The Hastings Mutual Insurance Company Charitable Foundation recognizes the contributions of nonprofit organizations in the communities we serve. Each month, we’ll honor one of those organizations as our Nonprofit of the Month.
The YMCA of Barry County supports many programs here in Hastings Mutual’s hometown of Hastings, MI. We’re proud to support three programs specifically dedicated to helping children in need.
Teenagers are teamed up with elementary school students to have an older partner in activities like YMCA events and community activities. They help with academics, too: in 2018, the program worked with 600 kids in nine schools throughout Barry County.
The first B is for “Books.” Or maybe “Bee” — just look at that bus! It travels through neighborhoods during the summer with books to borrow, to keep readers active during the summer months. There’s places to sit, games to play, and of course hundreds of books at all reading levels for kids to have fun with.
The next step for the YMCA of Barry County is to follow the lead of programs in Detroit, Dayton, Ohio, and other cities with the “Y On The Fly” (YOTF) plan. While the B. Bus takes books in a school bus, YOTF brings vans of games and food to areas that need nutritious meals and activities. School districts offer “Meet Up and Eat Up” days during the summer, so children can get a healthy meal if they can’t afford one. It’s a necessity in Barry County, where nearly half of the children take free or reduced-price school lunches. It’s estimated that 9% of families in the county are below the very low Federal Poverty Level of $24,300 a year for a family of four. Another 28% are living below the Asset Limited, Income Constrained, Employed or ALICE threshold, a measurement of those living on less than a basic household budget, and without any savings for health emergencies or future investments. In Barry County in 2017, that’s $62,640 a year for two adults, an infant, and a preschooler.
You can learn more about these special programs at the YMCA of Barry County: