YMCA of MEWSA begins annual campaign to support programs

The YMCA of Metuchen, Edison, Woodbridge and South Amboy (MEWSA) has launched its campaign to raise $300,000 by th end of the year.

The funds raised by the YMCA will ensure that everyone in the communities served by the YMCA of MEWSA have access to vital community programs and resources that support youth development, healthy living and social responsibility, according to information provided by the Y.

“Throughout the communities we serve, countless people know the Y. But there’s so much more to our Y than one might think,” Bruce Peragallo, chief volunteer officer of the Y, said in a prepared statement after the campaign kickoff on Jan. 9 at the JFK Social Center in Edison. “The Y is more than a gym. It’s a cause. We’re dedicated to nurturing the potential of every child and teen, improving the nation’s health and well-being, and giving back and providing support to our neighbors.”

At the kickoff event, Vivian Z., ESL Program participant, spoke of arriving in America knowing very little English and knowing only one other person—her husband. Taking matters into her own hands, she googled “ESL Programs” and found a new family at the Y who helped her assimilate into American culture and learn to communicate more effectively, according to the statement.

Judy R., a participant in the LiveSTRONG program for cancer survivors, spoke about how taking classes at the Y gave her the confidence and ability to navigate in a world so no longer felt a part of.

“I found strength in me I didn’t know existed,” Judy said, according to the statement. “I was intimidated walking into the gym, but Dean Seda, Edison YMCA Health and Wellness director, took my hand and told me everything was going to be fine. And it was.”

Last year, charitable gifts from donors strengthened the YMCA of MEWSA, making it possible for the Y to open its doors to more than 1,500 children to have a safe place to learn and build confidence in summer camp, for 2,470 youth and teens to join the Y as members and program participants, for 575 volunteers to invest 16,950 hours in service to Y members and programs, for 42 cancer survivors to get strong in the LiveSTRONG program, and for 1,200 people to have access to YMCA facilities and programs, according to the statement.

For more information or to make a donation, contact Katie McAdoo at 732-516-2089 or katie.mcadoo@ymcaofmewsa.org.