The four YMCA branches are: Triunfo YMCA (serving Agoura Hills, Westlake Village and Oak Park) the Conejo Valley YMCA (serving Thousand Oaks, Santa Rosa Valley and Moorpark), the Simi Valley Family YMCA (serving Simi Valley) and the Miller Family YMCA (serving Newbury Park including Dos Vientos Ranch).
"Our campaign is especially important this year since many families in our community are hurting," says Ronnie Stone, executive director of the Triunfo and Conejo Valley YMCAs. "The Y never turns anyone away because of their inability to pay. We serve the entire community--all ages, races, religions and income levels."
In 2009, 650 volunteers provided 14,000 hours of service allowing the Southeast Ventura County YMCA to serve approximately 28,670 individuals. The number of YMCA participants increased by almost 5,000 over 2008. Its 19 childcare sites and two preschool centers cared for 750 children and 2009 summer camp saw over 400 children participate in daily camp activities. "Last year, 2,720 kids and adults in our communities benefited from Strong Kids Campaign donations. That's up from a little over 1,300 in 2008," says Rick Politte, president and CEO of the Southeast Ventura County YMCA. "For 2010, we're projecting that the Strong Kids Campaign will provide more than $262,000 of financial assistance and subsidize over $583,000 of YMCA programs such as camps, preschool, youth sports, teens, families, and health and well-being."
"The Y partners with about 50 community organizations throughout the year on programs and events," says Dan Jaeger, executive director of the Simi Valley Family YMCA. "Our goal in everything we do is to strengthen an individual's spiritual, mental and physical well-being. In doing so, we also strengthen our community."
Any size gift is appreciated. A gift of $150 provides seven weeks of swim lessons for three kids; $250 makes it possible for a child to attend a week of summer camp; $500 enables a child to attend a YMCA preschool or afterschool program for a month; and $1,000 helps a teen participate in the YMCA Youth & Government program.
"We have all been touched by recent global tragedies and the joint feeling of reaching out has helped tremendously with the plight of those affected," says Jill Shaffer, executive director of the Miller Family YMCA. "The magic of this wave of giving has made this country realize what we are capable of doing to help those in need in our own communities. Help the YMCA serve those families who need a little help right now."
YMCA volunteers will contact potential donors over the next six weeks to see if they can contribute to this year's campaign. To find out how to make a donation, contact the YMCA corporate office: Lori Kent, 805-497-3081,lkent@