12/04/05 — Family Y program gives to families

View Archive

Family Y program gives to families

By Phyllis Moore
Published in News on December 4, 2005 2:02 AM

The Goldsboro Family YMCA is doing its part to ensure families have a special Christmas this year.

Since 2000, the Y's Men program has given away more than $37,000 worth of gifts and food at holiday time, said Kriquette Davis, associate executive director of the YMCA.

Likening it to other angel tree-type projects, Mrs. Davis called it another way for people to give in their community. Though it began as a way for members to contribute, it has grown beyond that.

"We started it as a membership promotion for people joining the Y, asking that they bring in $25 gift certificates and we'd waive the joining fee," she explained. It is now extended to anyone interested in making a donation, regardless of becoming a member of the club.

Anyone wanting to participate can buy a gift card, preferably from a store where Christmas gifts or food can be purchased, Mrs. Davis said. All donations are tax deductible and can be dropped off at the YMCA, located on Parkway Drive.

The drive ends on December 16, just in time for a party for recipients two days later.

The Boys and Girls Club helps by identifying families in need. They are invited to a special celebration planned for Sunday afternoon, Dec. 18, from 1-6 p.m. While the children are entertained, volunteers take parents out shopping with the gift cards.

"That also ensures us that the cards are being used wisely," Mrs. Davis said.

When the group reunites, they enjoy refreshments before being given a ham or turkey as well as canned goods to take home.

Each year, an average of 30 families benefit from the drive. Volunteers are still needed to help entertain children or accompany the adults on the shopping trip, Mrs. Davis said.

For the recipients chosen, "it's really a big deal," she said.

"All of the families that are identified are ones that are definitely in need," she said. "They're so appreciative. The kids get a big kick out of it. If it wasn't for this program, a lot of the families would not have anything for Christmas."

With events such as Hurricane Katrina this past year, many were affected financially and that could also make the holiday season harder, she said.

For more information on the Y's Men program, call 778-8557.