BROCKTON, Mass. – Starting immediately, the 28 YMCAs with their 81 locations are offering more than 12,000 foster children served by the Massachusetts Department of Children and Families (DCF) free, year-long access through a new partnership with the Wonderfund, Massachusetts’ charity serving children engaged with DCF.
The YMCAs are the newest civic organization to partner with the Wonderfund, Massachusetts’ charity providing emergency assistance and enrichment opportunities to children supported by the DCF across the state. YMCA associations across the Commonwealth are committed to promoting youth development, healthy living, and social responsibility.
Massachusetts First Lady Lauren Baker, who serves as Vice Chair of the Wonderfund, said: “All children deserve opportunities to learn, play and grow, and every child can find something they love to do at the YMCA, We are grateful to the Alliance of YMCA's for partnering with the Wonderfund and DCF to offer free access to foster children engaged with the DCF across the Commonwealth!”
Alliance of Massachusetts YMCAs Executive Director Peter Doliber said: “The YMCAs in Massachusetts are grateful to partner with Wonderfund and DCF in offering children in foster care access to our Ys. Our desire to see every child reach their full potential matches perfectly with the mission of Wonderfund and DCF. It's a great partnership that we know will have an impact for a lifetime.”
Added Old Colony YMCA President and CEO Vincent J. Marturano, “Old Colony Y, along with YMCAs across the Commonwealth, has been really excited to be a part of such an important initiative. It’s a great example of a public-private partnership that works for children and families, and we want to thank First Lady Lauren Baker and DCF Commissioner Linda Spears for asking us to be a part of it. YMCAs have long been a place where families and communities grow stronger, and we were happy to join so many other organizations in supporting this effort.”
To take advantage of this new program, DCF-approved foster parents of DCF foster children are being asked to contact their social worker and ask for the “YMCA Foster Child Access Letter.” The Alliance offers a searchable database of all member Ys across the state at https://www.maymca.com/find-your-y
The new partnership is being formally announced by Wonderfund and Alliance leaders at the Brockton YMCA (320 Main Street) on Tuesday, June 11, at 11 a.m.
The YMCAs are just the latest example of Massachusetts civic organizations that have partnered with the Wonderfund to offer access and opportunities for children and families served by the Massachusetts Department of Children and Families. Other Wonderfund partners include The Museum of Science in Boston, Zoo New England, the Boch Center, Boston Bruins PJ Drive, Edaville USA, Hope and Comfort, and the Cape Cod Children’s Museum.
The Y is one of the nation’s leading nonprofits strengthening communities through youth development, healthy living, and social responsibility. Across the Commonwealth 28 Ys in over 900 locations engage 500,000 children– regardless of, income or background – nurturing their potential. Ys improve the nation’s health and well-being, provide opportunities to give back and support neighbors and are lead nonprofits in their communities. Anchored in many communities, the Y has the long-standing relationships and physical presence not just to promise, but deliver, lasting personal and social change. www.maymca.com
The Wonderfund www.wonderfundma.org is a private, nonprofit, 501(c)3 that serves children engaged with the Massachusetts Department of Children and Families (DCF) through a unique partnership. The Wonderfund provides comfort and dignity to children that have been impacted by trauma, abuse, and neglect. The fund provides emergency aid and transitional necessities directly to children entering Foster Care and supports all DCF engaged children by giving them access to life-changing enrichment opportunities.