Making a Difference in our Community

Let’s help those in need in our community just as we have been supported in so many ways by our community.

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As Franklin Roosevelt, to whom we owe a great deal of our social safety net, once said: “The test of our progress is not whether we add more to the abundance of those who have too much, it is whether we provide enough for those who have too little.” As a member of the Board of the Westfield Area Y, I am humbly asking for your help to provide opportunities at the Y to those who would not otherwise have the resources to access the Y’s services — services like summer camp, child care, senior fitness classes and the many other activities in which many of us are fortunate enough to participate without having to make a choice between these activities and groceries or rent or medication. This is the time of year when the Westfield Area Y embarks on its annual support campaign, the Y’s scholarship program. 100% of the funds raised through the annual campaign provide aid to people in our greater Westfield community who need support for their daily survival. There are so many people in need in our world that it may seem that we are powerless to help. Yet helping just one person in our community changes our world for the better.

At the Y, we nurture the potential of kids, promote healthy living and foster a sense of social responsibility. No one who is experiencing a bona fide financial hardship is turned away for inability to pay. In fact, each year the Westfield Area Y provides almost $400,000 in direct financial assistance to nearly individuals in need in our greater Westfield community. The majority of scholarships are awarded for children to attend full day child care, school age child care or summer day camp. The Y’s scholarships allow people who are looking for work or working multiple jobs to make ends meet to place their children in one of the Y’s many fine programs, knowing that their children will be well cared for while they do what they need to do to provide for their families. They truly appreciate the assistance the Y provides to help them get back on their feet.

My family and I have supported the Y’s annual support campaign campaign for years. As my own children have grown and moved out of our house, they continue to support the campaign because they understand the importance of helping people in the community that nurtured them and launched them into adulthood. As a family, we feel that so much has been given to us that it is our privilege and obligation to share with others. We never cease to be moved by the overwhelming sense of gratitude the scholarship recipients so openly express.

As you consider your charitable giving for 2018, I sincerely hope you will consider a tax-deductible gift to the Westfield Area Y’s Annual Support Campaign. Only by working together can we give more kids the opportunity to grow strong in spirit, mind and body.

Sheilah O’Halloran