YMCA Stories

June 13, 2012

Inspired to Give Back: the Taylor Family

For Chris and Jill Taylor and their two young daughters, the North Area Family YMCA has become home away from home.

They come to the Y nearly every day of the week and had fun. Programs such as swim lessons, parent-child gym classes, pre-school, group fitness, basketball, and the Daddy-Daughter Dance make their family stronger. They were thankful.

Then one of their daughter’s teachers asked them to consider becoming campaigners for Y Partners. The 90-minute training session changed their views on the Y.

“I never would have known about the Y as a charity before that,” Chris said. “Just to see people get up there and tell their stories about how the Y has helped their families - it was really overwhelming.”

They were inspired to give back.

“I thought it would be great to raise money so that other families can benefit from the same things we have the fortunate ability to afford ourselves,” Jill said.

For Jill, the campaign became a personal tribute to her sister, who had died in an accident a year earlier. Jeanine Maxson was a giving person - a teacher’s assistant who had dedicated her career to helping children with special needs, Jill said. Jeanine was also an avid runner and bicyclist.

“The Y is who she was,” Jill said of her sister. “She believed in the same principles and had many themes in common with the Y.” Jill said it seemed appropriate to memorialize her sister while giving to others, as Jeanine always did.

Jill gathered more than $1,000 in donations from her family to make a Besse Society gift in honor of her sister. Jeanine’s twin daughters are designing the tile that will be placed on the Besse wall at the North Area Family Y.

But that was just the beginning of the Taylors’ fundraising efforts. They asked for and received numerous Y Partners gifts from their co-workers and friends. They also raised more than $300 through their daughter’s participation in the Little Einsteins Preschool Dance-A-Thon.

Chris, the leader of the Custom Taylor Band, found a way to give back through music. While listening to the campaigner orientation, he kept thinking about a song idea someone had sent him months earlier.

He and his band recorded the song, shot a music video and launched a publicity campaign. “Something Beautiful,” is now available on iTunes and as a compact disk, with a portion of the proceeds going to Y Partners.

“We all need help at one time or another, and the Y is there for you,” Chris said. “I can’t fix the world, but I can do my part to give.”

Filed under Social Services
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