YMCA Launches 2021 Annual Campaign

The YMCA of Rock River Valley has launched its annual fundraising campaign to help ensure that everyone in our community has access to vital programs and resources – especially during these challenging times.  YMCA board of trustees member and volunteer Mike Broski is chair of the 2021 campaign.

Every year, the Y works to respond to the needs of the community and this year has been no different. Since the country began seeing the effects of COVID-19, the Y mobilized to provide the essential services needed in the Rock River Valley.

“Our community has faced unprecedented challenges this year,” said Michelle Gorham, Chief Advancement Officer, YMCA of Rock River Valley, “But, we’ve also seen unprecedented support from our members and donors. Strong communities are built by people who care about one another, and this year has proven that the Rock River Valley cares.”

Since March 2020, the Y has provided more than 50,000 meals to children and families in our community, provided child care to essential workers, launched virtual fitness classes, modified the fitness center to ensure members feel safe while maintaining their healthy routines, and created a safe space for children to learn while schools operated remotely. We were able to provide these critical services because of generous donations. There is a sense of urgency to continue our efforts.

According to the American Psychological Association, 42% of Americans reported gaining weight during the pandemic (29 pounds on average). Additionally, 47% of Americans report their mental health has worsened. There has been an 8% increase in childhood obesity from 37% to 45%. Our children need help in school, too, as Rockford Public School shares that more than 50% of students are failing.

“While these numbers may be startling, we hope they drive action,” said Mike Broski, YMCA Annual Campaign Chair. “We have an opportunity to help. Supporting the Y helps to mobilize programs and services in our community, so we can all emerge from the crisis stronger.”  

This year, the YMCA of Rock River Valley hopes to raise $1.3 million. So far, more than $570,000 has been raised this year, which is 44% of goal. Donations will support more than $1 million in scholarships and program subsidies to ensure affordable access for all. Once we can expand our reach and ensure access, then we can help combat learning loss, focus on rebuilding health, and giving people a place to socialize and improve their mental health. 

If you’re interested in making a donation to the 2021 annual campaign, click here. You can also call the Mission Advancement office at 779-500-0810 or text: 2021ROCKRIVERY TO 44321 to get a giving form on your mobile device.