For the Kids McDonough County YMCA makes improvements with Neighborhood Assist grant. Macomb, IL, 02 May 2018 | 07:00 AM America/Chicago For the Kids Providing more room for learning. The YMCA in McDonough County has provided resources for young and old around Macomb, Ill., for 23 years. The dated building has not seen many updates in recent years, but recently, needed interior and exterior renovations have been moved from the “would like” box to the “completed” or “happening” boxes. Over the years, as the need grew, so did the YMCA, particularly in the area of childcare. The YMCA provides day care, summer camps and after school care for local children. According to YMCA Daycare Director Sarah Ewen, they’ve doubled the amount of rooms needed for childcare. With more excited yells and laughter filling the building, the need for repairs expanded. Thanks to a State Farm Neighborhood Assist® grant, the YMCA has replaced carpeting and updated water faucets and air conditioning. With indoor updates complete, outdoor renovations will start soon. “This was a fantastic grant for us,” says Sarah. “We'll be able to redo our fence around the playground. Our current fence was put in 23 years ago. This gives us the opportunity to bring it up to code.” The new fence will also allow them to create a new outdoor play area. “When the fence is installed, it will allow us to make another playground area so we can have more classes outside. This will enable us to do some learning areas outside,” Sarah says. “We've had to wait for winter to pass. I believe we finally have some time to put things in the ground," she adds. Sarah stressed the importance of the YMCA providing a well-established, safe educational space for children. The YMCA promotes the social, emotional, physical and intellectual growth of every child through learning experiences. “The kids need a good space to learn and we are providing that for them,” she says. “Being able to keep our doors open and provide that quality for the kids is so important. There are a lot of kids in our community who need the YMCA.” During the Neighborhood Assist program process, the community came together to support the YMCA. “It was through a lot of word-of-mouth promotion, sending texts and emails and sharing on social media that got the message out,” Sarah says of the voting portion of last year’s Neighborhood Assist program. “It was really neat to hear from YMCA families, friends and past participants who said they were voting every day. I can’t express how excited we are to have this grant come to us.” State Farm Neighborhood Assist asks people to identify causes that help make their communities safer, stronger and better educated. The 2018 program kicks off on June 6. The top 40 causes with the most votes will each receive a $25,000 grant from State Farm! For more information, visit www.neighborhoodassist.com.