The Missoula Family YMCA is just $9,000 away from meeting its 2021 Annual Support Campaign goal, as of noon on Wednesday, however, the final day of the campaign is Thursday.

YMCA CEO Heather Foster spoke to KGVO Wednesday afternoon with the fundraising update.

“In our annual campaign, which is really a campaign geared to support our community, we use every dollar to provide financial assistance members in our community who need some help paying for program or membership,” said Foster. “We also subsidize quite a few of our programs to keep them at a very low cost, so this year we're looking to raise $315,000. Our campaign is about seven weeks and tomorrow (Thursday) is the final day. I just pulled up our campaign thermometer we're sitting at $306,000 raised so we are $9,000 short of our total goal.”

Foster looked back at some of the ways the YMCA came to the rescue of schools, healthcare workers and their families when the pandemic struck last year.

“We did everything from emergency child care, where we propped up services pretty much overnight to support our essential service workers and medical personnel when the state closed down,” she said. “We completely innovated and revamped our camp programs for the summer where we were spread out all across Missoula to keep kids in very, very small cohorts so they didn't intersect with other children. We were able to keep our group sizes really small.”

Foster brought out one astounding fact, that not one child in their care contracted COVID 19.

“We made it through an entire camp season serving thousands of kids and never had one kiddo test positive with COVID,” she said. “It was pretty incredible. We propped up services for hybrid support when our schools were closed and had changes in their schedule so we could help kids get homework done and we served over 130,000 meals to kids throughout last year.”

Foster said the ‘Y’ spent nearly twice this year’s fundraising goal in 2020 helping the community get through the worst of the pandemic.

“We provided over $600,000 in financial assistance and program subsidies to allow people to have things like after school and summer camp for their kids, and for those that felt safe enough to even come in and get a little exercise and some mental health break from kind of the craziness that we lived through last year,” she said. “So, you know, we're so incredibly grateful for the Missoula community, and we've been really amazed at how fast we've been able to raise this money and we just can't wait to put it to good use again for this year.”

Again, as of noon on Wednesday, the ‘Y’ was just $9,000 short of their annual fundraising goal.

To contribute, visit the Missoula Family YMCA website.

They’re hoping for good news by the end of business on Thursday.


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