As you might know, I serve on the board of directors of the Tellepsen Family Downtown YMCA in Houston, Texas. Advancing the community where I live and work, and being involved in shaping its trajectory has always been an important aspect of my life. I feel a certain sense of civic duty to volunteer my time, treasure, and talent in places where it’s needed most.
In case you weren’t aware, the YMCA is much more than a place to “gym & swim.” It’s a community center with a diverse membership, from corporate executives to homeless persons, from young children learning how to swim to older adults cultivating social ties.
The YMCA has influence that extends far beyond the walls of our physical building downtown. We impact thousands of lives every year through the programs we offer in the areas of academic achievement, swim safety, chronic disease prevention, outreach and family relationships. We strive to offer our community members an environment that fosters personal growth, leadership skills and healthy relationships. Anyone can walk into the YMCA and receive supportive services, in part, because of the funding we receive through our Annual Campaign.
I recently accepted the challenge to raise funds to support the Tellepsen Family Downtown YMCA.
In 2016 we provided the following to those in need:
- Onsite Food Pantry
- Clothing Pantry
- Transportation assistance (i.e. bus passes or gas cards)
- Employment and shelter assistance
- 90-day supportive services program
The Tellepsen YMCA also supports the Gregory-Lincoln Education Center (K-8), where 81% of students are economically disadvantaged and qualify for free or reduced lunch. Three of Houston’s homeless shelters are zoned to Gregory-Lincoln, and 20% of the student population is living at a shelter downtown. Along with providing basic needs and supportive services to these students, we provide a fully subsidized afterschool enrichment program, which includes a hot meal prior to leaving. The collaboration with Gregory-Lincoln is just one example of how the YMCA enriches the downtown Houston community and surrounding neighborhoods.
On a personal note, you might know that I’m passionate about leadership and personal development. I've had the chance to attend several of the YMCA's youth leader development retreats and have seen how influential these programs are on increasing the confidence, ambitions, and leadership capacity of young students.
Your support to our cause makes a true impact, allowing us to help those who wouldn’t otherwise be able to afford to participate in YMCA programs. We believe that lasting personal and social change can only come about when we all work together to invest in our kids, our health and neighbors.
Please consider making a gift today, however small, and support our efforts to strengthen the Houston community through the YMCA.