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Sixty for 60 Stories of Impact

Meet the Reckamp Family

Meet the Reckamp Family

The JCC is celebrating 60 years in its current location on Hoover Road. At every significant moment in an institution’s history, it’s good to stop and look back, then move forward purposefully in designing a path for the future.

The JCC believes that path includes Investing In The Future, and over the next six days we will share six stories of just how we are doing that. Our goal is to pay it forward by providing support and resources, including a caring and safe environment, to our youngest program participants, and in the process help them develop into strong, healthy, productive and contributing adults.

When Jessica Reckamp and her husband moved to Indianapolis from St. Louis, they didn’t know anyone. They planned to stay two years, and move back. Fast forward eight years and the Reckamps are still in Indy. “After joining the JCC and really getting involved with the community, this is the reason we love Indianapolis so much. We’re here, you guys are stuck with us.”

Education Plus!
“The fact there are so many activities for ECE kids to do, I think that’s been one of our most favorite things we share with our friends at different preschools,” Jessica said. “Our kids get swim lessons, tennis, gymnastics, dance. There’s a million things for them to do, so they have more education than just a school education. They’re doing all of these other things.”

Investing In The Future means the JCC works hard each year to raise funds. Two‐thirds of the operating budget come from Membership Dues and Program fees, but to maintain the high level of Early Childhood Education our kids deserve, we depend on donors like you who participate in special efforts like the 60/60 campaign, celebrating 60 years on Hoover Road with a donation of $1 per year, for $60.

The ECE is a Family
The Reckamps have become almost like family with the other ECE families, and they don’t ever want to break up. “We’re all still doing CampJCC. We want to have a place where everybody comes back together.”

Shout Out to JCC Staff
Jessica adores the JCC’s ECE staff and teachers. “They have been amazingly patient with me, [especially] when I was a new mom and asking them a million questions! Everybody is just so caring and it really is so much more than a daycare; it’s a whole community.”

Return on Investment
For the Reckamps, the return on investment the JCC’s ECE program provides couldn’t be higher. “The value is incredibly good with the amount of resources you get,” she said. “So I do think it’s important for families to give to the program in any way they can, even when their students graduate, so it can continue to be an amazing place for a breadth of families.”

Join the Reckamp Family in supporting the JCC and donate to the 60/60 campaign! Donate now and generous donors will match every $1 you give (up to $30,000)!

Thank you in advance for your support! Please help us get the word out by sharing this story and all the stories this week about Investing In The Future of our children.

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Meet the Ellis Family

Meet the Ellis Family

Investing In The Future of our school age kids is important for families who depend on responsible and reliable afterschool programs. Parents are able to focus on their careers and provide support for their families worry‐free from the stress of how their children will be cared for.

It Takes a Village
As the saying goes, it takes a village to raise a child, and the JCC has been that village for Sarah Knapp Ellis and her family.

Sarah went back to work just seven weeks after youngest daughter Amara was born. “She was in ECE’s infant room and I was able to go on my lunch break and breastfeed, which was awesome. To be able to get back to work so quickly and maintain breastfeeding was not easy, but it was made easier by their flexibility and encouragement to do it.”

Afterschool Care Helps Transition to Kindergarten
For eldest daughter Elaine, leaving ECE behind but still coming to the JCC for the afterschool program made the transition to elementary school easy. “Elaine is a real sensitive kid, and I thought, ‘What’s she going to do when she goes to school?’ Afterschool care has been a lifesaver. We love that the school bus is welcomed by staff waiting for the kids. They are so friendly and organized, and offer that reassuring consistency kids need.”

 YearRound at the J
Even in the summer, Elaine’s weekdays are at the JCC. “That was a big transition, to camp. I thought, ‘How is this preschooler going to do with all these big kids?’ but she loves it! She wouldn’t go anywhere else,” Sarah said. “This year I tried to get her to do art camp and other stuff, and she said, ‘I’ll only do one week outside the JCC,’ because all of her buddies are there.”

Part of Something Bigger
Sarah recognizes this sense of being part of a bigger family is hard to find. “That’s why I love the supportive community [at the JCC], and we’ll always support that for other families.”

One-third of the annual JCC budget comes from generous donors who want to make sure JCC staffers always meet that school bus with a smile and a hug, welcoming children who may be tired or stressed, need help with homework, or just want a snack.

