YMCA helps youth through Strong Kids campaign

Aden Powers enjoys the playground at a local YMCA. - Contributed Photo
Aden Powers enjoys the playground at a local YMCA.
— image credit: Contributed Photo

When Aden Powers started kindergarten, teachers had to use sign language to communicate with him.

“He wouldn’t talk to anyone he didn’t know,” said his mother Rebecca Powers of Tacoma.

Family struggles prevented Aden from living up to his full potential. But when Aden began attending YMCA child care things began to change.

After only two weeks, was talking again.

“The staff provided structure and developed a relationship with Aden,” said his mother. “He’s still a little shy, but he has grown so much in his communication skills.”

Many children, just like Aden, need the opportunity to explore and develop their interests and talents.

That opportunity is available through the YMCA’s annual fund-raising campaign, said Sarah Homan, of the YMCA.

The YMCA is currently raising funds to support its annual Strong Kids Campaign.

Both branches in Silverdale and Tacoma are hoping together to raise $2 million.

The campaign extends throughout the year, but in February and March special fund-raising events take place. By the end of this week, Homan said they will reach their goal.

“We’ll be at goal and on time,” she said. “We’ve had a really successful campaign.”

The local fundraising campaign aims to ensure every child has access to a balanced life by providing financial assistance for memberships, camp, child care, and outreach programs, Homan said.

In 2012, the YMCA raised $1.8 million through its Strong Kids campaign to support programs such as Late Nite, Friends and Servants, Child Care and Camp Seymour.

Funds are used to help assist children with memberships to the YMCA, for before and after school care and for scholarships to attend camps in the summer months.

Last year, the YMCA of Tacoma and the Haselwood YMCA were able to help 28,195 children and teens with the funds raised.

“There are many stories like Aden’s,” Homan said. “With the support of the local community through the donations made, the Y is able to make a difference in children’s lives. It’s so rewarding to see children’s lives changed for the better.”

Aden, now 8 years old, loves the variety of activities available to him at YMCA before and after school care.

“I like doing science, art, writing, coloring,” Aden said. “We do a lot of fun things.”

To become involved or to learn more visit or call 360-698-9622 or 253-534-7804.


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