Thoughts from the executive

November 26, 2015

I am thankful for YOU!

It is well to give when asked, but it is better to give unasked, through understanding;
And to the open-handed the search for one who shall receive is joy greater than giving.

- From The Prophet by Kahil Gibran

We are always being asked the question, "Do you know a family in need that could use some help?"

Our Y would not exist without gifts of time, treasure, and talent from so many that contribute when asked and unasked. This time of year always brings those unsolicited inquiries that result in some amazing blessings.

Last Saturday, close to three-hundred survivors of violent loss we serve attended the Annual Compassion Project Thanksgiving Dinner. 150 of those families were at the College Grove Walmart for the Terrell Fletcher 2015 Turkey Drive hosted by his City of Hope International Church, SDG&E, the San Diego Chargers, Walmart. This initiative was launched several years ago by civic leader Carlette Lewis who has worked tirelessly to align partners for this very special event.

In addition, workplace food drives at Kaplan College and Coastal Pay provided thanksgiving dinner grocery bags to thirty-three families.

Then, I get this text from Realtor Ruth Pugh, “I need a single mom with children that cannot afford Thanksgiving dinner… Please send me her name and phone number and or address. Call Kurt Francis. Thank you”. It did not take long for us to find one of our Y families that would be a perfect match. Single mom. Four children. Living out of a car. When I connected with the mother and ask if she needed food for thanksgiving she replied, “Yes. I've been praying about it. I told my kids we may not celebrate it like others, and just have a normal dinner but still be grateful.” Needless to say, the family was overwhelmed with joy. Here’s what Kurt said about the experience, “It was awesome meeting them .. Actually very emotional .... Thank you for the opportunity ... My heart was touched .... There is no emotion like giving ...Next year I would like to double that... Then the following year I want to double that ... And on.. So let's stay in touch ... Thank you Ruth and Michael and Leeann (Ruth’s daughter).”

Today will be the last Thanksgiving at the Jackie Robinson Family YMCA until our new Y arrives in 2017. The same will apply to our Christmas Tree Lighting on Monday, November 30 and Christmas with Character on Saturday, December 19 (we need 4,000 gifts).

A new Jackie Robinson Family YMCA reinforces all of the great work that the Y has invested in the Southeastern San Diego community since 1943 and allows us to extend our reach to work tirelessly to nurture the potential of kids, improve health and well-being, and give back and support our neighbors. As we move closer to a groundbreaking after the first of the year, I want to once again let you know this longtime dream would not have become a reality without you.

Visit SAFE AT HOME to learn more about the all new Jackie Robinson Family YMCA.

Jackie Robinson said, “A life is not important except in the impact it has on other lives.”

Need some proof that we are? Visit LOOK WHAT THEY ARE SAYING ABOUT SAFE AT HOME for a lot of thanksgiving!

May their voice be the dessert on your Thanksgiving Day!

Michael Brunker
Executive Director
151 YMCA Way, San Diego Ca 92102
(P) 619 264 1451 (M) 619 977 0774 (F) 619 263 7445
(E) [email protected] (W) jackierobinson.ymca.org (S) facebook.com/JackieRobinsonFamilyYMCA
(B) jackierobinson.ymca.org/yblog/executive-decisions.html

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