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Winston-Salem, NC (March 24, 2023) – The Stokes Family YMCA has been awarded the Duke Energy Citizenship and Service Award for its YMCA Bright Beginnings program, which provides back-to-school materials for Stokes County students in need. The Stokes YMCA seeks to serve 100 students from all elementary schools in the county with its collaborative partner Stokes County Schools.

Recognizing the challenges some families face, YMCA Bright Beginnings aims to provide children with school essentials and a back-to-school shopping experience they may not have otherwise. Each year, the Stokes Y works with administration at Stokes County Schools and other community partners to identify students most in need. Using donations made to the Y’s Annual Impact Fund, the Y is able to purchase backpacks filled with school supplies and provide gift cards to community volunteers who shop with the child for clothes on a set date.

The Duke Energy Citizenship and Service Award recognizes the efforts of a person or group that demonstrates outstanding volunteerism and community service. It is a tribute to those who make a difference in the community by using time, talent and compassion to positively impact the lives of others. Recipients of the award help foster a culture of citizenship and service that acts as a catalyst for others to become involved in civic and social activities. The award is designed to recognize outstanding volunteer service and civic participation over a 12-month period.

“The Y humbly accepts this award on behalf of all our partners, donors and volunteers,” shared Stokes Family YMCA Executive Director Derek Edwards. “The award is truly an acknowledgement of our community’s dedication to helping one another reach their God-given potential, regardless of their circumstances.” 

Individuals, corporations and organizations can support Bright Beginnings and other YMCA programs by volunteering and/or donating to the Stokes Family Y’s Annual Impact Fund. For more information on the Annual Impact Fund or to make a donation visit For questions or additional information on partnering with the Y to make a difference in the Stokes community, please contact Edwards at


About the YMCA of Northwest North Carolina

The YMCA is one of the nation’s leading nonprofits strengthening communities through youth development, healthy living and social responsibility. The YMCA of Northwest North Carolina engages more than 115,000 men, women and children annually – regardless of age, income or background – to nurture the potential of children and teens, improve the community’s health and well-being and provide opportunities to give back and support neighbors. Anchored in communities across seven counties, the Y has the long-standing relationships and physical presence not just to promise, but to deliver lasting personal and social change.





Our Mission: "Helping all people reach their God-given potential in spirit, mind and body."