When I look back over the past 12 months, I am astounded by all the ways the Valley of the Sun Y has had the privilege to serve our communities.

During the teacher walkout this spring, 11 of our YMCA branches served as regional child care centers to help educate and care for school kids whose teachers were absent. We served more than 3,600 students, including 440 on scholarship.

Also this spring, we helped address Arizona’s drowning problem by offering 1,600 free enrollments in our Water Safety classes. We launched a Water Watchers program as well, distributing about 7,000 lanyards with tags imprinted with the Water Watchers pledge: actively watch all children, keep eyes on the water, avoid distractions and respond in case of emergency.

During the summer, a record number of kids got to experience the magic of sleepaway camp at Camp Sky-Y in Prescott. In addition to great friendships and enduring memories, campers acquire important life skills and become better people.

When the mid-term election rolled around on Nov. 6, we wanted to encourage civic engagement, so we offered free child care while parents voted. The following week, Y members delivered Thanksgiving food baskets to hundreds of families in need.

The YMCA Movement was founded 175 years ago to serve community needs, and we are proud of continuing that tradition in 2018, through the support of members like you.

As we enter the festive final month of the year, remember to take care of yourself while giving to others. And if you’re thinking about year-end charitable contributions, please consider the Valley of the Sun YMCA.

As a nonprofit organization, we depend on donations to make our programs and services available to everyone. An easy way to support the Y is to make a donation to YMCA Cares. When you file your Arizona income taxes, you can get a dollar-for-dollar credit for the gift you made, up to $400 for single taxpayers or $800 for married couples.

Peyton Tune
Chief Operating Officer