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Monday, March 22, 2010

the only place i can say these things

this week they are doing this big fund raising event at the YMCA i run at. one of those "break so & so out of jail" fund raisers. they clamour to get to you as you enter, remind you to pledge on your way out.. all the cardio equipment and lockers are adorned with these cutesy little messages written on little, red, cut out hearts-messages like, "did you know that if everyone donated yadda yadda amount, we could teach a child to swim/a child could attend camp/we could give a needy family a week of free daycare etc etc etc...
the whole thing annoys me. during my run this afternoon i really tried to sort out my feelings about the pushy fund raising and put a positive spin on it.. cuz it IS positive. It's just that my perspective is not where it should be or where it used to be or where the YMCA staff's hearts are. first of all, i pay $75 a month to run on a treadmill /tread climb/cycle 6-7 hours a week. so.....about 28-30 hours a month. that's $2.50 an hour. why should i "give" any more than that? secondly(and this is the "bigger picture") at this juncture in my personal life, I just don't feel all that sad that a kid may not get swimming lessons. I dont feel guilty that a kid may have to watch TV & bake cookies or plant flowers at grammy's house during school vacation week instead of attending a Y camp while mom goes to work. I dont lose sleep over the fact that a family in my town cant afford to attend the YMCA to swim or shoot hoops or lose weight. the money my husband and i are "giving" right now makes sure a child will get
ONE meal today.
ONE malaria shot.
ONE mosquito net to sleep under.
ONE tent to hide from the rain & hot sun.
ONE bottle of formula or water.
ONE item of clothing.
ONE diaper.
ONE bath.
ONE immunization
ONE dose of diarrhea prevention.
ONE chance at another day of life.
so, no. im not devastated by the fact that an American child may not go to camp or go to swimming lessons.
my perspective just isnt there. not today.

6 comments:

Erin said...

Amen. I hear ya....

Jules said...

$75 a month?? I thought the YMCA was free!

Justju said...

Jules, I thought the Y was free, too....until I found out otherwise from Ali.

Ali, I so hear ya on the fundraising issue. More people should think about those who are destitute and can't even afford milk, water, vaccinations, clothing...more important than summer camp. And personally, I'd prefer my kids to bake cookies and learn to knit from their grandmother any summer than to go to camp and learn other bad habits from undisciplined children.

Corey said...

Yup. I hear ya.

And no, the Y isn't free. Not only is it not free, but the membership fees only get you in the door. Things like swimming lessons cost extra. And the Y was used to go to was a dump, and was no bargain compared to other (nicer) gyms in the area.

TheHappyNeills said...

i think you SHOULD tell the pesky fundraisers that next time! :)

Tara - SanitySrchr said...

The Y in our area is making money hand over fist! Kate's mom signed her up and paid for soccer at the Y, so we did our part and paid for the new cleats, shin guards, and other equipment. A week later, we found out they cancelled soccer because they were one coach short. According to the story I heard, they refuse to give the money back. ARG!!!