2022 Annual Giving Campaign

Will you help kids like Brian* and Annie* today?

We have some heartbreaking news to share with you.

Over 70 local children, many of them boys, are on a list waiting for us to match them with a trained adult mentor in YWCA Cortland’s Bridges for Kids program.

Brian*, a rambunctious eight-year-old being raised by a mother living with disabilities, loves video games and likes sports, especially football. But he loves swimming most, spending as much time as possible at the Wickwire Pool at Suggett Park in the summer.

He shoulders a lot at home, helping take care of his younger siblings due to his mother’s condition. This responsibility contributes to behavioral issues in the classroom and a lack of motivation to do schoolwork. His teacher frequently pulls him out of class when he is disruptive. He does not have many peer friends, and his classmates tend to view him as an outsider.

The continuing stress of uncertain economic issues in our community resulting from a high local poverty rate strains family relationships and creates anxiety in many home environments.

Can we count on you to support kids like Brian with a gift for the Annual Giving Campaign? We need to raise $10,000 by the end of the year to help children and families in our community (track the campaign’s progress at cortlandywca.org).

You could help Brian spend time with an adult male mentor and role model. This one-on-one interaction would help him build the self-confidence he needs to be successful both in the classroom and at home. Studies show that kids with mentors tend to have better school attendance and grades.

Brian told our Mentoring Director he wants a mentor to hang out with. “He would be somebody who would teach me new activities where I don’t have to worry about being teased by other kids.”

Can we count on you to support kids like Brian with a gift for the YWCA Cortland 2022 Annual Giving Campaign?

We want to tell you about another child on the one-to-one mentoring waitlist.

Ten-year-old Annie* lives with her grandparents and loves the outdoors and going on hikes. A shy child, she relies on her few close friends for support, enjoys reading and writing letters, and loves doing arts and crafts projects. But everyday life can be difficult for her because of some mental health concerns, including depression and significant mood swings. At school, she struggles with grades and behavioral issues. Due to resource barriers, she can only see an online youth therapist once a week.

Our community’s youth need us now more than ever, and we could use your help. Will you support kids like Annie with a donation to YWCA Cortland?

Although Annie joined the YWCA GEMS (Girls: Empowered, Motivated, and Successful) group mentoring service at her school, improving her behavior and mental health, she would benefit greatly from receiving one-on-one attention. This individual support from an adult mentor is crucial to helping a child build self-esteem, increase self-confidence, and learn the skills that create resiliency.

When asked what she likes about GEMS, she said it motivates her to prepare for school. But she is “excited about having an individual mentor so she can truly be herself with that person.”

Your support would allow children like Brian and Annie to participate in one-on-one enrichment activities with their mentors, such as trips to the zoo, museums, or sporting events. It also provides opportunities for the kids to join in monthly group activities with their parents or guardians. The families receive coaching on healthy relationships and see them modeled.

We care so much about these kids and their futures; we know you do too.

Thank you in advance for your generous gift!

*We used stock images and changed the children’s names in this letter to protect their privacy.