The Y is for social responsibility

Every day we are giving back and providing support to our neighbors through social services, volunteerism and giving.

YMCA Bright Beginnings

Help Prepare Local Students for Success in School

Prepared and confident kids today become contributing and engaged adults tomorrow.

YMCA Bright Beginnings gives children in our community the tools they need to succeed each school year. We provide eligible students with new clothes, shoes and a backpack filled with supplies. Together, we can ensure that thousands of students get the school year started on the right foot.

Back-to-School Shopping for Children

Each fall, as the school year approaches, parents take their children back-to-school shopping. Many of us take this for granted as a necessary step to help prepare our children to excel academically. But across our region there are families who cannot afford backpacks, school supplies or keep up with the clothing needs of growing children.

Since 1992, the Y has been helping local families prepare for back-to-school. With your help, our goal is to take 2,200 children shopping for school clothes. Together, we can help support our children so they can feel their best and focus on learning for the new school year.

Read below about various volunteer experiences and see firsthand the amazing impact YMCA Bright Beginnings can have on your life and the lives of local children.

james babcock
Paying it Forward In 1999, James Babcock went on the first YMCA Bright Beginnings trip for Powhatan County students. He agreed to share his experience with us and tell us why he thinks it's important to give back.
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How it StartedIn 1992 when Mary Theobald was getting her children ready to go back to school, it occurred to her that other parents in her community may not have the resources to provide the school supplies and exciting new outfits that her family took for granted. She didn't stop with just thinking about it, though.
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ybb by the numbers
That Unexpected, Unforgettable Smile"My heart was racing with excitement! I was going to be a volunteer shopper with a child through YMCA Bright Beginnings. I had no idea what to expect, but I knew it would be unforgettable. The bus pulled up to the store. Several children got off until my shopping buddy appeared. He was a beautiful little boy with curious eyes looking one way, then the other, not sure of what to make of it all. We were introduced, prompted to "smile" for our memory picture, and then Jack and I headed for the shopping carts to start what I hoped would be a great adventure!"
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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:

adobe_pdf_icon 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