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Every year the YMCA of Greater Rochester raises money for the Annual Campaign for Financial Assistance. Every single cent of every dollar raised stays right here in Rochester and goes directly towards helping our members and people in need. It sends kids to camp. It helps adults get started on their wellness journey. It gives seniors a sense of belonging. It provides a safe place for teens after school.

Last year, because of generous donors like many of you reading this, the Y was able to raise more than $2.6 million. We gave out more than $3 million.

Every year, members and staff give. Sandy Zapkin, an employee at our Northwest Family YMCA, is one of them. She’s worked in many different areas in the branch – child watch, preschool, membership. Sandy gets asked about why she gives, and recently wrote down her thoughts and answers to that question.

Here is what she had to say:

I have been a member or employee of the Northwest Family YMCA for about 29 years now. The YMCA has become my home away from home. You will find me just dropping in for a few minutes just because!

Many ask me why? The reason is it’s a terrific place to be. I have been supporting the YMCA by making my pledge to the Annual Campaign almost every year, volunteering at different events and just trying to do whatever I can, whenever I can.

Every year the YMCA does its Annual Campaign.  As an employee, we are asked to make a pledge that we are comfortable with. I always tried to give a little more each year.  After my husband passed away, I increased that amount and here is why:

The YMCA gives so much back to our community through Financial Assistance.  This helps so many people become and stay a part of our community by helping with memberships, youth sports and swimming programs, and so much more.  We also help cancer survivors through our LIVESTRONG program.

Over the years I have seen how it has helped. The mom who was afraid she was going to pull her kids out of preschool. The family whose son was suddenly been diagnosed with cancer. The list goes on. No matter how things look on the outside, no one truly knows what’s really going on in someone’s life.

The YMCA has also helped me. How? Twenty-seven years ago they hired me. They were there when I was diagnosed with breast cancer. They hired both of my kids to work in aquatics. When my husband died, they supported my family once again through a terrible time in my life.  The YMCA is one of the reasons I stay in Rochester. They are my family!

Here’s my closing: we will continue to help any and all who are in need.  But to do this we need your help.  If you can make a pledge to the YMCA it will help us to continue our support to the community.

Sandy’s story is just one of the many “Y stories” from staff at all of the branches of the YMCA of Greater Rochester. Stories that show the Y is many things to many people, and the support from donors makes a difference in their lives.

You can make an impact on our community toady and learn exactly where your donation is going. Donate now