Saniya's Story: Click Here
Posted on 10/15/15 by Heather Powell from Hickory Foundation YMCA

Here at the YMCA we stand for Youth Development, Healthy Living, and Social Responsibility. We strive to emulate these three areas of focus in our everyday actions, programs, and events. All that we do would not be possible without you, the members of our community. Through you we grow as we learn your stories as to why the YMCA is the place you have chosen as your own.

Let me tell you the story of a little girl named Saniya. Saniya is one of our many participants in the fall soccer program. She is a member of the 7-9 girls team, the Hawks, and enjoys coming to the YMCA for sports or to swim with her brother.

On October 10th Saniya had her sports themed birthday party in the gym here at the Adrian L. Shuford Jr. YMCA. Some little girls may want something new and exciting for their birthday like the latest Anna or Elsa dolls from Frozen, a fashion boutique set, or maybe even the latest version of an easy bake oven. Saniya, on the other hand, did not ask for any new toy or gadget but instead asked for all her guests to bring a donation to help others afford to participate in the YMCA’s Sports Program.

Saniya set a goal to raise $40 so she would be able to help pay for one kid to participate in sports. The day of her party the YMCA’s gym was decorated to celebrate Saniya's birthday. After the cake was cut, Saniya started to count her gifts. She collected everything into a bucket and discovered she exceeded her goal by receiving over $200. She was elated with joy because she was able to help not one child but 5 children to participate in sports.

Her $200 was given towards the overall goal of $75,000. Every year the YMCA has their Annual Campaign where money is raised to help families who may not be able to afford to participate in programs. Saniya wanted to help other families have the opportunity to enjoy the YMCA as much as she does. Through her selfless act in asking for donations instead of gifts she has helped families afford our sports program.

Every gift matters no matter the volume. Through these gifts we are able to benefit our community and continue to have these invaluable lessons instilled in children in our area. Together we can have a community full of kids just like Saniya who want to give back to a place that has given them so much.

We would like to challenge our community and sports participants to help those in need by raising double what Saniya raised. Please help us give back to our community that has given so much to us through participation in our programs. If you would like to contribute, stop by the Shuford YMCA front desk and add to Saniya’s Donation Jar. We can’t wait to hear your story!