When you think of YMCA sports I am sure many things come to mind. For many it is the fond memory of playing sports, the competition, the friendships, the teamwork, or the fact that your parent was your coach. In YMCA sports we strive to do more than just teach the skills of the game and how to play the sport. We want each child to to learn life skills like sportsmanship, teamwork, and caring for others. This year we have a member of our youth soccer program show what YMCA sports is all about.
Let me tell you the story of a little girl named Saniya. Saniya is one of our many participants in the fall soccer program. She is a member of the 7-9 girls team, the Hawks, and enjoys coming to the YMCA for sports or to swim with her brother.
On October 10th Saniya had her sports themed birthday party in the gym here at the Adrian L. Shuford Jr. YMCA. Some little girls may want something new and exciting for their birthday like the latest Anna or Elsa dolls from Frozen, a fashion boutique set, or maybe even the latest version of an easy bake oven. Saniya, on the other hand, did not ask for any new toy or gadget but instead asked for all her guests to bring a donation to help others afford to participate in the YMCA’s Sports Program.
Saniya set a goal to raise $40 so she would be able to help pay for one kid to participate in sports. The day of her party the YMCA’s gym was decorated to celebrate Saniya’s birthday. After the cake was cut, Saniya started to count her gifts. She collected everything into a bucket and discovered she exceeded her goal by receiving over $200. She was elated with joy because she was able to help not one child but 5 children to participate in sports.
Her $200 was given towards the overall goal of $75,000. Every year the YMCA has their Annual Campaign where money is raised to help families who may not be able to afford to participate in programs. Saniya wanted to help other families have the opportunity to enjoy the YMCA as much as she does. Through her selfless act in asking for donations instead of gifts she has helped families afford our sports program.
Every gift matters no matter the volume. Through these gifts we are able to benefit our community and continue to have these invaluable lessons instilled in children in our area. Together we can have a community full of kids just like Saniya who want to give back to a place that has given them so much.