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YMCA Bright Beginnings seeks donations

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Bright Beginnings shoppers and participants return from last year’s shopping trip on the Middlesex YMCA bus.

by Rosabeth Kissman
Branch Executive
Middlesex YMCA

On August 23 the Middlesex Family YMCA friends and helpers will bring youth in need from across the county back-to-school shopping. Fulfilling every child’s dream of having all of the right gear and tools for a successful school year, the Bright Beginnings program provides the basics of back-to-school preparedness for families that simply cannot afford the expense.

The YMCA’s Bright Beginnings program, which started six years ago, pairs elementary-age school children with volunteers; together they shop for back-to-school clothing and shoes. But the real benefit to the children is far more than new clothes. The real benefit is increased self-esteem, confidence, courage, pride, imagination, excitement and creativity.

Each child also receives a backpack stuffed with school supplies. All supplies are donated by YMCA members, local community organizations and Middlesex County residents. “This is an amazing opportunity for volunteers to see firsthand the difference they can make in the lives of these children—it really proves that one person can make a difference,” said Danny Carroll, CEO of the Peninsula Metropolitan YMCA.

Individuals wishing to help may do so in the following ways:

  • Donate. A financial contribution of $150 sends one child on a shopping trip where they will receive clothes and a backpack full of school supplies. Businesses, churches and clubs may choose to sponsor several children or a whole shopping trip.
  • Become a Backpack Buddy. Purchase supplies from the Bright Beginnings list and drop off at the Middlesex Family YMCA.

For more details on how you can help, please contact Rosabeth Kissman at 776-8846.

Read the rest of this story in this week’s Southside Sentinel at newstands throughout the county, or sign up here to receive a print and/or electronic pdf subscription.

posted 07.17.2013

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