The Champaign Family YMCA wants to raise $50,000 for its annual campaign this fall, including to provide people who can’t afford memberships with access to its facilities.
Paul Waldsmith, CEO of the nonprofit organization, said the money raised is to make sure that no one is turned away from the YMCA due to the inability to pay.
“Part of our mission, our Christian mission, is to put principles to practice that no one is turned away because of financial limitations,” Waldsmith said.
Its goal is to raise $50,000. That money will also be used to pay for general operations at its center, 191 Community Drive in Urbana.
The annual campaign is also an opportunity for the YMCA to share how it helps the community, he said.
“People improving their quality of life. They’ve been sedentary. Now, they are starting an exercise routine. The families that rely on the YMCA’s childcare operations for quality care. The children that learn how to swim, that progress all the way to the YMCA swim team,” Waldsmith said.
The Champaign Family YMCA has about 4,000 people that use its services and at least 1,700 memberships.
“The Y has people here ranging from six-weeks-old to people in their 90s … A Y member has access to dozens of programs,” Waldsmith said.
The YMCA provides qualified assistance if someone cannot afford a membership.
“If someone has some financial need, they do submit paperwork. It’s not some system where you walk in off the street but we provide assistance that is proportional to the need,” Waldsmith said. “Everyone, even if they are really below the poverty level, has to pay a percentage of their dues and fees for services, including memberships, but it’s a way for us to make certain that they are not restricted.”
It’s a hand up and not a hand out, Waldsmith said.
The organizations will continue to have an annual campaign each fall every year going forward, he said. The campaign will end in mid-October. For more information, call the Champaign Family YMCA at 937-653-9622.
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