Since it’s founding in 1886, the Summit Area YMCA (SAY) has been dedicated to serving the community by living and breathing its three pillars; providing positive youth development, encouraging healthy living and promoting a sense of volunteerism and social responsibility. For more than 130 years, the charitable organization has been working side by side with neighbors, members, staff, volunteers,and local partners to provide programming and services that allow every individual the opportunity to learn, grow, and thrive.
On December 31, 2017, after receiving the news of a major structural fire of an apartment building on Summit Avenue, the Summit Area YMCA, in partnership with the American Red Cross, demonstrated its mission and dedication to community, swiftly becoming a collection center for items such as cash donations, gift cards for food and services, clothing, shoes, and outerwear for families and individuals affected by the fire. The SAY rallied the community together, with local community news, community members and staff sharing across social media and word of mouth and by mid-day, an outpouring of community support filled the Summit YMCA with mountains of donated clothes and items.
“I can’t even begin to describe how humbling the past two days have been,” said Terri Clinton, Executive Director of the Summit YMCA, on her Facebook page. “As many of you know there was a devastating fire that displaced approximately 12 families in the community in which I work and serve. I’m thankful the Summit YMCA was able to be a collection point for these individuals. I have had the honor of meeting many of those impacted by the fire over the past 2 days, they are amazing people... hero’s in my book. Many stories were shared, friendships were made and rekindled, over 125 enormous bags of clothing and supplies were collected and over $25,000 in gift cards and cash donations.”
“To say I am exhausted is an understatement, but I am so grateful for what I have in life, so happy I could be a small hand in helping these people and amazed at the generosity of the Summit community. Thank you to everyone who has helped us with this endeavor.... I wouldn’t have wanted to spend my New Year’s Eve and day in any other way.”
Another staff member, Jay Lynn Jacobs captured video detailing the outpouring of support from community and showing the mountains of clothing collected in the Summit YMCA lobby. “This is what it’s like. It’s not just a gym, it’s not just a place to workout. It’s a place to be a part of helping people live a wonderful life and whatever they need.” said Jay, “It’s a place where people to support them, so it’s just amazing. An incredible outpouring and really what the holidays are about is giving to others.”
Gift cards are still being accepted at both the Summit YMCA and the Berkeley Heights YMCA as well as volunteers needed to help with collection, organization and distribution of donation of items to the victims.
When there is a need, the Y is here to serve. For providing a helping hand. For strengthening community. For a better us.
To volunteer, please call the Summit YMCA front desk at (908) 273-3330.
To learn more about the Summit Area YMCA, please visit www.thesay.org
Related news: https://www.thesay.org/Blog/Article/188/Staying-Strong-A-Letter-to-the-Community
About the Summit Area YMCA
The Summit Area YMCA is one of the area’s leading 501(c)3 charitable organizations. Founded in 1886, the Summit Area YMCA has a history steeped in working side-by-side with our neighbors to ensure that everyone, regardless of age, income and background, has the opportunity to learn, grow and thrive. Each year, we serve more than 10,000 individuals with our free and fee-based programs and services in an area spanning the communities of Berkeley Heights, New Providence, Millburn, Springfield, Short Hills, Summit, Gillette, and Stirling. Through the generosity of our members, donors, and partners, we are able to offer financial assistance for our programs and services to those with demonstrated need. To strengthen your community and provide others with the opportunity to learn, grow, and thrive, make your tax-deductible donation today at www.theSAY.org/give.