For Everyone

Bright Beginnings

Help a child shine bright this school year

Every child deserves to feel confident on the first day of school. Many kids in our community don’t have the proper clothes or school supplies – but you can help. YMCA Bright Beginnings takes children in need back to school shopping with community volunteers. We provide a gift card for volunteers to shop for clothes with a child one-on-one.

Many of us remember picking out a brand new backpack, outfit and purchasing supplies to get ready for the first day of school each year. Parents struggling to make ends meet cannot provide that experience, but we can still help children start the school year ready for success and make back to school special.

Across Northwest North Carolina, the Y has been working for years with the staff at local Elementary schools to identify the students who are most in need.


We are making a major pivot for YMCA Bright Beginnings due to the continued rise in COVID-19 cases in our area and the presence of several positive COVID-19 cases in our school system thus far this year.

We have decided to shop without students again this year. If you would like to volunteer, you can arrange a time with Kasey Elliott at between September 3 and 9 to pick up your child’s or children’s forms and gift cards. You will be provided their information for sizes and needs. You have until September 9 to bring the items back to the Y. The students will then either pick up the items from the Y on September 11 or we will deliver it to them at the school.

If you are willing to help out, I will need an email back from you with:

1. A good phone number for you
2. A day and timeframe (for example: Monday, September 6, between 11am-2pm) that you will be by to pick up the info and gift card.*
3. How many students you would like to shop for.
*Reminder that the forms will not be available until September 3.*

We are very sorry not to have the students with us this year but want to keep everyone as safe as possible during this event and still make sure the youth in our area get the items they need for school.

Togetherhood: Doing Our Part Together

The Y is so much more than a gym and as part of Social Responsibility we would like to invite you to be a part of it. Together we can lend a helping hand to someone in need making our community a better place for all. Join other like-minded members in volunteering in the community. Examples projects may include: Habitat for Humanity Build, Ronald McDonald cook night, coaching a Y sport, or tutoring. Visit our Togetherhood website or contact Erin Johnson at for details.

Family Literacy

The YMCA Literacy Initiative offers El Nido (“The Nest”), which is a family literacy program that takes place on Tuesday and Thursday evenings from 6 to 8:30 pm at The Ledges Apartments Children’s Center on Anson Street in Winston-Salem (near the intersection of Peters Creek Parkway and Academy Street). El Nido provides book-based activities for children while their parents participate in ESL classes. Volunteers are welcome to help with activities for children or with ESL classes for their parents.

Contact Information

Ellen Gallimore at 336.727.9850 or

Adventure Guides

The YMCA has a long history of bringing parents and children together for life enriching experiences. This history has left a legacy of strengthened relationships and close bonds in many families and communities around the country. The YMCA of Northwest North Carolina has been a part of the Y-Indian Guide/Adventure Guides program for more than 30 years. Adventure Guides currently serves 20 tribes with over 400 participants in Forsyth, Stokes, Davie, Yadkin, and Wilkes Counties. Collectively, these tribes form the Adventure Guides Saura Nation.

The Adventure Guides Program aims to strengthen the bond between fathers and their children through activities that allow them to spend quality time together. Based on strong traditions of the Native American Culture including dignity, patience, endurance, spirituality, concern for the Earth and family values, these programs are tools that will help build memories that will last a lifetime.

Through Adventure Guides, the YMCA provides the following benefits to father and child:

  • Foster companionship and understanding and set a foundation for positive, lifelong relationships between father and child
  • Build a sense of self-esteem and personal worth
  • Expand awareness of body, mind, and spirit
  • Provide a framework to meet a mutual need of spending enjoyable, constructive, and quality time together
  • Enhance the quality of family time
  • Emphasize the vital role parents play in the growth and development of their children
  • Offer an important and unique opportunity to develop & enjoy volunteer leadership skills
  • Opportunity to meet other families with children the same age

Learn more about Adventure Guides »

For further information, please contact Amelia Johnson at 336.983.3131 or email at


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