Please consider a gift of at least $60 to the 60/60 campaign; $1 a year or more for each year the JCC has been on Hoover Road. Investing In Our Future is something we at the JCC think about everyday, and we thank you in advance for your support!
P.S. Please don’t miss this opportunity to make your generosity go much further. A handful of donors have offered to match donations up to $30,000. So each $60 donation is really $120!

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Meet Sarah Morris

Meet Sarah Morris

The JCC values diversity and inclusiveness and welcomes all people regardless of age, race, sexual orientation, range of abilities or religion. Investing In The Future of our young people means providing them opportunities to create friendships with a diverse group of peers.

Need for Support
Sarah M. is 12 years old, has been a member of the J her entire life, and has non‐verbal learning disability, a learning disorder that affects only about 1% of the population. Anxiety is very prevalent among children with this disorder, which means that Sarah likes a lot of structure and she does better with people she knows.

When facing a transition last year from sixth grade to junior high, at a new school, it was a no‐ brainer that she would spend her summer in Gesher, the middle school division at CampJCC.

Caring, Confidence and Comfort at CampJCC
“When Sarah comes to camp the staff knows her. They provide a caring and nurturing environment for her,” Sarah’s mother Christy said. “Counselors and her peers accept her where she is at, yet encourage her to try new experiences.” Because of how comfortable she had been at CampJCC, Sarah’s transition to junior high went very smoothly, with little stress.

“I could see her gain confidence every week or even daily being here at the J,” Christy said. “She would talk more; she just felt comfortable, and I think that helped make the transition so much easier.”

Jewish Values Have Positive Impact
Not only does the J instill confidence and provide a sense of comfort, but it also imparts values that are universal. “We’re not Jewish, but my kids are learning the values and taking those values out into their world. I think the values are so important that are taught here,” Christy said.

CampJCC’s core values include g’milut chasadim (acts of loving kindness), hachnasat orchim (welcoming guests), hoda’ah (appreciation), bal taschit (do not destroy), and tzedakah (justice and righteousness) and help prepare campers for life outside the J’s walls.

This is what your dollars are doing when you donate to the JCC’s 60th Anniversary on Hoover Road 60/60 campaign, Investing In Our Future. Give $1 or more for each year the JCC has been on Hoover Road and help the JCC serve as a model in our community for people coming together in friendship and acceptance.

The more you give, the greater impact you will have, and today you can make your generosity go much further! A handful of donors has offered to match donations up to $30,000. So each $60 donation is really $120! Donate now!

Donate Now!

Meet Aaron Welcher

Meet Aaron Welcher


Investing In The Future is a theme JCC leaders believe in as the organization celebrates 60 years on Hoover Road in 2018. Staff and lay leaders pay it forward every day with programs and services focused on our youth. Parents can feel good their children are getting positive reinforcement while learning and developing life skills. One valuable skill is learning how to face and overcome life challenges.

Swimming Teaches Life Lessons
Summer should be a carefree time for kids, but sometimes fears get in the way.

Swim teacher Aaron Welcher felt his lessons represented more than mere utilitarian skill building. As students began to learn how to swim, Aaron observed kids becoming less afraid and more self confident, assumed leadership roles in class, and were more outgoing, bonding with instructors and building relationships with peers.

Building Community
The sense of community and compassion Aaron learned as a youngster at the JCC motivated him to send this email to one student’s parents via Camp staff:

“…I am working (during swim lessons) individually with Brian. He has always had issues with the water. However today he did amazing!. he did not cry once and did everything I asked hom to do. Please let his parents know how well Brian is doing. With his history of fearing water I know positive reinforcement is huge for his confidence. Thanks!”

A Grateful Parent
JCC Camp Supervisors passed on the message; Brian’s dad emailed Aaron to thank him directly.

“Aaron, tank you so much for letting us know! We have been talking with Brian since camp has started and have been encouragin him in regards to swimming. The fact that you took the time to contact us speaks volumes about commitment to the success of the kids at the JCC. Thanks fora ll that you do for Brian!”

Paying it forward is a way of life at the J. You can help this happen every day through your gift to our 60.60 campaign, which represents a gift of $1 per year for each of the 60 years the JCC has been on Hoover Road.

We thank you for your support!

Donate Now!

