To the editor of THE EAGLE:

The YMCA recently commissioned a consumer survey to measure how Americans view quality of life in their communities. The survey was based on 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 report that a safe environment for children and assistance for struggling community members (job training, food pantry, etc.) were important for building a strong community, but they rate their own community low in these areas. Survey respondents held themselves accountable. They feel it’s important -- now more than ever -- to contribute their time and money to community causes (an 8 percent and 10. 5 percent increase from 2012.) They expect more from their community -- and each other.

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

In 2013, the Pittsfield Family YMCA awarded more than $144,000 in financial scholarships. Every day, the Pittsfield Family YMCA works across the Pittsfield area to support the people and neighborhoods that need it most.


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For example, our after-school programs provide a fun, safe, active setting for students during a time when one in four U.S. students are typically unsupervised, according to an Afterschool Alliance report, America After 3 p.m. These programs focus on the Y’s core values of honesty, caring, respect and responsibility while providing homework help, physical activity and a healthy snack.

The community’s assistance will help close gaps and strengthen the Pittsfield area by helping individuals and families through programs and services that support youth development, healthy living and social responsibility. Visit pittsfieldfamilyymca.org or contact CEO and Executive Director Randy Kinnas to learn how you can support the Y’s cause.

LISA FIORINI-PUSKEY

Pittsfield

The writer is Pittsfield Family YMCA Financial Development Chair.