MUSCATINE, Iowa–Through all their programs, from aquatics to Special Olympics, the Muscatine Community Y works to change lives for the better through fitness, personal development, and community connections. Now, they have found a clever way to support their work in challenging times via their Changing Lives change drive. By collecting coins, the Y looks to help fund each of their programs in a way interested community members can easily participate in.
In order to fund a wide variety of services, including swim lessons and teams, adult exercise classes and workout spaces, family programs, childcare and children’s programming, Big Brothers Big Sisters, and Special Olympics, the Muscatine Community Y relies on donations in addition to memberships. However, with the financial disruption the COVID-19 pandemic has caused, the Y wanted to find a way to collect donations that would not put undue strain on community members. Muscatine Community Y Marketing and Development Director Nicole McCleary explained: “we realize that COVID has impacted people in a lot of different ways, and we also understand that many people aren’t comfortable making donations when the future might be uncertain. But, we need donations to keep our YMCA open, and we need to continue to do great things at our Y – even more so than usual.”
With these concerns in mind, the Y came up with the Changing Lives campaign. They encourage anyone wanting to help out the Y to donate coins of any denomination to their wishing well, located in the Y lobby. The wishing well can also accommodate bills. For those looking to contribute from home, they may do so by donating online, mailing a check to YMCA Member Services Attn: Nicole McCleary 1823 Logan St Muscatine, IA 52761, or by calling the Y at 563-263-9996 to arrange to have coins picked up. Anyone wanting coin sleeves to help organize their coins can request or pick them up from the Y as well.
Though each individual donation may not come up to much, the Y hopes combined contributions will combine into a significant sum. “We all have loose coins sitting around, and when we work together, they can really add up,” said McCleary. “We literally change people’s lives, so we want coins and change to really symbolize something.” The Y also thinks that by getting change out of people’s homes and in to circulation, it could help alleviate the national coin shortage, at least in Muscatine County.