YMCA scholarships help out in a down economy

NORWICH – The Norwich Family YMCA still offers many of its scholarships and assistance programs even as it prepares for its upcoming annual support campaign.

The Unemployment Membership Program took effect three years ago and was established to provide a short-term membership to anyone who lost their job within the last 12 months. The program offers a three month, no cost membership for qualified candidates to use the facility and take advantage of the fitness classes offered by the YMCA.

“The Y provides an outlet for stress,” said YMCA Executive Director Jamey Mullen. “This program helps those dealing with financial trouble to deal with some of the stress by taking advantage our facility.”

The timing to remind people of this program is perfect, according to Mullen. He said that the Unemployment Membership Program is dependent on the funds raised by the United Way, which kicked off its fall fund raising campaign in September. In 2010, $12,000 was given by the United Way to support the YMCA’s Unemployment Membership Program. Without their contribution, Mullen added, the Unemployment Membership Program would not be possible.

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