Giving Back: Stephens Family YMCA Volunteer Opportunities

The Morning Show

ORGANIZATION NAME: Stephens Family YMCA

ON AIR GUESTS AND TITLES: Christina Frye, Director of Development & Marketing

ISSUE TO ADDRESS: 

* Volunteer Opportunity #1 – Instructors for Summer Swim School

o Drowning is the 2nd leading cause of accidental death in kids ages 1-14.

o Nearly 80% of people who die from drowning are male.

o The fatal drowning rate of African American children ages 5 to 14 is almost three times that of white children in the same age range.

o Most drowning occurs within 10 feet of safety/the wall and under “adult supervision”

* To help change this trend and prevent these potential deaths, the Stephens Family YMCA is offering two Summer Swim School sessions for 150 kids, BUT we are in need of volunteer instructors so we can make it happen.

* Volunteer Opportunity #2 – Volunteer Campaigners for Scholarship Committee

o Our mission at the SFYMCA to provide support for members of the Champaign-Urbana and surrounding communities who need us most. Some members of the community need us for childcare services; others need us for inclusion services; others need us for medical and health support while others need us for emotional support.

o Because of that, we never turn away people based on financial ability to pay. In 2018, we awarded over $250,000 in financial assistance to over 1,400 people and the some of the funds that enable us to do this are raised by volunteer campaigners from our community. We are needing about 5 more volunteers to join our cause.

QUESTIONS (for the interviewer to ask the agency representative, please include answers as well):

* SUMMER SWIM SCHOOL QUESTIONS

o What is Summer Swim School? Summer Swim School is a free program that runs Monday through Friday for two weeks in the summer for kids that would likely not have access to swim lessons otherwise. During these sessions, children are provided with transportation via the Unit 4 bus system to and from our facility where they receive free

swim lessons. They also get a t-shirt, towel, swimsuit, and flip flops that they get to keep at the end of the program. Each day also includes snacks and outdoor field games.

o How many kids do this program? In the past, we were only able to offer one session, which allows up to 75 kids. Due to the demand and need for this program, we are now offering two sessions with 75 kids each or 150 kids total.

o What are the ages of kids who attend? This program is open to youth in 2nd through 5th grade.

o What is the swimming ability level of the kids that attend? The kids that attend our Summer Swim Program are at all different levels of physical and swimming abilities. This program is for anyone and everyone.

o How can children sign up? Unit 4 will send out a registration form to low-income families and the first ones to turn in their forms are placed in the program.

o What is the volunteer need? Currently, we need at least 4 volunteer instructors.

o Do the volunteer instructors need to already have experience and certifications? No. We provide the training for the YMCA SAW (Safety Around Water) swim lesson programming and volunteers will co-teach with a trained/certified YMCA instructor.

* SCHOLARSHIP COMMITTEE QUESTIONS

o $250,000 seems like a high amount to award in scholarships. Why are more volunteers needed? The $250,000 number is an awesome amount, but the reality is we only actually raised about $75,000 for that fund last year. This is awesome in that it shows that we live up to our mission of never turning people away (even if we don’t have the money in the funds), but it means that money has to come from other areas. So if we want to have an even bigger impact in our community and help even more people, we simply need to do a better job of sharing our story and raising more funds, and to do that, we need more people to help us out.

o Who do scholarships go to? About 80% of the scholarships awarded in 2018 went to “families” in need. So a big portion of that money is helping out children in our community giving them access to camps, safe childcare, a safe environment with our facility, etc.

o What do the scholarships get used for? Scholarships can be used for memberships as well as programs.

o How is it determined who gets scholarships? We evaluate scholarship recipients based on both individual need and special circumstances as well as the Federal Poverty guidelines. Award amounts can range from receiving a 5% discount to a 100% discount.

o What do you need volunteers for? Volunteers on the Scholarship Committee help us with fundraising. They help with calling potential donors, sharing our story, and asking for support in our cause. Volunteers also help with planning and putting on special events. In the past we have done trivia nights, golf outings, fun 5ks, etc.

o When do you need volunteers? Volunteers are welcome to join us anytime during the year. We know everyone has lives and varying levels of time that they can commit, and we are grateful for any assistance our volunteers can provide.

DATE AND TIME OF VOLUNTEER OPPORTUNITY: As there is so much variation here, we will get these all listed on CUvolunteer.org.

How can we learn more about this event? Visit CUvolunteer.org

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