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YMCA is doing it right
Military spouse
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After my first time volunteering at Liberty County Armed Services YMCA, I have to say, I’m impressed.
For those not aware, the Y has a program called Freedom Fridays. On the second Friday of every month, free childcare is available for military families with children 6 weeks to 12 years old. The program starts at 5 p.m. and children must be picked up by 10. Of course, in order to guarantee a spot, reservations must be made.
This program impressed me not only by its noble intentions of giving parents a break for a date night or just some grocery shopping, but also in the way the program was organized. Children are separated according to age, with plenty of supervision and activities to keep them happy and having fun while mom and dad are away.
As a volunteer in the baby to 2-year-old department, things did get a little crazy, but a team of experienced staff paired with volunteers kept things rolling through all of the diaper changing and block building.
In exploring the other age groups, for the duration of my break, I was able to see younger children showed the importance of sharing and older children taught leadership and responsibility through helping to clean up their room after finishing with their games. The atmosphere was packed with energy, but with an underlying tone of organization and planning too subtle for children to notice.
These people are doing something right. While reaching out to the overwhelmed population of military parents, they’re also helping to train up children in the way they should go, and that’s invaluable.
If you’re interested in learning more about the program or how to volunteer, you can reach Christina Anthony or Brittney Dreamer at 368-9622.
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