To celebrate Giving Tuesday this year, the Y is highlighting members from around our association who have chosen to make an impact in their community by donating to the Y. Members like Missie and Mike Wright of the Morris Community YMCA. In this Q&A, they share their YMCA experiences and the value of supporting the Y through charitable giving.
Q: What YMCA programming has your family enjoyed participating in and what kind of impact have you seen the Y make in the community?
Missie: It all started with the YMCA youth basketball league many years ago. Both our children, Libby (now 16) and Charlie (now 14), played for years starting at the age of 5. What fond memories we have of those games. Thanks to Ken Iverson for making YBL what it is today. YBL provides a fun, safe physical activity to the youth throughout Grundy County.
As a family we have also taken part in fitness classes (adult and youth), youth summer sports camps, and when the kids were younger they would enjoy holiday parties/crafts.
The Y provides other great opportunities throughout the year for the benefit of our community members, young and mature alike. Trunk or Treat, Parents’ Night Out, Pickleball Leagues, Senior Fitness and more.
Mike: YMCA basketball was a fun way to get initiated into the Y. Winter weeknights and Saturday mornings in January and February were great for kids (and parents) to interact, get out of the house, and get some exercise from Kindergarten to 6th grade. Now that the kids are older, the facility in Morris is a welcoming place where it’s fun to see other smiling faces from all walks of life.
Q: Why do you have a passion for supporting the Y through charitable giving?
Missie: What is there not to love about supporting the Y? It has all the cornerstones of what a donor-worthy organization should have. The YMCA provides community outreach, financial support for those who have fallen on difficult times, fellowship amongst its patrons, employees, and volunteers, and a safe place for kids to go through summer camp and before and after school programs.
Mike: The YMCA offers a combination of social interaction, active lifestyle, and family support that many individuals crave and many communities are lacking.
Q: What Y programs do you enjoy supporting the most?
Missie: For me it would be summer camp, as it has a special place in my heart. As a child, I benefited from that same type of program in Boise, Idaho growing up in the 80’s. Both my parents worked, and I lived in a very rural area about 25 miles out of the city. Thanks to the YMCA’s daycare program, I was able to experience a fun, active, and engaging summer at an affordable cost. I have nothing but warm, happy thoughts of those times.
Mike: After coaching YBL basketball for 8 years, and seeing the excitement in all the kids, I will always be willing to help with donations to keep that program viable. It feels good to know that anyone who would like to join won’t be turned away.
The Y would like to thank Missie and Mike for their generosity and commitment to the Y. To pledge your support through a charitable gift to the YMCA Mission Strong Fund, click here.