By Matt Hall
Rock River Current
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ROCKFORD — The YMCA of Rock River Valley has launched a campaign to raise $100,000 this week to invest in programs that benefit area youth and others in the community.
An anonymous donor is matching all gifts made this week up to $50,000 for a total of $100,000 raised. The Y is calling it Double Your Impact Week.
It’s part of an effort from the Y to reverse some alarming statistics in our community.
For example, Winnebago County saw a 100% increase in youth crimes from 2019 to 2020, the Y said in a news release. The graduation rate for Rockford Public Schools is 67% compared to the state average of 88%. According to the American Psychological Association, 42% of Americans reported gaining weight during the pandemic (29 pounds on average). Additionally, 47% of Americans report their mental health has worsened. And, there has been an 8% increase in childhood obesity from 37% to 45%.
“We have seen and felt the need in our community, but these statistics really show us the depth of that need,” said Michelle Gorham, chief advancement officer for the YMCA of Rock River Valley, said in a news release. “The Y has created various programs to serve our community, but we know finances are a barrier for many people. Donations help us remove those barriers and expand our reach to those who need it most.”
Every October, the Y hosts a community breakfast to share the impact of Y programs and raise funds for the annual campaign. This year, it is replacing the breakfast with Double Your Impact Week online through Friday. The Y will share impact stories daily on Facebook Live. A giving page with a thermometer to track our status has been set-up with additional stories of impact.
To make a donation to Double Your Impact Week, text RockRiverY to 44-321 and you’ll receive a text message with a link to the giving page. You can also visit rockriverymca.org/give or call the Mission Advancement office at 779-500-0810.