Tuesday, June 8, 2010

YMCA Staff Story

It is common for us as YMCA staff to hear stories from our members about what the YMCA means to them. This past week I received a card from an employee who recently completed her work experience in our Kids' Korner after school program. Christa Vardaro is a 2010 graduate of Wesleyan University and has worked as a group leader in our after school programs for the past four years. She reflected on her experience with the YMCA by sharing the following thoughts:

"The last four years at Kids' Korner have been more than I could have ever expected. I have made lasting friendships with staff and have had the opportunity to get close with and see the kids dramatically change over the years. I truly believe that Kids' Korner is the perfect after school program; providing kids the perfect balance of structure and freedom by allowing them to participate in a safe and fun community. Working for the YMCA has really made me realize the importance of after school education for children and has influenced my current job hunt, post graduation. I just wanted to thank everyone at the YMCA for creating such a wonderful program for kids and for allowing me to be a part of it. I have had a blast and have learned a lot from my experience."

The Middlesex YMCA means so much to so many people. YMCA staff are fortunate to have the opportunity to provide our members with programs that build spirit, mind and body. As we spread our message and deliver our programs we meet many people and create meaningful partnerships. Our interactions and experiences with our members and programs affect us in ways we sometimes do not expect and can influence our choices in life. Thank you Christa for sharing your story and experiences.

Thursday, June 3, 2010

Crayons for Cancer

Caring and compassion are core values at the Middlesex YMCA. This week, Macdonough School Kids' Korner had the opportunity to exemplify these traits by supporting "Crayons for Cancer." (www.crayonsforcancer.org).

"Crayons for Cancer" seeks to ease the financial burdens of families whose children currently suffering from cancer by selling cute-shaped crayons. They take old crayon donations to melt down and create fun shape crayons that are sold or used to replenish hospital Treasure Chests.

At Kids' Korner, we noticed that the box of crayons on our art cart had been getting larger and larger and that many of those crayons were broken ones. Around the same time, we learned about "Crayons for Cancer 2nd Annual Benefit Concert" (June 12th, 2010) and decided it would be a perfect was to get involved.

The children started Tuesday afternoon by sorting out our "good" crayons from the "donation" crayons. They could not believe how many broken pieces were inside our crayon box. After they peeled away the paper from all the donation crayons, they were shocked to find that there were over 1,000 broken crayons to donate to this great cause.

The donation will be brought to to "Buried Under Comics" who will deliver our donation to the Crayons for Cancer Benefit Concert on June 12th in Manchester, CT from 11-3 pm.

To read about other ways Macdonough School Kids' Korner has supported families with cancer this school year, please visit the Macdonough School Blog at http://macdonoughschool.blogspot.com/2010/01/ribbon-project.html