YMCA Employee Assistance Fund Helps Us Help Our Own

May 3, 2019

Making the world a better place for someone else is the purpose of the YMCA Employee Assistance Fund (EAF) according to Brian Sheafer, Vice President of Strategic Initiatives at the METRO YMCA of the Oranges and Y Professional Network (YPN) Chapter 17 President.

The Y Professional Network raises money to support the EAF, which provides monetary grants to YMCA employees who are facing crises, such as medical or catastrophic events, volunteer separation or other emergencies of some kind resulting from unforeseen events.

All New Jersey Y professionals and their family members are eligible for EAF, and individuals facing hardship can apply for a grant themselves or someone can apply on their behalf.

In 2018, EAF distributed $97,000 to eligible Y employees through YPN chapters across the US.

Fundraising is central to keeping the EAF viable. Over the past two years, over $15,000 was raised by the local YPN chapter. The Network also provides leadership and professional development. Members plan events throughout the year. All money raised supports the EAF.

One such fundraising event was the Employee Assistance Fund Luncheon on December 7, 2018 at Raritan Valley Country Club. Close to 80 people attended to hear keynote speaker Abby Kohut share advice on “Networking for Introverts, Extroverts and In-Between-Verts.” The luncheon also was an opportunity to provide Board updates and Board member honors. Beyond the price of admission, funds were raised through various raffles and a silent auction.

“The EAF is an extraordinary venture to help us help our own people in their time of extreme needs,” said Sheafer. “It’s also unique that the Y combines fundraising with professional development opportunities. I think this fully demonstrates our message of service to others.”