In Collaboration with The Michael & Nancy Pia Foundation, the YMCA of Greater Brandywine Kicks Off a Year of Kindness

YMCA Kindness Initiative

The YMCA of Greater Brandywine, in collaboration with the Michael & Nancy Pia Foundation, are asking the community to join them in a year-long focus on Kindness. The effort, which connects to the YMCA’s mission as well as the Pia Foundation’s Living Kindness Program, will offer ongoing ways for friends, neighbors and colleagues to engage in projects, efforts and causes that benefit our community.  

“After a tumultuous few years, we’re happy to provide a space where kindness can flourish,” shares YMCA CEO Denise Day. “Our organization has three core pillars that drive our efforts, with social responsibility as one. This focus on kindness is an opportunity to bring that pillar to the forefront during a time where it feels like there is a great need to have spaces where individuals can feel safe and supported and where they have the opportunity to be their best selves.”  

The project will kick off during Welcoming Week, an annual event held at seven of the association’s locations – the Brandywine YMCA, Jennersville YMCA, Kennett Area YMCA, Lionville Community YMCA, Oscar Lasko YMCA & Childcare Center, Upper Main Line YMCA and West Chester Area YMCA.

“We are excited to work with the YMCA to help shed light on the importance of kindness and look forward to helping to raise awareness for the areas of need in our community – of which there are many – and to help individuals more easily identify ways that they can get involved to meet these needs. When communities come together and support one another, great things happen. It’s also so important to help young people get involved in these efforts. This work helps to build our future leaders and philanthropists,” shares Nancy Pia, co-founder of the foundation and leader of the Living Kindness Program.

The YMCA will be involving students who participate in the 7th Grade Initiative, which provides a free YMCA membership to all area seventh graders, in the Kindness Project. This year, the Initiative will weave in volunteer opportunities and service projects as ways for youth to be more engaged with the organization’s mission and to give back to the community.  

“We have organized and will continue to build out opportunities to engage in projects and efforts to spread kindness. This fall we will have opportunities to help stock food pantries in our facilities, volunteer for a wide variety of roles, organize Thanksgiving meal bags for individuals and families in need, donate blood via the Red Cross, distribute backpacks and jackets to youth and make the holidays special for area families through our Angel Tree program,” shares Andrew Holets, executive director of the Lionville Community YMCA, who is leading the project.  

While the YMCA has organized centralized efforts to help spread kindness, the project is asking members of the community to find small ways to help spread kindness in their day-to-day life. To learn more about the project or sign up to get involved, please visit  

About the YMCA of Greater Brandywine  

The YMCA of Greater Brandywine (YGBW), an association of eight YMCAs, is a leading non-profit organization committed to strengthening the Chester County community. We strive to nurture the potential of every child, promote healthy living and foster social responsibility through life-changing programs for all. YGBW provides both financial assistance and income-based memberships to ensure no one in our community is turned away from the YMCA’s services and offerings due to an inability to pay. To learn more, visit  

About the Michael & Nancy Pia Foundation  

The Michael & Nancy Pia Foundation was established in 2002 with a focus on improving the lives of children. Their work is centered on homelessness, food insecurity, health and education. Their Living Kindness Program, launched in 2019, is designed to create a culture of kindness by empowering people to take action and give back to their communities through service projects that they are most passionate about. The project provides grants to help support kindness-focused efforts across the county.  

Category: Community Press