• India N. Miles

Marco Callender: Center of the Community

Marco Callender -- friend, advocate, family man. Marco is the executive director of the Greater Richmond YMCA. He's smart, funny and a man of faith who impresses me every-time I visit him. With his usual smile, this week while discussing the details of my Love Benefit (and making arrangements to use the Y) I asked him if there was a campaign or a point of focus of the Y's that he'd like for me to share with my guests?

He said simply, awareness. He wants people to know why the Petersburg YMCA exists and that it is not a community center. His goal is to make it the "center of the community" and a place where families and community members can come and have fun and feel safe and appreciated. Marco explained, his "Y" works because it's community focused, it's funded by the community, serves the community, and governed by the community.

Call me crazy but I personally didn't know the history of the Y before attending the YMCA Prayer Breakfast Marco invited me to a few months ago that was raising money for the Y. I didn't know it was founded to be an exclusive club for Christian Men, wow. Who knew?

Being the center of a community comes with the grand responsibility to care. People like Marco do that and so much more than the requirements of their job. I toured the upgraded YMCA yesterday and the architecture immediately re-inspired me to keep my dream of my own prosperity center alive. When we care we change lives, the buildings we build don't build a community, being a person like Marco does.

For ways to support the "Y" in my community visit them online at https://www.ymcarichmond.org/locations/petersburg/

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