“Genuine collaboration is an environment that promotes communication, learning, maximum contribution, and innovation.” ― Jane Ripley
Working together to strengthen our community is foundational to the Y. In fact, we believe that strong relationships are the core building blocks of partnerships, and the Alliance Family YMCA has a rich history of community partnerships with Alliance City Schools, the Alliance Community Hospital, the University of Mount Union, Synergy Alliance, and the Stuckey Family Interfaith Child Development Center.
The schools work with the Y to help provide a stronger foundation for the youth in our community. One way is by providing individual student data and guidance, which enables the YMCA child care staff to know the best approach to assist the students in the after school assistance program. The schools also provide busing for the students to the Y, which assists families greatly, who otherwise would have difficulties getting there.
Did you know that 100% of students in the Alliance City Schools qualify for the free lunch program? The YMCA, through participation in food service programs, provides a healthy snack afterschool and during the summer also, provide breakfast and lunch.
Work study programs are a great way to provide students with ‘real life’ work experience. Students come two times a week to perform various tasks around the facility. They receive feedback on their work performance and in the end will become more employable upon graduation of high school.
The Community Partnerships don’t stop there. Alliance is fortunate to have developed relationships with the University of Mount Union and the Alliance Community Hospital. In fact this is what Abby Honaker, Regula Center Assistant Director for Mount Union, had to say regarding partnerships, “The University of Mount Union values having services like the YMCA in our community. Being able to support healthy, fulfilling lives is something we strive to do. The YMCA gives our students a great outlet for community service involvement and meaningful experiences outside of the classroom. Partnering with the Alliance YMCA has proven successful in multiple projects and we are looking forward to many new initiatives to come.”
Linking arms with other institutions, that have similar goals of strengthening the community, has created more awareness and provided more opportunities for all to take a proactive approach in leading a healthier life.
Another aspect of working together, to positively impact our community, would be to address the needs of the community. For example, a significant need also exists for affordable early childhood education in Alliance. The YMCA partners with the Stuckey Family Interfaith Child Development Center to address that need. Since the two organizations began occupying the same facility they have worked together in promoting each other’s programs. Interfaith’s Director, Laurie Gemberling has said about the partnership, “As much as we loved the church, we love partnering with the Y. We are now able to enroll infants and toddlers which helps our community by enabling parents to go to work or school.” As you can see, the YMCAs partnerships with Interfaith and Synergy work to meet genuine societal needs.
Watching all of the organizations work towards a common goal is very rewarding and I am thankful to be a part of it. And, from my experience the community has a great need for the Y and other like-minded organizations to work together. It’s amazing to see the partnerships in action and the positive impact on children, families and adults in Alliance.