At the Y, strengthening community is our cause

To the Editor:

At the Capital District YMCA we know that lasting personal and social change comes about when we all work together. That’s why at the Y, strengthening community is our cause.

Every day we work side-by-side with our neighbors to make sure that everyone, regardless of age, income, or background, has the opportunity to learn, grow, and thrive. On May 9, over 100 volunteers from Keller Williams Realty worked alongside Y staff at the YMCA Adventure Camp in Guilderland.

RED Day, which stands for Renew, Energize, and Donate, is Keller Williams’s annual day of service.  Each year on the second Thursday of May, Keller Williams’s franchises across the globe celebrate RED Day and choose a local project that makes a difference in the lives of others and betters the communities they serve.

Each day every summer, over 400 campers from across the Capital District arrive at YMCA Adventure Camp. Camp is all about having fun, and so much more.

Children get to experience the joy of summer camp, making new friends, trying specialty camps, and learning all sorts of fun new things, such as archery, swimming, and ziplining — all of which are special experiences. Children gain confidence and build self-esteem. Most of all, we help children embrace the value of caring about themselves and others.

As one of the Capital District’s leading charities, the Y never turns a child or family away for financial reasons. Every day, we provide safe, welcoming care to children whose parents have lost their jobs or struggle with making ends meet on minimum wages.

This summer, over 25 refugee children, newly resettled in the Capital District, will benefit from what the camp experience has to offer. In addition to our urban and suburban campers, another special group of children will also attend Adventure Camp.

The Capital District YMCA Circle of Champs program is dedicated to improving the quality of life for children who’ve been touched by a life-threatening illness. The children from these two groups will attend at no charge because of the generosity of others.

The YMCA relies on the support of many individuals and local businesses to be able to build a stronger community one family, one child at a time. Many people depend on us every day. We depend on people like those at Keller Williams.  We were honored to partner with Keller Williams and benefit from a day of service on RED Day.

Their team painted, landscaped, mulched, repaired buildings, rebuilt our challenge course, and prepared the camp for its opening. Because of organizations like Keller Williams, the Y will continue to help local children benefit from an inclusive, diverse, caring, and fun summer for decades to come.

Matthew Skaarup

District Executive Director

Capital District YMCA

Guilderland and Duanesburg branches

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