LIVINGSTON, NJ — The Metropolitan YMCA of the Oranges has set a goal to raise more than $1 million over six weeks to support families and individuals in need at its six branches. More than 250 guests attended the "Get on Board" Annual Support Campaign kickoff was held in January at the Hanover Manor in East Hanover.

The Metro YMCA, which is committed to strengthening communities by nurturing children’s potential, promoting healthy living and fostering social responsibility, is the largest association of YMCAs in New Jersey serving more than 35,000 individuals at six branches: the East Orange Y, Fairview Lake Y, South Mountain Y, Sussex County Y, Wayne Y and West Essex Y. 

“These are challenging times, when so many people lack opportunities to thrive because of unemployment and underemployment, poverty, chronic disease, educational disparities, and other problems that eat away the very fabric of our communities,” said Metro YMCA President and CEO Richard Gorab. “Fortunately, we have the power to strengthen our communities by joining together and investing in our children and neighbors in need.”

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In addition to providing programs for children, adults and seniors to stay active and socialize, the Metro Y has developed evidence-based programs to tackle obesity, help people with cancer recover, prevent child sexual abuse, close the achievement gap, ensure quality, affordable child care, make fresh vegetables and fruit available in food deserts and more, according to Metro Y Chief Development Officer Lisa Kelly.

“Every dollar donated will be used to further our mission and make impactful, enduring improvements in the communities we serve,” said Kelly.

Members and staff at each branch have been challenged to raise a portion of the $1,047,000 goal by March 6. The West Essex YMCA aims to raise $160,000.

The Metro YMCA is recognized as one of the best charities in the United States. Charity Navigator, the nation’s largest charity evaluator, has awarded the Metro Y its top rating for six-consecutive years in recognition of the organization’s sound fiscal management and commitment to accountability and transparency.

Only 6 percent of charities rated by Charity Navigator have received four-star evaluations five consecutive years or more. To contribute to the annual appeal, contact Kelly at lkelly@metroymcas.org or 973-758-9622, or visit our website at metroymcas.org.