Reasons to Give Back to the Y and the Community

November and December is a great time to give back and make an impact to those around you. Everyday, our staff goes above and beyond to provide a fun and inclusive environment for members and the community alike. As a volunteer-led, non-profit organization, our operations run on the help of our dedicated staff, wonderful and loyal volunteers, and the funds we receive from our magnificent donors. The Summit Area YMCA is grateful to all, whether you have donated your time, money, food, clothing, or supplies, no matter the amount, to support our community. Without you, the Summit Area YMCA could not be possible. 

We hope you have a wonderful time during this holiday season, and consider ways you can get involved at your favorite local Y. As a non-profit, we need your support now more than ever as small businesses and community organizations are facing tremendous hardship within the last year. Every donation, big or small, provides families, children, students, adults, and seniors the opportunity to participate in free or low cost programs that promotes our three areas of focus - healthy living, youth development, and social responsibility.

Take a look at a few of our programs that are made possible through donations and financial assistance: 


On a weekly basis, the Summit Area YMCA donates packs of food to families in need through our Family Packs and Red Rabbit Program. More than 2,638 packs of healthy food have been distributed in the Summit area so far this year! With your help, we can continue to provide to families in need, put food on their table, keep their children strong and healthy, and provide even more food packs each and every year. 


Many working families struggle with finding affordable childcare. The SAY awards financial assistance to working families, to ensure that the children are in a safe and welcoming environment while their parents are at work. With our very own children's educational center, The Learning Circle YMCA, and our various childcare programs at the Berkeley Heights YMCA and Summit YMCA, we strive to provide children with the best education and social skills regardless of financial background. 


Through our Livestrong® at the YMCA program, cancer survivors can receive free fitness and wellness classes that allows them to reclaim their health. These classes are catered to the individual needs of the person and we are there each step of the way to motivate and encourage them to reach their goals. 


There are 76 students enrolled in our free Achievers Program and 68 students enrolled in the 8th Grade Leaders Club, all backed by financial assistance. Students participate in weekly meetings, SAT preparation, career planning workshops, internship opportunities, corporate mentoring, guest speaking lectures, college tours, community development projects, and more!


The Summit Area YMCA created the Military Outreach Initiative to address the needs of families of deployed military personnel who live far from a military installation and require access to child development, family strengthening, and health and well-being programming. Active duty and deployed personnel of the Armed Services, their spouses and families (dependent children) are eligible for a free military membership. With sacrifices they make everyday, it is important for us to give back to them and provide a safe place for their family. 


One of our areas of focus, as part of our organization's mission, is to empower young people to reach their full potential through providing youth enrichment programs. By providing free or low cost programs for our youth, families can spend time together at the Y, learn new skills, make memories, and feel secured in an inclusive environment. Our programs foster skills and critical thinking in many areas such as the arts, sciences, and physical activity, in addition to encouraging social interaction while improving self-confidence. Fridays in Motion, our monthly free social event for individuals with special needs, engage the children through games, swimming, sports, arts and crafts, and pet therapy. 


There were over 600 children enrolled in our fun and enriching summer camps this year. Many of these children are able to attend camp thanks to the financial assistance provided by the donations made to the Summit Area YMCA! Summer Camp is undoubtedly one of the best times in a child's life, and you can make it possible and attainable for families to send their children to summer camps through your ongoing support. 


Every year, the Summit Area YMCA organizes a Virtual Holiday Giving Tree that provides local families in need by giving back and spread holiday joy to our community. This program asks local, low-income families what they would like to give to their children during the holidays, a special time in a child's life that's built on cheer, gratitude, and love. With a curated Amazon Wish List, these gifts are for families who are struggling with food insecurity, buying clothes and necessities for their children, and having a safe place to call their home.


The Summit Area YMCA offers a variety of free, community-oriented, fun, educational, cultural and social special events for all ages! Annual cultural events at the Y include the Lunar New Year celebration, Diwali: The Festival of Lights, PRIDE celebration, Holi Color Festival, Welcoming Week, and more! Through our DIG (Diversity, Inclusion, and Global Innovation) initiative, the Summit Area YMCA is committed to creating a culture in which diversity and inclusion are integral to everyday operations. Through welcoming, inclusive practices and environments, we welcome and engage all people from all diverse groups of the community to help and impact lasting, meaningful change.

With your help, the Summit Area YMCA can continue to supply our community, families, and youth members with beneficial programs, free or at affordable costs. As a non-profit, volunteer-led organization, we cannot thank each and every donor enough for their time and effort, and their undisputed support and for furthuring our mission to support and strengthen our community each and everyday. 

If you would like to give back to your community, please consider making a donation to the Y so we can continue these programs and continue to expand our offerings. If you cannot make a monetary donation, but would like to still make an impact, the Y has many volunteering opportunities!


If you would like to get involved by volunteering, donating to a local cause, or to partner with the Summit Area YMCA for a new program or event, please contact Tiffany Escott, Summit Area YMCA - Mission Advancement and Development Director, at



In 1886, we were founded as the Young Men's Christian Association, but today, we are The Y. An association that values, and is made stronger by, its diverse people. We stand for youth development, healthy living and social responsibility — For a better us. We are committed to creating equal opportunity for all regardless of gender, age, disability, income, ethnicity, sexual orientation or religious affiliation. We strive to create a welcoming and inclusive culture in which our four core values — responsibility, honesty, caring and respect — are integral to everyday operations.

Each year, as one of the area’s leading 501(c)3 charitable organizations, the Summit Area YMCA serves more than 15,000 individuals with our free and fee-based programs and services in an area spanning the New Jersey communities of Berkeley Heights, Gillette, Millburn, New Providence, Short Hills, Springfield, Stirling and Summit. Our history is rooted in working side-by-side with our neighbors to ensure that everyone has the opportunity to learn, grow and thrive. Through the generosity of our members, donors, and partners, we are able to offer financial assistance for our programs and services to those in need.