I am writing to you in my capacity as the Chair of the Board of the Westfield Area Y, an invaluable community resource. This is the time of year when the Westfield Area Y reaches out to the community to support its annual scholarship campaign which serves not only families with children, but seniors and other members of our community in need of the Y’s support. 100% of the campaign funds provide aid to people in our greater Westfield community who need the resources of the Y and can’t afford them. My giving this year is inspired by the words of Herman Melville who wrote: “We cannot live for ourselves alone. Our lives are connected by a thousand invisible threads, and along these sympathetic fibers, our actions run as causes and return to us as results.” Every dollar you and I give to support our scholarship campaign improves the life of someone in need.
At the Y, we nurture the potential of kids, support our community’s seniors and young adults with special needs, promote healthy living and foster a sense of social responsibility. No one who is experiencing a bona fide financial hardship is turned away for inability to pay. In 2015, the Y awarded $418,615 in direct financial assistance to 235 individuals in need. The majority of scholarships are awarded for children to attend the Y’s outstanding full day child care, school age child care or summer day camp programs. The Y’s scholarships allow people who are looking for work or working multiple jobs to make ends meet to place their children in one of the Y’s many fine, nationally accredited programs, knowing that their children will be well cared for while they do what they need to do to provide for their families. The gratitude they express is overwhelming.
My family and I have supported the Y’s annual campaign for many years. My young adult children continue to support the Y’s annual campaign even though they now live in Virginia and Wisconsin because they understand the importance of helping others in the village that helped raise them. As a family, we feel that so much has been given to us that it is our privilege and obligation to share with others.
As you consider your charitable giving for 2016, I sincerely hope you will consider a tax-deductible gift to the Westfield Y’s annual campaign. Only by working together can we give our community the opportunity to grow strong in spirit, mind and body. On behalf of the Westfield Area Y, thank you for considering a gift to the 2016 annual campaign.