At the Y, strengthening our community is our cause. We do this through several focus areas: youth development, healthy living and social responsibility. There are also many cause-driven behaviors that help us make a positive impact in our community. One of those is collaboration. When people and/or organizations come together and collaborate for a common cause, we can achieve more.
Thanks to a partnership between the Y, Waukee Area Christian Services and Waukee Elementary, efforts are being made to help children in need to live healthier. Each week, volunteers from the Y meet at WACS, housed in the lower level of Westview Church, to pack 30+ healthy snack packs.
The packs are full of single-serving size healthy foods, including fresh fruits. They are placed in backpacks and go home with Waukee Elementary students that have been identified as having a need.
Waukee Elementary Guidance Counselor, Shanlyn Doll, who is also a Y board member, says the response from the children has been terrific. “Kids came back the first weekend and were so thankful for their snacks. One boy talked about rather than having to scrounge through the cupboard to find his lunch, he knew he could go right to his bag for something to eat.”
There is another collaborative effort of the “backpack variety” going on between the Y and Waukee Elementary. “Healthy Family Home Fun Packs” have been going home with one student per classroom each Friday this school year. The packs are filled with activities, games and information emphasizing family time over the weekend. The packs also encourage kids to get outside, eat healthy and sleep well.
The Y collaborates with many community organizations, including church, government, non-profit, and for-profit entities. We also encourage you to collaborate to achieve greater impact in your areas of focus.
This column originally appeared in the April/May 2014 issue of myWaukee.