The YMCA of San Benito County’s Strong Communities Campaign is underway in an effort to raise $100,000 to allow more local residents to participate in the programs offered by the nonprofit.

The organization “plays a critical role in the health and well-being of our community,” Chief Operations Officer Andy Weighill said in a letter to potential donors. “When you are involved with the Y, you help bring about lasting personal and social change. Whether you want to nurture the potential of children and teens, improve your or your family’s health and well-being, or give back and support your neighbors, your involvement with the Y will positively impact those in your community.”

This year’s campaign has particular emphasis on helping those living in poverty or on a fixed or limited income. It will also help offset costs associated with providing youth sports, afterschool programs and day camp.

“I can assure you that every dollar will go to help children, adults and families in San Benito County,” Weighill said, noting that 1 in 10 residents participated in the Y last year and, of those, one in three received financial assistance to do so.”

Nearly 400 local children participated in the YMCA’s afterschool programs during the past year and 180 took part in a summer day camp. Another 150 students played school sports at Hollister schools through the Y’s partnership with the Community Foundation for San Benito County.

For more information on the Strong Communities Campaign and how to support it, call 831-637-8600.