FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact: Tim Ditman, OSF HealthCare Media Relations Coordinator | (309) 838-9664
(October 26, 2022 | URBANA, Illinois) – Hundreds of kids in Champaign County, Illinois, started the school year with tools for success thanks to a $10,000 premier sponsorship from OSF HealthCare Heart of Mary Medical Center in Urbana to the Stephens Family YMCA’s Y on the Fly program.
Over the summer, YMCA staff worked with children, most at-risk to slide into a pattern of unhealthy behaviors, on educational and engaging programs such as STEAM activities (science, technology, engineering, arts and math), swim lessons and field trips to the University Of Illinois College Of Veterinary Medicine. An end of summer celebration saw free food and school supplies.
Thanks to support from OSF Heart of Mary, the YMCA was able to serve 200 more kids (750 kids total from Kindergarteners to eighth graders) and double the amount of time spent serving the youth to 32 hours per week. OSF Children’s Hospital of Illinois support also allowed the YMCA to purchase needed equipment for the Y on the Fly program like water bottles, t-shirts, art supplies, recreational supplies, food and more.
The OSF contribution also allowed YMCA employees to get training on caring for children who have experienced trauma, such as gun violence in their neighborhood.
“The OSF mission of serving with the greatest care and love does not end when we walk outside the hospital walls,” said Erin Rogers, MBA, interim president of OSF Heart of Mary. “Community partnerships like this one are vital to ensuring healthy neighborhoods and beyond. OSF was proud to partner with the Stephens Family YMCA to put hundreds of young people on the path to success and perhaps even spark an interest in medicine through exposure to STEAM activities.”
“At Y on the Fly, we want to make an impact on children, their families and the community, and this summer we were able to do just that and more,” said Capricia T. Whittaker, Y on the Fly director. “We’re grateful for the support from OSF to make this vision a reality.”
OSF and the Stephens Family YMCA are exploring opportunities for future partnerships to benefit the community.
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OSF HealthCare is an integrated health system owned and operated by The Sisters of the Third Order of St. Francis, headquartered in Peoria, Illinois. OSF HealthCare employs nearly 24,000 Mission Partners in 150 locations, including 15 hospitals – 10 acute care, five critical access – with 2,089 licensed beds, and two colleges of nursing throughout Illinois and Michigan. The OSF HealthCare physician network employs more than 1,500 primary care, specialist and advanced practice providers. OSF HealthCare, through OSF Home Care Services, operates an extensive network of home health and hospice services. It also owns Pointcore, Inc., comprised of health care-related businesses and OSF HealthCare Foundation, the philanthropic arm for the organization. More at osfhealthcare.org.