Sure, if you need people to contribute to your cause you can just ask them for money. But it’s so much more fun to have them shake it at Zumba, attend a special exercise class, or vote for their favorite aquatics instructor!
That’s what’s happening at the South Oakland YMCA. Staff there have come up with all kinds of interesting ways to generate contributions to the Strong Kids Campaign. Group exercise coordinator and instructor Melanie Sevald has brought in several hundred dollars for the campaign through her classes. In November, they did a Thanksgiving Day workout very early in the morning, and donated the fees from participants to the campaign. Similar bonus classes during the breaks between sessions raised money and also allowed their very loyal class members to continue their workouts between sessions.
Melanie says she thinks it’s important to support the Strong Kids Campaign because it’s part of why the Y is special. “It’s what makes us different from everybody else,” she says. “We never turn anyone away. We want to make sure everyone has the means to fully participate here.”
Earlier in March, they capitalized on the Zumba craze by throwing a Zumba party for the whole community, not just Y members, to benefit the Strong Kids Campaign. Currently, members can vote fot their favorite aquatics instructor by putting a $10 pledge to Strong Kids in the bucket on a table outside the pool with their favorite instructor’s name, and also get a chance to win four free swim lessons.
While these fundraisers are fun and light-hearted, they serve a very serious purpose. Thanks to the Strong Kids Campaign, kids, seniors and families have a chance to be part of a welcoming community. Whether it’s a mom freed from the worry of finding safe and quality care for her children in the summer because they were able to attend day camp, or a senior citizen who has found friends and renewed vigor in a Healthy Older Adults class, the Strong Kids Campaign allows the Y to continue making a difference in people’s lives.