Uplifting and promoting our agency partner’s projects is a part of our mission here at United Way of Whitewater Valley. Reaching the youth in our community ensures that our future generations are set up for physical and financial longevity.
To us, youth success means providing young people with the opportunities and support they need to succeed. One of our partner agencies is making youth success happen in Wayne and Union counties. Read more about youth success in one of our most recent blogs.
The Richmond Family YMCA offers childcare and health and fitness programs for adults and children. Their mission is to build stronger children, stronger families, and a stronger community. They have been serving Wayne and Union counties for more than 100 years. As one of our partners who focuses on youth success, their programs strengthen children physically and mentally while providing parents with childcare and a place to engage their minds and bodies. Richmond YMCA is filling gaps in Wayne and Union counties for children and parents.
Partnerships That Support The Community
Richmond Family YMCA not only partners with other nonprofits in our counties, but they also partner with large employers such as SugarCreek: Brandworthy Food Solutions. Their partnership with SugarCreek formed in response to the childcare dessert that was happening in Cambridge City. The dilemma of many parents employed by SugarCreek was they were unable to find satisfactory child care close to their workplace. When parents are unable to find childcare for their children, they are unable to go to work. SugarCreek and Richmond Family YMCA joined forces to bring childcare to the area.
With the onset of COVID-19, SugarCreek and Richmond Family YMCA had to make changes to their daycare. The building they had previously been using, to provide high-quality childcare, could not be modified for COVID-19 restrictions. As they were considering options, one stuck out as the most obvious. Western Wayne Elementary, not far from the SugarCreek facility, has recently been experiencing a decline in the student population. This is a trend seen all over Indiana, but Richmond Family YMCA had an alternative.
Working With Western Wayne Elementary
Richmond Family YMCA proposed using the spare classrooms at Western Wayne Elementary as the location for their childcare facility. This partnership with Western Wayne Elementary continued to fill the gap within Wayne County and is a model for future partnerships. Children who attend daycare at Western Wayne Elementary will likely attend school in the same building once they enter preschool or kindergarten. This makes children and parents more comfortable. Richmond Family YMCA caregivers also work closely with the Western Wayne preschool teachers to ensure that their curriculums complement each other. Not only are children receiving quality care, but they are also more prepared to enter the school once they are old enough.
This model partnership between Richmond Family YMCA, SugarCreek, and Western Wayne Elementary shows the impact organizations can have when they collaborate. Now SugarCreek and Western Wayne Elementary employees have a quality daycare for their children.
The Richmond Family YMCA daycare first opened its doors on February 1, 2021. They are working overtime to hire more employees so they can welcome more children. They have room for 38 children. Ten other children are on the waiting list. Their only barrier to filling all 38 spots is hiring enough caregivers. They are working vigorously to fill these positions and hope to soon be at capacity. The YMCA does not only offer childcare they also have options to offset the costs through vouchers and scholarships.
Vouchers and Scholarships
There is often confusion about the difference between vouchers and scholarships. Here is a simplified explanation. Vouchers are given to parents by the state of Indiana, and scholarships are given to parents by the Richmond Family YMCA. Both offset the expense of childcare, which for many parents can eat up a lot of their income. Vouchers, also known as CCDF, have a more intensive application process through the state. While for a childcare scholarship from the YMCA, parents can apply by filling out a single form. Richmond Family YMCA has simplified the scholarship process to make it easier for parents to pursue scholarships for childcare.
This entire scholarship program hinges on one thing—donated funds. Every year the Richmond Family YMCA raises funds to help parents offset the cost of childcare. As a major fundraising project, and they are always looking for donors, supporters, and volunteers. Learn more about how you can get involved at the Richmond Family YMCA.
Partnership and Collaboration
Here at United Way of Whitewater Valley, we believe in lifting our agency partners. We help them to promote the work they have done in the community. While we do not fund their partnership with SugarCreek and Western Wayne Elementary, we feel that it is important to share this story of collaboration. When organizations can come together and partner, it benefits the entire community, and in this instance, our youth are benefiting. A program that we do exclusively fund is the Bus Waiter program.
In College Corner, a small part of Union County, students were waiting more than an hour to be bussed home. There was an obvious need for a constructive program for these students. We partnered with Richmond Family YMCA to meet the need in Union County. With the implementation of the Bus Waiter program, children now have a structured program while they are waiting. They receive a snack, play games, and receive homework assistance.
We also help fund the Richmond Family YMCA Sports Program. This program gives the Wayne County children the opportunity to get outside, and make friends while engaging in exercise through organized sports. Ensuring the success of the youth in Wayne and Union is one of our top priorities. Organizations like the Richmond Family YMCA are working daily to ensure every student/child in our community is allowed to graduate high school and pursue their chosen career path.