Braves give back to YMCA youth

To kick off the Atlanta Braves’ celebration of Hank Aaron Heritage Weekend on Aug. 19, the Braves staff, team and other volunteers held the Atlanta Braves & Delta Volunteer Day at the Andrew & Walter Young Family YMCA.

“The YMCA provides hands-on experiences and exposure opportunities in critical growth and development areas to assure that youth are successful in life. We are able work with the schools, faith-based institutions and other organizations to transform communities,” said Gavin McGuire, executive director at the YMCA.

The volunteers participated in various projects such as the planting and gardening at the Aquapoints Center; painting, setting up computers and replacing tile at the computer lab; painting, setting up TVs and furniture in the activity room and reading to the preschool youth at the YMCA.

“It is amazing to see the civic engagement and active participation from the Braves organization. The corporate engagement provides an example of the importance of service and giving back to communities. The youth also receive an opportunity to interact with professionals in careers that they may be interested in obtaining in the future. This is direct access that they may not receive until they enter into the workforce,” he added.

Over 60 volunteers with close to 500 hours dedicated their time and energy to the project. Additionally, the day of giving back proposed a challenge to the youth. McGuire hopes it inspires them to be great and serve others.

“Viewing the passion and volunteerism of the adults provides an amazing vision of their responsibility in the future, regardless of their profession or socio-economic status,” he added.

The YMCA always seeks volunteer coaches, but each branch has different needs for volunteers. Community members can reach out to their local YMCA to find out how they can get involved and give back.

In other news

Kroger’s Atlanta Division recently donated 45 pallets of apparel and shoes to the Salvation Army’s Adult Rehabilitation Center in Atlanta. The donation will support the Salvation Army as it continues its mission of clothing, comforting and caring for those in need. The Adult Rehabilitation Center offers residential housing, work, group and individual therapy, in a clean, wholesome environment.

Eight member clubs of the DeKalb Rotary Council along with the North Atlanta Rotaract Club in July to collect and donate over $250,000 worth of durable medical equipment to Friends of Disabled Adults and Children. The groups collected used home medical equipment, such as manual and electric wheelchairs, hospital beds, walkers, crutches, shower benches and patient lifts. FODAC will clean, refurbish and reissue the collected equipment to disabled clients or their caregivers, at little to no cost to the recipients. The collection drive was the largest one-day collection event ever hosted by the DeKalb Rotary Council.

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Who’s doing good?Each Tuesday, we write about charity events such as fun-runs, volunteer projects and other community gatherings that benefit a good cause. To suggest an event for us to cover, contact Devika Rao at