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YMCA needs donations, volunteers for Bright Beginnings back-to-school

On August 16, the Middlesex Family YMCA friends and helpers will take 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.

How you can help
The Y makes strengthening our communities our cause. We strongly believe that children who have the necessities they need to succeed can focus on learning rather than worrying about having shoes to wear on the playground and crayons to color their assignments. By pairing a child with a caring adult volunteer “shopping buddy,” children also learn that our community cares about them and wants them to succeed.

YMCA Bright Beginnings makes for confident and prepared kids on the first day of school and contributing and engaged adults tomorrow. Since 2003, the YMCA Bright Beginnings program has helped more than 12,000 children in need prepare to start the new school year ready to learn.

Here’s how it works
Before school starts, the Y invites eligible children to participate. Children meet at the Y on their assigned shopping date. Y staff takes them to a local store where they are paired with a volunteer shopping buddy. Together the child and shopping buddy shop for two outfits, shoes, socks, underwear and a warm sweater or jacket. They also share a meal and, if time allows, read a story, play a game or color together. Backpacks filled with grade-appropriate school supplies are provided for each child. Shopping buddies escort the children back to the bus and say goodbye.

Make a donation
There is no cost to the child’s family to participate. We count on the generosity of individuals, organizations and corporations. All donations are greatly appreciated; sponsoring 10 children ($1,500) or even just one or two children at $150 each, makes a difference.

Becoming a Bright Beginnings Shopping Buddy requires no more than a ready smile, less than three hours of your time and the desire to help a child. Individuals and small groups are always welcome. Take an active role in nurturing the potential of our youth and volunteer this August!

Fill the backpacks
Each child who shops with YMCA Bright Beginnings receives a backpack filled with grade-appropriate school supplies. Your business or organization can partner with the YMCA branch and fill backpacks according to our school systems’ supply lists for children in grades K-2 or 3-5. Backpacks are provided to children who participate on a shopping trip, children on our waiting list and other community children in need.

For further information on how you can help, call the Middlesex Family YMCA at (804) 316-9191.

posted 08.09.2018

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