NORWICH – For 150 years, the Norwich Family YMCA has kept sights on its mission to help build strong communities. Now, the YMCA is seeking the community support it needs to help build a strong YMCA. The not-for-profit organization launched its annual fundraising and support campaign this month, an integral undertaking that upholds its mission.
Each year, the Norwich Family YMCA looks to the benevolence of local residents during its Reach Out to Your Community Campaign. Monetary donations help support scholarship programs that directly benefit youth, teens, adults, families and seniors with memberships. Moreover, it sustains various programs, including its Unemployment Membership Program and the Open Doors Scholarship Program – the most influential program offered by the YMCA as it provides hundreds of people access to the facility and all of its services.
A plea for support was mailed to Norwich residents last week. Instead of reaching a specific dollar amount, this year’s campaign goal is to attain 150 donors, in recognition of the organization’s 150th anniversary. According to Norwich Family YMCA Director Jamey Mullen, it’s an ambitious goal, but he is optimistic. “Where there’s strength in participation, there is strength in the community,” he said.
Already, the Y has received an outpouring of support. Donations started rolling in the day after the campaign kicked off. The hope, according to Mullen, is to raise enough money to maintain all of the YMCA’s programs and meet the needs of the people who depend on them. Last year, the Norwich YMCA disbursed $80,000 in scholarships. More than $120,000 was allocated in 2010 during one of the worst years of the recession. Funds raised during the annual campaign didn’t come close to meeting that need, Mullen recalled...