Over the last couple weeks, the nonprofit world throughout our country has been buzzing about MacKenzie Scott, the ex-wife of Amazon’s Jeff Bezos, who announced she has given $4.2 billon to charity. She is one of a growing number of billionaires who have signed on to Warren Buffet’s Giving Pledge campaign to donate the majority of their wealth during their lifetime. Ms. Scott indicated she accelerated her giving because of the “wrecking ball” effect of COVID-19. She is particularly interested in investing in nonprofits who reach out to “people in need” using a focus on basic needs which have included foodbanks, Goodwill affiliates, Meals on Wheels and yes, our very own High Point YMCA. I have nothing but admiration and respect for Ms. Scott as I see her leadership and vision being a tipping point for our country. I believe serving those who go without and providing them with a means to become self-sufficient is one of our highest callings.
I am proud to say the High Point YMCA is a deserving nonprofit benefiting from MacKenzie Scott’s first charitable installment. In the interest of transparency, I must say that I am huge fan of the High Point’s YMCA as I’ve been a member for almost 40 years and strongly believe our YMCA really matters to this community. I give the lion’s share of the credit to Lynn Lomax, local CEO, who is a long-term YMCA professional we lured away from Charlotte, NC several years ago. What I admire most about Lynn is that he sees the YMCA as so much more than a workout facility. In his vision, he sees this organization as a conduit to provide a broad range of critical services to young people and families. He is constantly looking for ways to partner with other nonprofits, offering to provide resources and a venue. I love that Lynn is motivated by his commitment to serve.
I consider the YMCA to be one the premier producers of “social capital” (i.e., the glue that holds communities together) in our city. Whether you’re talking youth basketball and soccer leagues, their outstanding swimming program, daycare services, summer camps or even their adult sport leagues, the YMCA is one of the most diversified venues in High Point. The magical thing about bringing folks together like this is that we all learn very quickly we are so much more alike than we are different.
Another reason this organization is so important to High Point as it stands by its principles, values and faith. I give a lot of credit to Lynn and his Board of Trustees for they are willing to take a stand for what is moral, ethical and spiritually based. In a world awash with moral relativism it is not only refreshing to see an organization to promote that which is good, true and just, but is also committed to passing this on to our young people. Not only do they teach life lessons through athletics and recreation, they also promote them every day through the examples set by their very committed and mission driven staff. Over the years, I have learned that character, integrity and committed are values that are most effectively passed on through relationships and this is what Lynn and his team do.
This is why our YMCA matters and it is why I believe MacKenzie Scott chose the High Point YMCA over thousands of other nonprofits in this country. It’s about visionary leadership, community driven programs and a willingness to invest in hearts and minds of our young people. I could not be prouder of Lynn and his team and I hope everyone who reads this will take a moment and let the YMCA staffers throughout our community know how much they are appreciated and respected.