From April 1st - May 10th, over 50 YMCA of Orange County locations participated in collecting items to support the 7th Annual Essentials for Young Lives Drive. The county-wide goal this year was 1.2 million diapers and as of May 17th, they have collected over 1 million! To view pictures from the county-wide sorting day, where over 200 volunteers helped sort and package donated items for the shelters, and pictures from YMCA childcare sites that held collections for the 7th year, visit https://www.facebook.com/
In addition to collecting items to support the Essentials Drive, several Y programs participated in raising awareness around the problem of homelessness by engaging youth and families in a service learning project. At Arroyo Vista YMCA in Mission Viejo, parents and children were invited to a baby shower Friday, May 9th. When many of them asked, “who is having a baby?" one of the fifth grade students said it best, "Many women are having babies, but they live in homeless shelters. We are having a shower to collect things to give to them."
Service learning offers both youth and adults the opportunity to learn about, take action, and make a difference in their communities. Service learning supports our commitment to core values and character development and is an integral part of many Y programs such as Afterschool Care, Education & Leadership, and Adventure Guides programs. For information and resources to implement the service project, visit www.ymcaoc.org/
About HomeAid Orange County 7th Annual Essentials for Young Lives DriveHomeAid Orange County is the founding chapter of a national non-profit organization with the mission to support homeless families and individuals as they rebuild their lives. Established in 1989, HomeAid is the only community based organization building and renovating housing across the entire homeless continuum of care-emergency shelters, transitional housing, and permanent supportive housing. The Essentials Drive is a community collaboration to collect much needed items for homeless infants and toddlers. This is the seventh year the Y has participated in this important effort, helping HomeAid fulfill its mission by providing additional points of outreach in the community for collecting donations for the drive and raising awareness to support the growing problem of homelessness in Orange County. The Essentials Drive embodies the Y's cause, strengthening communities through opportunities for youth development, healthy living, and social responsibility. http://www.homeaidoc.org/