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In Difficult Times for Nonprofits, Williams YMCA Acquires Avery Partnership for People at the End of Life

June 16, 2014. Avery Partnership for People at the End of Life (APPEL) has been acquired by the Williams YMCA.

In a letter to APPEL supporters, APPEL Chairman Dick Larson spoke of the problems facing small nonprofits.

“It became increasingly difficult to continue with our mission, while remaining a small independent organization, particularly in terms of IRS regulations and government mandates. As a result of this, the Board of Directors of APPEL has decided to join forces with the Williams YMCA of Avery County. We think this is an absolutely wonderful marriage,” Larson wrote. “For the time being all of APPEL’s programs will continue under the guidance of the YMCA Board, retaining Kay Decherd’s compassionate, thoughtful input. Though, as a result of this step, APPEL will cease to exist, its spirit will go forward and prosper.”

Kay Decherd says of this new marriage that the merger is good for both organizations because both seek to provide life enriching programs for the people of Avery County. Both organizations honor the dignity of the people they serve. The APPEL programs serving the elderly will enhance and strengthen the mission of the YMCA. People involved with and supporters of APPEL can feel good because many of APPEL’s programs will continue providing good stewardship of the funds raised by and for the people of Avery County.

The merger can grow the YMCA outreach program by augmenting Shelia Bauer’s Meals on Wheels outreach, hopefully expanding it overtime to allow Shelia and Kay to visit all eighty recipients of the meals. These visits will provide an opportunity to assess other needs which the outreach could address such as the need for grab bars in bath rooms, as well as providing information and resource packets based on information found on the APPEL website. The relationships Shelia and Kay develop may open other areas of interaction with the people such as bringing them to the YMCA for programs like swimming and exercise.

The APPEL Family Support Library will reside in the lobby of the YMCA and thus be available to many families. This library offers books for people of all ages and stages of life providing books dealing with caregiver support, aging in place, loss, grief, healing and hope. The books will be available for “borrow” any time the YMCA is open. If the books are returned that would be wonderful; in the case of workbooks and books to help children deal with loss and grieving they may never come back which means they are continuing to help the recipient.

The merger provides the opportunity to partner with other existing programs such as the High Country Caregiver Foundation Relatives as Parents Program.

Avery County has well over 300 grandparents and other relatives raising children. “Wouldn’t it be wonderful to support and enrich this program by regularly offering these children time in the pool and XArcade while the grandparents participate in support groups?” a release asks.

Want to learn more about APPEL? Click here

Want to learn more about Williams YMCA of Avery. Click here.