President's Message

Thursday, April 21, 2022

Hello all,

I hope you had a wonderful Easter weekend. For many, this past week was a time to connect with friends and family as well as our faith. The Easter season celebrates hope, forgiveness and redemption–virtues the YMCA values. These virtues remind us that we all have great hope and promise, and that we should all strive each day to live our best life possible. It is my hope that our Tampa YMCA, can in some way, enable each of you to do just that.

Easter also alerts many of us to the arrival of spring. Earlier this month, the Tampa Metropolitan Area YMCA welcomed spring with the opportunity to host the YMCA’s Annual NAYDO (North American YMCA Development Organization) Conference. We hosted over 1,300 YMCA staff from all over North America at our first in-person gathering in 1,096 days. It was so good to see our colleagues again! The conference gave us time to reset our focus on philanthropy as we shared stories about the people and work that make the YMCA a great organization. This group of Y staff and volunteers came together with a sense of hope, love and joy as we networked and spent time giving back to organizations in the Tampa community. I encourage you to watch this wonderful video highlighting how we bring our Philanthropy to life. Attendees from the US, Canada and Mexico truly enjoyed their visit to the city we call home!

Additionally, April is Child Abuse Prevention Month. As part of our commitment to protecting the children in our community, we are participating in Five Days of Action — a week-long campaign to increase awareness of child sexual abuse and empower and equip us all to prevent it. By taking part in this important campaign and through implementing abuse prevention practices year-round, the Tampa Metropolitan Area YMCA is committing to the safety of all children in our community. Please take a minute to read this month’s Social Responsibility article to learn more about how you can take action and protect the children in your life from abuse.

Another top priority for the Y is drowning prevention. More children under the age of four drown in Florida than anywhere else in the nation and Hillsborough County regularly ranks among the highest counties nationally for drowning. We are determined to do what it takes to prevent drowning and teach water safety skills to children in the community. May is National Water Safety Month, and with school preparing to be out for the summer, it is the ideal time for the Tampa Y to offer our free Safety Around Water (SAW) classes to the community. If you know a child who has not learned water safety, please encourage them to participate.

As we move into summer, we are faced with another community concern – food insecurity. Many children rely on free or reduced meals from their school cafeteria and often battle hunger during the coming months. To combat this critical concern, the Tampa Metropolitan Area YMCA is proud to partner with Feeding Tampa Bay, to participate in the “Cereal for Summer” program. As the Y continues our commitment to serve those who are most vulnerable, we hope you will join us by donating non-perishable breakfast items at any of our Y centers or our Association Office.

Thank you for your continued support of the Tampa Y, it is because of you that we are able to make a lasting impact in the lives of so many in the community.

With Appreciation, 

Matt Mitchell
President & CEO