Volunteer Shoppers Needed! Make a difference in your community and help prepare a child for success in school. Caring adult volunteers are needed to greet students at a local retail store where they pose for a souvenir photo, share a meal and go back-to-school shopping for two new fall outfits, socks, underwear, shoes and a warm jacket or sweater (if available).
Volunteer spots are limited. Contact the volunteer coordinator for your local YMCA listed below to see when volunteers are needed. Whether you’re new to YMCA Bright Beginnings or an experienced shopper, continue reading to learn more about the process.
- At the Y, we want everyone to have a safe and enjoyable experience. To help us ensure the safety of our children, we ask all YMCA Bright Beginnings volunteers to provide basic information prior to the trip and show a photo ID at check-in. Here’s what you need to do and what to expect:
- Complete the YMCA Bright Beginnings Volunteer Information Form below and return it to the Y before the shopping trip.
YMCA Bright Beginnings Volunteer Information Form
- Arrive at the store at the scheduled time with your photo ID (preferably your driver’s license) for check-in and orientation. Even if you are an experienced shopping buddy, please plan to arrive on time – it helps Y staff know if they have enough volunteers and gives you a chance to learn about any changes to the program.
- When the children arrive, you will be paired with a child and will help him or her shop for new school clothes, shoes, underwear and if they are in stock, a warm jacket or sweater. We ask that all children try on their clothes and shoes to make sure the sizes are correct; you will also share a meal during the trip.
- $100 is spent on each child. Funding to pay for the program is provided by our generous program sponsors and hundreds of individual donors. Click on the “DONATE” button if you would like to make a gift.
- Backpacks filled with school supplies are provided for each child separately from the trip, so there’s no need to purchase supplies.
- Plan to stay with your child until all children are safely back on the bus (approximately 2 ½ hours from the time you arrive). We are counting on you to help us keep the children safely supervised throughout the shopping trip.
- A note about bringing your children along to help: An important part of the YMCA Bright Beginnings experience is the opportunity for every child in the program to have the undivided attention of a caring adult. Children should be at least 13 years old if they come with you and they must be 16 years or older to shop with a child. For a meaningful family experience with younger children consider becoming a Backpack Buddy and filling a second backpack for one of our children when you are doing your back to school shopping.
To make a secure online donation to YMCA Bright Beginnings, click the Donate button and select the YMCA Bright Beginnings campaign in the drop down menu on the donation form. If you would like your gift to serve children from a specific YMCA's community, select that branch after selecting the campaign.
To mail in your gift, please download the PDF below:
YMCA Bright Beginnings Remit Instructions
and mail it to:
YMCA of Greater Richmond
2 W. Franklin Street
Richmond, VA 23220
Attention: Financial Development Department
* If you would like your gift to serve a specific community, please designate on the check the YMCA branch to which it applies.
If your organization or company would like to partner with YMCA Bright Beginnings, please contact Tito Luna, Association Community Development Director, at lunat at ymcarichmond dot org.
Many Thanks to Our Sponsors