In December, YMCA of Metro North members can spread holiday cheer by supporting giving trees, toy drives, and other charitable events across our branch locations.
At the Y Academy in Stoneham one family, who attends the early learning program there, was in search of a cause deserving of the 20 youth sized winter coats they had purchased and planned on donating. Sandy Flanagan, Y Academy Assistant Director, suggested the family give the coats to a fellow branch of the YMCA of Metro North in Lynn. “Our classrooms are full of infants and toddlers so I started to think of where there might be a need at other Y Academy locations in the Association,” explained Sandy. “At the Y we are always looking for ways to support the communities we serve.”
The leadership team from the Lynn YMCA picked up the coats from Stoneham in mid-December and immediately distributed them to families in their childcare program, not wanting to wait the extra two weeks to the Christmas Holiday. “There are children in Lynn we know didn’t go to school last week because of the cold,” explained Andrea Baez, Senior Executive Director of the Lynn YMCA. “Something as small as a winter jacket can make a big difference for some families.” Both the Stoneham and Lynn YMCAs agreed that it is through partnerships like this one that we can really see the collective strength the YMCA of Metro North has to support our community as a whole.
“It’s rewarding to watch families encourage their children to think of others this time of year,” explains Patti Bradley, Director of Childcare at Stoneham Y Academy. “The giving tree is a way for us to teach these children what the holiday season is really about.”
Each of the YMCA of Metro North branches are hosting charitable drives during the month of December. Donations from the various giving trees, toy drives, and other initiatives will be distributed both to families who are members of the YMCA of Metro North and to families in our community who can benefit from them. To learn more about all the ways to give across the YMCA of Metro North this season please visit our ‘Y Wishes’ page.