The Joplin Globe, Joplin, MO

Opinion

March 25, 2014

Charlie Davis, guest columnist; YMCA is cause worth community investment

WEBB CITY, Mo. — The YMCA recently commissioned a consumer survey to measure how Americans view the quality of life in their communities nationwide. The survey was based on several factors, such as community member involvement and the quality of a community’s services, ranging from education to public safety.

Interestingly, the survey revealed a 30 percent gap between what people say is most important in creating a strong community and how satisfied they are with their own communities in those areas.

For example, Americans reported that a safe environment for children and assistance for struggling community members (job training, food pantries, etc.) were important for building a strong community; however, they rated their own community low in these same areas.

When asked for the solution to closing this gap, survey respondents held themselves accountable. Survey respondents feel it is important — now more than ever — to contribute their time and money to community causes (8 percent and 10.5 percent increases, respectively, from 2012.) They expect more from their community and each other.

I agree, and that’s why I believe the Y is a cause worth investing in. The Y needs help from the community to continue its vital work. The Joplin Family YMCA is launching its annual campaign to ensure that everyone in our community has the opportunity to learn, grow and thrive.

Throughout this community, countless people know the Joplin Family YMCA. But there’s much more to our Y than one might think.

Each day the Joplin Family YMCA works across Joplin, Webb City, Carl Junction and Southwest Missouri to support the people and neighborhoods that need it most by addressing community issues — such as the working mother who needs a safe, supervised option for child care so she can support her family or the senior who wishes to remain physically active and connected to the community.

Your financial gift will help to close gaps in our community and to strengthen Joplin by helping individuals and families through programs and services that support youth development, healthy living and social responsibility.

Visit www.joplinfamilyy.org or contact the Joplin Family YMCA at 417-623-4597 to learn how you can support the Y’s cause.

Charlie Davis is a state representative for Missouri’s District 162. He lives in Webb City.

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