Meet Abby Frank

Meet Abby Frank

The JCC knows future leaders are developed during the formative teen years. Exposure to leadership opportunities is critical to fostering a well‐rounded individual ready to venture out successfully on their own. Investing In The Future means the JCC gives teens a safe environment to challenge themselves with new projects and opportunities.

IU Student is Lifelong JCC Member
Abby F. has been part of the JCC Indianapolis community her entire life. She began attending CampJCC as a kindergartener and completed the circle this summer when she served as a tennis camp counselor at the J.

Her JCC experiences were supported by people she didn’t even know, people like you who understand social service organizations such as the JCC cannot operate on member dues and program fees alone. Annual fundraising underwrites one third of the JCC budget each year and allows us to fully Invest In The Future by investing in young people like Abby.

The Impact of BBYO
Ask Abby which JCC youth program currently has the most impact on her life, and she’ll likely say BBYO, the international Jewish teen youth group whose Indianapolis boys’ and girls’ chapters (Brae Sheath AZA and B’Yachad BBG respectively) are based at the J.

BBYO meetings are teen‐led, so serving on her chapter board gave Abby leadership experience she may not have otherwise gotten so early in life. She held positions ranging from Sunshine Girl (promoting chapter spirit, engagement and appreciation) to President, but her favorite role was that of S’ganit, or Vice President, which involved planning all chapter local events.

Serving as BBYO Regional Vice President
Abby enjoyed her time as Indianapolis BBG S’ganit so much that in her junior year of high school, she ran for the Kentucky‐Indiana‐Ohio (KIO) regional board and was elected a regional vice president.

Today, Abby’s involvement in BBYO continues to impact her. She used to be shy and unwilling to speak to strangers or large groups, but through BBYO she became comfortable talking to just about anyone, and in college course presentations is consistently one of the strongest students.

The JCC makes these opportunities possible! Please Invest In The Future of our young people through the JCC’s 60/60 campaign; increase your impact and give $1 or more for each of the 60 years the J has been on Hoover Road!

Thank you in advance for your support, and for helping get the word out by sharing the story you’re reading.

P.S. A handful of donors has offered to match donations up to $30,000. So your $60 donation is really $120! Donate today!

Donate Now!

Meet Quinton Edwards

Meet Quinton Edwards

Today is the final day of the JCC 60/60 campaign, a fundraising effort to celebrate 60 years of the JCC on Hoover Road. Youth sports provides kids an opportunity to work together for a common goal, develop social and leadership skills and learn the value of teamwork. Investing In The Future of our kids through organized sports helps kids develop lifelong skills and results in better overall performance in school.

Sports at the J are about Fun
At the J, the youth soccer program is all about having fun. This approach allowed Quinton E. to have a positive experience, though he admits sports aren’t usually his favorite activity.

Now 11 years old, Quinton has been a member of the J his entire life—his mother Rachel joined when she was pregnant to keep up her own fitness, and they’ve remained members. Quinton began in the early childhood education program, then attended CampJCC. When it came time to choose extracurricular activities, it made sense to do them at a place where Quinton and his family were already comfortable.

Fun, Family, Friendship
JCC youth soccer’s emphasis on recreation suited Quinton’s personality. Instead of focusing strictly on competition, the program was fun yet firm and gentle yet structured, allowing Quinton’s belief in his abilities to blossom. He is now looking into athletic programs at his school such as track and field, an interest his family attributes to the foundation of self‐confidence solidified at the J.

Playing youth soccer at the J provided bonding opportunities for not only Quinton but his entire family. Quinton’s stepfather coached his team, turning soccer practices and games into family events with Quinton and his stepfather on the field and his mother in the stands. The family met people they are still good friends with today.

At the J, youth sports programs are opportunities for growth in selfesteem, friendship and sociability. Most of the coaches are volunteers, and many were JCC members as kids and played in the same sports they are now coaching. Paying it forward is something that’s important to them.

Today is the last day you can make these opportunities possible by donating to the JCC 60/60 campaign, $60 for 60 years on Hoover Road. Make an Investment in the Future of our children and youth, and remember, the more you give, the greater impact you will have.
P.S. A handful of donors have offered to match donations up to $30,000. So each $60 donation is really $120! Thank you in advance for your support and for sharing this story with others!

Donate Now!

Donate Now!