Better East Texas: Community response to YMCA closure

(KLTV) - The Tyler YMCA closed its doors this week after an announcement to do so just about a week ago.  The organization cited declining membership and reduced fundraising as the prime reasons for closing. So, this was about the financial health of the organization.

The Tyler Y has been in operation for more than 60 years and while it had a paid staff, it was managed by a board of volunteers. This had to be a tough decision but it puts hundreds of families in an even tougher situation, because it disrupts the service of childcare for them. Yes, there are other options, but who is to say what kind of strain this will put on other providers that may be near capacity already.

It is also a concern as to why this happened. Non-profits live off of giving, and for most non-profits, the fundraising process has gotten tougher and tougher while the need for the services provided by non-profits has increased. So, is the YMCA just the first of others that might close or was this something that could have been avoided? 

Time will tell, but there is no question that Tyler has lost a landmark community partner and that will put pressure on others to fill the gap. Whether it be a church, a community service organization or any other group that relies on fundraising or contributions, supporters must be vigilant in being good stewards and having a plan for longevity. If not, more organizations will go by the wayside and needs in the community will do nothing but increase, and that is an unsustainable situation.

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