughout the past year and a half, children’s routines have been disrupted. We learn the value of building relationships, punctuality, and responsibility through regular schedules, completing school assignments, mealtime and bedtime routines, and more. Much of this changed and was lost through the virtual-only learning environment most students had to endure. Children and parents have struggled with social isolation and long for the days of kids interacting and having spontaneous play together.  

At the YMCA, the month of June brings about lots of excitement as Y youth development programs transition from spring to summer. Y staff has been busy preparing for summer day camp, safety around water, and summer sports to be ready to give kids the opportunity to be kids again. At the Y we realize free play is important to a child’s development because they learn to develop creative thinking skills and explore their imagination through fun activities. Playtime creates a safe place for children to express their thoughts and emotions, creating stronger and happier kids. Children also learn to interact with the world around them, resolve conflicts, build negotiating skills, and relieve stress. There are countless benefits to unstructured play, and it’s a fun way to make new friends.

YMCA programs make a significant impact on the lives of children. By allowing children to become engaged in camp and youth sports, they are provided with mental and physical stimulation in fun ways. Youth engaged in Y programming get the chance to participate in activities that are of interest to them. Kids will enjoy the freedom to play, and camp ensures a safe, comforting environment with just the right amount of structure. When a child feels safe and secure, they are more likely to explore their unique interests, enjoying play and laughter.  

The benefits of quality youth development programs are endless and can last a lifetime. Children will have a greater independence and a stronger sense of identity by developing new skills, making new friends, and creating memories they will cherish forever. 

Our work is not done. We know you understand the importance of keeping your Y open for good while we all work to get back to a sense of normalcy. Earlier this year, we launched the annual Y Partners Campaign to raise dollars that are reinvested into the community through program and membership scholarships. 

Please consider giving this year to help sustain the vital work your Y continues to do in support of our vulnerable neighbors. We rely on community donations to support our mission of being for all. All dollars invested in the Y help to ensure no one is turned away due to the inability to pay. Will you do your part to support your neighbors and community?  You can make a donation online here.

We hope we can count on you; you play a critical role in helping the Y remain “Here for Good.” Together, our impact is important — and impossible without your generous investment. Any investment, no matter the size, will ensure continued support for children, families, seniors, veterans, and communities to work through the overwhelming effects caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. Together, we will make a difference. 

If you’re not able to make an investment today, you can also support the Y by sharing the Y’s mission of service and impact with family, friends, and colleagues.  

Make sure the Y remains Here for Good.

Sandy Morander

Sandy Morander is the President & CEO of the YMCA of Greater San Antonio, a Section 501 (c)(3) nonprofit organization that strengthens communities through programs that build a healthy spirit, mind...