Southcoast YMCA celebrates impact, kicks off fundraising campaign

Mar 5, 2024

YMCA Southcoast kicked off the 2024 installment of its annual fundraising campaign by recognizing the breadth of Y's impact. 

One speaker at the kick-off breakfast held Tuesday, March 5 talked about the way the Fall River YMCA helped her family when her house got broken into during Christmastime. Others highlighted the way the Y was able to keep its childcare programs running during the Covid pandemic, the way the Y's farm in Dartmouth helps combat food insecurity and how families and children of all ages can participate in the Y's programs together. 

"The Y is family, and it's something that will remain constant in all of our lives as long as we let it," said Nancy Edwards, a member of the Gleason Family YMCA's board of advisors and a generational YMCA member — her great-grandfather emigrated from Scotland and became an original member with and served as chair of the Quincy YMCA. 

They emphasized as well that it is support from the annual fundraising campaign that allows the YMCA to stay open to all families. 

"The objective is to raise the money and funds so that children and their families from here to Swansea can participate in any of the Southcoast Y's range of activities, regardless of their ability to pay," said John Amaral, chair of the board for the Gleason Family YMCA. 

Southcoast YMCA has six regional branches throughout Southeast Massachusetts, comprising the Gleason Family YMCA in Wareham (where the breakfast took place), the Dartmouth YMCA, the Mattapoisett YMCA, the Fall River YMCA, the New Bedford YMCA and Stoico/FIRSTFED YMCA in Swansea. Through its locations, it offers programs to assist with youth development and education, food insecurity, childcare and more. 

"I'm fond of describing the Southcoast Y as the largest, most impactful human services agency in the area," said Peter Bullard, the co-chair of YMCA Southcoast's annual campaign, speaking at a breakfast held Tuesday, March 5. "I believe that because of how many people we help and the way we help them."

YMCA Southcoast raised $860,000 through its 2023 campaign, Bullard said. However, he added, that same year the Y gave out over $960,000 in financial aid — a $100,000 difference. 

"When I say that the Y is a constant celebration of our humanity, it's because our doors are open to everybody; we do not turn down anybody for financial reasons. That's because of the annual fund; that's because what you do is really important," he said. 

This year, Southcoast YMCA has a fundraising goal of $875,000 for its annual campaign. People can donate to the campaign online at, by phone at 508-996-9622 ext. 125 or by mail at YMCA Southcoast ATTN: Annual Campaign, 128 Union Street, Suite 304, New Bedford, MA 02740.