Walking into my office just like every other day, I turned on my computer and logged into YDAT. Imagine my surprise when all of my data for the year was gone. What could have happened? Where did it go? As I thought about it I realized that this is a new year, and not only that…IT IS THE START OF OUR 30TH PROJECT YEAR!!!
In 1993 a fabulous woman by the name of Martha Alford began YVC in Muskogee with the YMCA and ran the program from there until 1999 when the YMCA went out of business. Muskogee Parks and Recreation took on the program at that time and has been providing this program to our community ever since. The 1st year of YVC there were many different projects that the youth participated in and 2 of those projects are still going strong today, Camp Bennett which was originally ran by the Kiwanis and projects with the local Bedouin Shrine. Camp Bennett that is now overseen by Muskogee Public Schools has been a longtime favorite of our volunteers and this past year 13 volunteers served 1224 hours during the 19 project days. We have many different projects with the Shriner's including assisting at the circus, their car show, their Glow Run and more.
YVC of Muskogee has had a few different Directors over the year. Mrs. Alford left in 1999 and although I don’t have the names of the next couple of directors, who I am sure were fabulous, I do know that my hero Eileen Van Kirk started in 2007 and stayed until 2020. Her vision much like Mrs. Alford continued to build a program that has been Gold Level status every year since its inception and has continued to grow a community of young persons that now have a lifetime ethic of service. We have seen volunteers serve 500, 1000, and even 1500 hours during their time with YVC and have become advocates for our youth and our community. They have also taken their passion for giving with them to colleges, employment, and other youth as many have come back to serve as team leaders during breaks from college.
As we begin our journey into 2023 we will continue to share more about YVC through the years and would love to have you along for the scenic ride.