LYNCHBURG, Va. – The YMCA isn’t just about the gym and swimming.
For the YMCA of Central Virginia, the empowering message of a new initiative is in the name: “Give Back, Do Good.”
The program launched at the start of the year. The goal is to support a different nonprofit or cause.
For January, the Y is hosting a coat drive for Lynchburg City Public Schools and the local Salvation Army. They’ve already been able to deliver 100 new and gently used coats along with some hats and gloves. They are taking donations until the end of the month.
Students are no longer able to drink directly from water fountains due to the pandemic so the Y is also collecting reusable water bottles.
The initiative has also been able to donate coats to the Salvation Army.
CEO Jay Park said the success they are seeing with the program is coming from the community really stepping up.
“We had a member walking out the door put a fleece jacket on, saw the sign, took it off and put it in the bin so we have very giving and very caring members that belong to us. So it was just a way to make our community a more positive environment for people to live,” said Park.
Next month the plan is to collect toiletry items for Lighthouse Community Center of Lynchburg.
Park said he wants members and non-members alike to understand the mission of the YMCA is to help others live a more positive life and it doesn’t have to be restricted to fitness and childcare, what most people may associate the nonprofit with.
“That’s what the greater drive is, making our community a better place for everybody, giving everybody help to stay warm or have toiletries or have food, that is part of giving, to our being a good neighbor and being supportive, that’s what we’re all about,” Park said.
To donate, you can drop off items at their Jamerson Family YMCA (801 Wyndhurst Drive, Lynchburg, VA 24502), downtown location (1315 Church Street, Lynchburg VA 24504) and the Express YMCA location (3408 Old Forest Road, Lynchburg, VA 24502).