From the B.R. Ryall YMCA
B.R. Ryall YMCA’s Safe ‘n Sound afterschool program participants collected more than 1200 items to donate to local food pantries.
It all started in November when the kids were sharing what they were grateful for. Their responses reflected the typical kid answers about family, friends and toys as well as an understanding about the importance of having a home and food to eat. That discussion was the impetus for their food drive which took off from there.
“We want to teach the children the value of giving back to your community,” said Erin White, Director of Safe ‘n Sound at the B.R. Ryall YMCA, “Giving back can help build a child’s confidence and self-esteem, as well as build a foundation to encourage life-long generosity.”
When asked how having the food drive made them feel, the kids all started yelling out collectively it made them feel good, they liked knowing they were helping people and they couldn’t wait to do it again.
The first round of donated items were taken to the People’s Resource Center in Wheaton and a second round of donations will be taken to the Glen Ellyn Food Pantry after learning they were in serious need.
The food drive brought to life the Y’s focus on youth development, healthy living and social responsibility. The kids learned that is was possible for them to make a difference in their community, the importance of nutricious food and a meaningful way to give back to those in need. B.R. Ryall YMCA’s Safe ‘n Sound program is before and after-school care for children in grades 1-5 and is offered in school districts 89, 41 and 200, providing care for more than 200 families.