March 5, 2008

I need your help

As many of you know, I work for the YMCA. And rather recently I became the Executive Director of a YMCA that is a stone’s throw from the U.S.-Mexico border. What’s rather unique of this YMCA is that we don’t have a full facility. We operate our programs out of an office building. Because of this, most of our programs are off-site. We provide six different childcare programs – mostly for low-income families – at various elementary schools in our community. We provide youth sports programs that happen every Saturday at local parks and schools. We provide Teen Leadership programs for low-income kids who need guidance and support as they try and capture the American Dream of becoming anything they want to be. In essence, we improve the quality of life for hundreds, if not thousands, of kids and families each year.

One in four families that live within a three mile radius lives under the federal guidelines for poverty. And while there is only one YMCA in this community, there are nine documented gangs – many tied to the Tijuana drug cartels – competing for the same kids in a struggle of good versus evil. Even sadder, is that in a community that is 63% Hispanic, half of all hispanic teenagers will become pregnant in our community. We can do better in serving these kids and their families. That is why we are here.

My job is to make sure that we never turn anyone away due to an inability to pay. I wrote about the joys of making this happen in a post last month. Please take a moment to read that post to get a feel for how impactful we can be as a supportive community.

This month is our Strong Kids Campaign – a fundraising drive that lasts for about five weeks – that allows us to provide programming for anyone who wants it. Our goal is to raise $90,000. As I write this, with one week to go, we have raised a tad over $75,000. We are so close to meeting our goal and yet, as the prospects list grows smaller, we seem miles away at the same time. This is where I ask you to consider helping out.

I have made similar requests in the past and the response has been amazing. And while each YMCA I have worked at has had tremendous need, I can honestly say that this YMCA has been doing so much with so little that it is truly inspiring to show up for work every day. If you can give $25, $50, $100 or more, you can literally make the difference for a parent worried about having a safe, nurturing environment for her child while she works two jobs. Every penny goes straight into our programs and every cent is tax deductible for those of you who live in the U.S.

If you can, you can make a contribution on-line by going here and designating your funds to the Border View YMCA. Please put my name: “Matthew” in the comments section so I can make sure it goes to the right place.

Additionally, if you’d like to give a larger gift that can be spread out over 10 month (the current calendar year), email me at and I can give you information about how to do that.

Thank you in advance for your consideration in helping us achieve our mission.


  1. Done, my friend. As always, keep up the outstanding work.

    Comment by MetroDad — March 6, 2008 @ 6:26 am

  2. I’m all over it.

    Comment by Christine — March 6, 2008 @ 10:37 am

  3. I’m in. :)

    Comment by Deanna — March 7, 2008 @ 12:34 pm

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