The Greater Joliet Area YMCA received a generous $68,000 grant from Joliet Township to fund youth programs and services. Joliet Township Supervisor Dan Vera presented the donation to YMCA President and CEO Jim Watts and Executive Director of Teen and Young Adult Advancement Maurice Fears during a March 22 Board of Directors meeting.
Part of the gift will fund a service-learning trip for a group of Joliet high school students who participate in the Y’s Teen Achievers program. This summer, the students will travel to Houston, Texas to work alongside teens from other YMCAs across the country and help rebuild communities devastated by Hurricane Harvey.
The donation will also allow the YMCA to revamp the supervised playroom at the Smith Family YMCA, located at 1350 S. Briggs Street. This high-usage space is home to hundreds of area youth who attend the Y’s before and after school care program. The space will receive a facelift that includes new paint, furniture and a refrigerator, and additional games, storage and technology.
Lastly, the gift will provide summer camp scholarships for low-income families. For 10 weeks during the summer, YMCA camp provides area kids with a safe, stable place to learn and grow, and receive a healthy meal and snack when school is not in session.
As one of the nation’s leading nonprofit charities, the YMCA is committed to strengthening local communities through youth development, healthy living and social responsibility. Through its financial assistance and scholarship program, the Greater Joliet Area YMCA works to fulfill its mission of ensuring that its programs are available to everyone and no one is turned away due to the inability to pay.