The Living Kindness Project: Join the YMCA in a year-long focus on kindness

Kindness Initiative

WEST CHESTER, PA — The YMCA of Greater Brandywine, in collaboration with the Michael & Nancy Pia Foundation, is asking the community to join them in a year-long focus on Kindness. The effort, which connects to the YMCA’s mission as well as the PIA Foundation’s Living Kindness Project, will offer ongoing ways for friends, neighbors and colleagues to engage in projects, efforts and causes that benefit the community.

“After a tumultuous few years, we’re happy to provide a space where kindness can flourish,” shares YMCA CEO Denise Day. “Our organization has three core pillars that drive our efforts, with social responsibility as one. This focus on kindness is an opportunity to bring that pillar to the forefront during a time where it feels like there is a great need to have spaces where individuals can feel safe and supported and where they have the opportunity to be their best selves.”

The project will kick off during Welcoming Week, an annual event held at seven of the association’s locations – the Brandywine YMCA, Jennersville YMCA, Kennett Area YMCA, Lionville Community YMCA, Oscar Lasko YMCA & Childcare Center, Upper Main Line YMCA and West Chester Area YMCA.

“We are excited to work with the YMCA to help shed light on the importance of kindness and look forward to helping to raise awareness for the areas of need in our community – of which there are many – and to help individuals more easily identify ways that they can get involved to meet these needs. When communities come together and support one another, great things happen. It’s also so important to help young people get involved in these efforts. This work helps to build our future leaders and philanthropists,” shares Nancy Pia, co-founder of the foundation and leader of the Living Kindness Project.

The YMCA will be involving students who participate in the 7th Grade Initiative, which provides a free YMCA membership to all area seventh graders, in the Kindness Project. This year, the Initiative will weave in volunteer opportunities and service projects as ways for youth to be more engaged with the organization’s mission and to give back to the community.

“We have organized and will continue to build out opportunities to engage in projects and efforts to spread kindness. This fall we will have opportunities to help stock food pantries in our facilities, volunteer for a wide variety of roles, organize Thanksgiving meal bags for individuals and families in need, donate blood via the Red Cross, distribute backpacks and jackets to youth and make the holidays special for area families through our Angel Tree program,” shares Andrew Holets, executive director of the Lionville Community YMCA, who is leading the project.

While the YMCA has organized centralized efforts to help spread kindness, the project is asking members of the community to find small ways to help spread kindness in their day-to-day life.

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