Set for Success

Posted:  Tuesday, August 22, 2017 - 7:30pm

The Boothbay Region YMCA hosted the Boothbay Region Community Resource Council for another successful Set for Success campaign. Set for Success is the brainchild of the CRC’s president, Sue Burge, and began six years ago.

“The average cost today for just what we’re offering here — not including clothes and shoes— is $87 per kid,” said Burge. “That is a heck of a load for a young family with multiple children or even one kid.”

Every summer, teachers hand out lists of supplies students will need for the next school year. So, churches receive the list from the CRC before the big back-to-school events in July where members of every congregation are invited to purchase needed items or to donate money toward Set for Success. Beyond the churches, community members and private businesses pitch in significant amounts of money and volunteer work.

“Members from all across the community, here, have something to offer our families which is all in the name of the support of education,” said Burge, pointing out the many stations offering free haircuts, hair coloring and manicures. “We raise the money through people in this community who have giving hearts.”

Inside the entrance to the YMCA field house, there were tables upon tables of supplies like backpacks, binders, pencils, pens and cases. There were folders, pocket dividers and highlighters. These were among the many supplies needed to succeed at school.

“What makes this really unique, is this event is for every single child in this community including home-schooled children,” Burge said. “We are not differentiating in terms of income level — this is for every single kid.”

Andy Hamblett, executive director for the Boothbay Region YMCA, praised Burge for coming up with Set for Success.

“It’s wonderful to see the community come together and to see the kids get excited to get back to school, especially the younger kids,” said Hamblett. “It’s fun asking them who their teacher is, watching them get to pick out whatever color backpack they want. As a parent, having four kids that have gone through the school — it’s a big expense.”

Hamblett said that, this year, the YMCA wondered how it could pitch in a little more than just opening up the doors to the field house, so it decided to open the doors to the pool and the gym, as well.

Said Burge, “This is about our kids, supporting their education, giving our families a break, and, also, supporting our teachers who funnel tons of money out of their own pocket every year to add to their classroom needs. How do people do it? They can’t. They don’t. So, this is what we do and we do it for everyone.”