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​YMCA camps provide fun-filled summer activities for Louisville Family Housing Services residents

Children staying with us at Louisville Family Housing Services pose with their new swim gear for camp, provided by Volunteers of America Mid-States.

With summer in full swing, many parents are faced with the challenge of keeping their children busy and active each day, particularly with the rising cost of childcare. This issue is so prevalent that the New York Times recently featured a story - "The Families That Can't Afford Summer" – highlighting the challenge summertime childcare poses for working parents.

For parents staying with us at our Louisville Family Housing Services, this worry can be an added pressure during an already challenging time, when they are working each day to move toward self-sufficiency. Fortunately, through a decade-long partnership with the YMCA of Greater Louisville, we are able to help parents address this challenge.

In collaboration with Jefferson County Public Schools, the YMCA Summer Camp program takes place in locations across the city, providing opportunities for children ages five to twelve to make new friends, learn to swim, take weekly field trips to museums, bowling alleys, pools and more. This summer, 12 children staying with us are enrolled in camps across the area.

Louisville Family Housing Services resident Adrienne and her seven-year-old son Ali have been impressed with the summer camp program so far.

"If we had not had this service provided, we wouldn't be able to do these activities. I work in the summer and it would be a challenge to find a sitter to care for an active seven year-old. We really appreciate the YMCA doing this for us," Adrienne said.

Adrienne added that at first, Ali was nervous about attending a camp where he didn't know many of the other kids. But after just a few days, Ali's nerves calmed, as he had a great time meeting new friends and swimming. He is most excited for the camp's field trip to the Atlantis Waterpark in Clarksville, IN, which is part of the camp's educational program about different parts of the world, including Greece, Adrienne said.

The YMCA provides Volunteers of America with 10 camp spaces, free of charge, each summer. Any additional spaces are provided at a 50 percent discount with a waived enrollment fee. Without this partnership, we would not be able to provide such fun-filled, educational entertainment and care for the children we serve during the summer months.

We know we cannot do this work alone, and we appreciate our community partners, like the YMCA, that help us provide the best quality services to the families we support.

If you would like to help sponsor a summer camp program space for the children staying with us at Louisville Family Housing Services, contact Donna Trabue at DonnaT@voamid.org or 502-636-4641.