For over 20 years, Y’s Men, held in December each year, has been one of the most impactful community outreach programs offered by the Goldsboro Family YMCA. Originally created by Kriquette Davis, former VP of Operations for the YMCA, the program raised over $500,000 in financial support for over 1,200 families in Wayne County not otherwise served by any other organization during the Christmas holidays.
The families are identified through partnerships with several agencies including: The Boys & Girls Clubs of Wayne County, Wayne Uplift Domestic Violence, Wayne County Public Schools, Wayne Pregnancy Center, Cry Freedom Ministries, Seymour Johnson Air Force Base, WAGES, and area churches. Bruce Griffin, CEO of the YMCA, shared that “Kriquette’s vision started as a YMCA Membership drive incentive for new members to donate gift cards to support local families. Her passion for reaching those in need only grew to include partnerships with multiple non-profit agencies and supported by hundreds of volunteers over the years.”
Along with their financial contributions, many of the donors served as shoppers to assist families with purchases while the YMCA hosted the children with activities supported by staff and volunteers from The Bridge and The Lord’s Table. With increasing needs growing from the pandemic, Kriquette launched Kriquette’s Kidz in 2020 to expand support to families year-round. “It’s been my main focus for many years, to be able to love on our families and make sure kids are taken care of,” she said. She added that ‘initially, we talked about assisting with utility bills, medications and clothing in addition to some assistance at Christmas. After speaking with the school social workers and other agencies, it became clear that the need at Christmas was enormous. So, we chose to amp up our Christmas outreach.”
Griffin felt that Davis’s leadership and community history with Y’s Men and the immediate success of Kriquette’s Kidz could have an even greater impact if the two organizations joined together. “It made sense that our annual fundraising efforts for Y’s Men could be better managed through Kriquette’s Kidz and we decided to direct all proceeds to Kriquette’s Kidz.” said Griffin. “I believe that this partnership would also allow the YMCA to direct more focus to our Help the Hungry Challenge which collects food donations for distribution to community partners throughout the county, including to Kriquette’s Kidz”. He shared that “we were blessed to have become active in food delivery to underserved families when our facilities were shut down last year and have delivered almost 100,000 meals to date”.
Griffin believes that working in partnership with other non-profits, like Kriquette’s Kidz, only strengthens the collective impact of support to our community. Davis agreed by saying that “this gives our community a way to wrap our arms around our entire community, and it’s what we should be doing.”