Each year, local YMCA of Metropolitan Dallas branches conducts an Annual Campaign which raises the much needed funds to support children and families in our community as well as enlarges the volunteer base for all local YMCAs.
This annual campaign intertwines the efforts of more than 2,500 volunteers who receive more than 15,000 gifts from individuals, corporations and foundations in an effort to fund support for their local YMCAs.
These generous gifts ensure that financial hardship will never be a barrier to anyone with the desire to participate in YMCA membership and program opportunities here in the Dallas area. The goal of the Annual Campaign is to insure the resources of the YMCA are available to everyone in our community.
Along with each of the 21 branches, the Association Office participates in raising funds for people in need. Led by our 52-member Association Board of Directors, the campaign is focused on five key areas of need:
A Promise to Teach Our Children to Swim
The YMCA Board of Directors dedicates $100,000 from the Annual Campaign to help teach over 3,000 minority children through our Urban Swim Initiative. Studies show that African American and Hispanic children drown at an alarming rate. To address that trend, we have created the Urban Swim Initiative where we offer low or no cost lessons for our at risk children. In addition to the lessons offered at the branches, this is the third year of a partnership between the Park South YMCA and DISD where YMCA aquatic staff will teach over 800 school-age children to be safe around water over the next school year.
A Promise to Instill Confidence in Our Youth
Located on beautiful Possum Kingdom Lake, Camp Grady Spruce serves over 1,200 campers annually and is a regular destination for thousands of fathers and their children who take part in the YMCA Adventure Guide Program. Outdoor education is a signature program for camp engaging over 25,000 children per year. Whether through hiking, camp fires, waterskiing, horseback riding, leadership development programs, or just making new friends, Camp is a transformational program of the YMCA. The Board of Directors allocates $65,000 to scholarships for youth and teens to attend programs at Camp.
A Promise to Help Our Community
The Lakewest Family YMCA is a core component of change in the West Dallas community. Developed in collaboration with the Dallas Housing Authority, the Dallas Police Department, Head Start, Parkland Hospital’s Women’s Clinic and the YMCA each of these fine organizations provides service to the community from one “home” location. It is a thriving facility reaching everyone from new families to senior citizens with programs like school-age child care, swim lessons, ESL, exercise programs and fellowship, character development programs for teens, and youth sports. The YMCA Board of Directors dedicates $100,000 toward the continuing growth of programs serving West Dallas children and families.
A Promise to Create Future Leaders
Engaging teens early to discover their talents and interests is all part of YMCA Teen Programs. Last year, the YMCA engaged nearly 5,000 teens in meaningful leadership development programs. YMCA Teen Programs include: Youth and Government, Y Achievers and the YMCA Champions of Academics and Athletics (YCAA). The YMCA Board of Directors dedicates $100,000 of Annual funds to support the continued growth of these programs at inner city branches; and, $150,000 to support teen leadership initiatives and programs in other YMCA branches around North Texas.
A Promise to Offer Programs for All
YMCA Adapted Programs focus on individuals with disabilities. The programs include youth sports, aquatics and young adult social groups. These programs started over 10 years ago at the Lewisville branch and subsequently spread to other branches including Park Cities, White Rock, Waxahachie, Richardson, Coppell and Lake Highlands. The goal for next year is to have adapted programs in 15 branches and reach 800 children and adults. The YMCA Board of Directors dedicates $50,000 to help fund this initiative.
We need help from individuals, families and organizations that understand the importance of the values of Respect, Responsibility, Caring and Honesty that the YMCA stands for. Together we can make a difference - a difference that ensures that no one is turned away due to financial hardship at the YMCA.