SHREWSBURY, NJ: Providing families affordable childcare, increasing youth access to water safety skills and reducing isolation among seniors are three ways the YMCA of Greater Monmouth County helps to strengthen the community.

“The Y is here for all,” says President and CEO Laurie Goganzer. “Regardless of age, income or background, the Y exists to nurture potential and to help make everyone stronger. From giving kids a solid start to education in our childcare programs to building a caring community of active seniors, the Y is making an important difference every day.”

To ensure that the Y can continue its commitment to individuals and families in need of vital programs, the charitable organization has launched its Annual Community Campaign, Our Purpose is Deeper than Our Pools.

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The community appeal seeks to raise $114,000 during an eight-week period to support an overall Annual Campaign goal of $265,000, said Annual Campaign Chairman Ted Nappi, a member of the Y Board of Directors.

“Every donation to the campaign is like a splash in the pool – the ripples keep going,” Nappi said. “All campaign proceeds go right back into the community in the form of financial assistance for individuals and families to access essential Y programs, and to underwrite community health and education initiatives such as water safety and chronic disease prevention,” Nappi added.

More than 30 community volunteers are helping the Y raise support for the campaign, which runs through April 10, said Y board member Christian Buckman, who is serving as chairperson of the community appeal.   

“When you give to the Annual Campaign, you aren’t giving to the Y,” Buckman stressed, “you are giving through the Y to our neighbors in need.”

In 2019, the Y provided $875,000 in financial assistance to support 2,820 families in Monmouth County, said Pam Hearn, the Y’s chief development officer. This year, the Y hopes to raise $1 million in total philanthropy, which in addition to the Annual Campaign, includes fundraising events and foundation and community grants.

Since its merger in September 2019, the YMCA of Greater Monmouth County serves over 36,000 people across Monmouth County, as well as areas of southern Middlesex County and portions of Ocean County.

The Y is well-known and respected for its commitment to youth development programs and impressive fitness facilities, Goganzer said. However, the YMCA of Greater Monmouth County is also making a deep impact in the area of behavioral health, providing therapeutic counseling at 90 schools in Monmouth, Ocean and Middlesex counties. Additionally, Goganzer said, the Y’s counseling and social services team leads the Traumatic Loss Coalition in both Monmouth and Ocean counties to help prevent suicide.

“The Y is a tremendous community partner,” Buckman said. “With continued support from the community, the Annual Campaign can help make life better for more of our neighbors in need.”

Area residents and businesses are invited to support the campaign with a tax-deductible donation by check or credit card at www.ymcanj.org/donate. For more information about the Annual Campaign or Y programs and services, visit www.ymcanj.org.

About YMCA of Greater Monmouth County

YMCA of Greater Monmouth County is here for all – to empower youth and teens, improve health and strengthen community. A leading nonprofit charity, the Y unites 36,000 people of all ages, incomes and backgrounds. In 2019, we provided $875,000 in financial assistance to strengthen approximately 2,820 families in need. The Community YMCA and YMCA of Western Monmouth County formed the countywide Y on Sept. 1, 2019. Our life-changing programs and services are anchored in 10 communities: health and wellness facilities in Freehold Township, Old Bridge and Red Bank; outdoor day camps in Millstone and Wall; a community center in Freehold Borough; counseling and social service centers in Eatontown, Matawan and Middletown; child care centers in Freehold Township, Matawan and Red Bank; and integrated in nearly 100 schools in Monmouth and Ocean counties. We’re based in Shrewsbury, NJ. Learn more at www.ymcanj.org/strongertogether.