Backpack donation gains free YMCA joining fee

Staff Report

Now through Aug. 15, new members can join the Y for a $0 joining fee when they donate a new backpack. The Yadkin Family YMCA is collecting backpacks and school supplies to help students start the school year ready to learn. All supplies will be distributed through the Y’s Bright Beginnings program.

“You can help a child have a better chance for success when you donate a new backpack,” said Kim McClure, executive director of the Yadkin Family YMCA. “Not every child has what he or she needs on the first day of school, but when a student is ready with the appropriate school supplies, they are able to focus on learning.”

The Y’s Backpack Campaign has grown over the years, collecting nearly 2,000 new backpacks in the seven counties with YMCA of Northwest North Carolina branches last year. Backpacks are distributed to community partners and the YMCA Bright Beginnings Program at various branches.

The YMCA Bright Beginnings program helps kids feel confident by making their first day of school special. Volunteers take children in need back to school shopping to purchase a new outfit and new shoes. Students also receive a new backpack and school supplies. The program is available at the Kernersville, Jerry Long, Statesville, Wilkes and Yadkin Family YMCAs.

Stop by the local Y to drop off a new, unused backpack. For potential members interested in joining the Y, the joining fee is $0 with a backpack donation through Aug. 15. Donated backpacks must be new and never used.

Members of the YMCA of Northwest North Carolina can access any location, as well as YMCAs across the country as part of nationwide Y membership, as well as the Gateway YWCA in Winston-Salem. Members belong to the branch they use the most frequently but can visit other facilities as part of their membership. Details about the program can be found on the YMCA’s website at

The Y brings friends and neighbors together over shared interests in developing the potential of kids, improving individual health and well-being, and giving back and supporting our community. Membership at the Y provides access to comprehensive wellness and aquatics facilities, group exercise classes, savings on programs such as Boot Camps, Summer Camp, Youth and Adult Sports, Swim Lessons and much more. The YMCA of Northwest North Carolina offers financial assistance and never turns anyone away due to the inability to pay. Learn more at or call 336-679-7962.

Staff Report