Throughout my time at the Dublin YMCA, I have noticed one major thing, and that is that they will do anything to help less fortunate children lead better lives. The do seminars in schools that allow them to talk to kids about some dangers that alcohol, drugs, and dropping out of school can do. Also, they allow at risk children to come to the Y to hang out, do homework, and play sports to pass their time. The job that they were doing here met my expectations of what they would be doing. This was because back home, I was familiar with the Y and their services and they were very similar to that in Dublin.
The YMCA is drastically effected by what is currently going on around them socially and economically. Right now, they are in the process of doing a Christmas tree sale, which is an annual stalwart in their fundraising campaigns. They also rely other seasonal events to hold big fundraisers. However, they are also effected by how well the economy is doing. It is obvious that when the economy suffers, corporations like the Y are some of the first to suffer. This is because people who have less money are less likely to donate money when the need it for essentials such as food, clothing, and transportation. Also, it affects them in the number of people they are trying to help. They currently have limited staff members and only have 38 housing options for young homeless people who qualify to be in their program. As money decreases the applicants go up and makes it more difficult to help everyone in need, especially with less staff than before.
Doing this service learning project has taught me many things. It has taught me that no matter how bad a day might be, there can always be worse things to happen, and to take advantage of every opportunity I get. Also, I feel that I would rather work for a volunteer organization than to donate as it feels a lot better when you are there seeing the results, not just putting a dollar or a euro into a can.