Y Volunteers Serve as the Heart & Soul
April is National Volunteer month – the perfect time to recognize the Tampa Y’s volunteers, the heart and soul of our organization. Without their hard work and dedication, we couldn’t do the work we do every day to help kids, families and communities thrive.
As one of the leading nonprofits and volunteer organizations in the country, nearly 600,000 people volunteer at the Y each year. Here at the Tampa Y, our volunteers give back through activities such as mentoring teens, coaching youth sports, serving on our boards and fundraising. These opportunities also help volunteers enhance their personal well-being and develop meaningful relationships – all while making an impact in communities they care about.
One of the ways you can volunteer is by helping kids read through YMCA READS! The program focuses on closing the gap between K-3rd graders’ reading performance and the state’s reading performance expectations. It serves more than 175 students each year at Sulphur Springs K-8 Community School, Twin Lakes Elementary and Pizzo K-6/Patel Lower Campus School.
Over the past year, more than 35 Grow Financial Credit Union staff have volunteered over 70 hours with YREADS! students at Sulphur Springs. They read books and play disguised learning games with small groups, while making meaningful connections. “The volunteer opportunity is so popular with Grow Financial staff that they requested extra volunteer dates to accommodate all of the interest,” says Grant Manager Ali Hollenbeck.
Volunteerism is making a difference in these children’s performance. Since the program’s inception in 2015, nearly 700 students in Hillsborough County have benefited from YMCA READS! During the 2017-2018 school year, 88 percent of participants improved their reading skills. Of those, 36 percent now read on grade level because of their involvement in YMCA READS!
Many thanks to Grow Financial and all our volunteers who serve as the backbone of the Y! Many more opportunities exist for others to help make a difference. Click here to learn more about our volunteer opportunities.
Pictured above: The Grow Financial Foundation donates their time, talents and treasures to the YMCA READS! program in Sulphur Springs.