The YMCA of Metuchen, Edison, Woodbridge, and South Amboy has announced that they will be offering a 25% membership discount at the Edison YMCA for caregivers of veterans and servicemembers. This benefit is being offered in conjunction with the Elizabeth Dole Foundation's Hidden Heroes Campaign, a national initiative to raise awareness and support for the 5.5 million spouses, parents, siblings, and other loved ones caring for our nation's wounded, ill or injured servicemembers and veterans at home. In 2012, Senator Elizabeth Dole created the Foundation after witnessing firsthand the complex challenges military caregivers face while her husband, Bob, was hospitalized at Walter Reed Army Medical Center.
The Township of Edison initially joined the cause, declaring the township by way of a council resolution a “Hidden Heroes City”, with the goal of raising public awareness and inspiring people, businesses and civic groups to join in the support of these caregivers. Edison is the first township in Middlesex County and the second in New Jersey to do so. “The YMCA is honored to do our part in this worthy cause,” said Rose Cushing, President & CEO of the YMCA of Metuchen, Edison, Woodbridge & South Amboy. “We plan to not only open our doors to our Hidden Heroes at the Edison YMCA, but at our Metuchen and South Amboy branches as well.” A military caregiver is defined as a family member, friend or other loved one who provides a broad range of care and assistance for, or manages the care of, a current or former military service member with a disabling physical or mental injury or illness.
The YMCA also offers a discount for veterans and members of the military through their Military Outreach Program. “There are over 3,000 veterans and over 700 disabled veterans in the township of Edison,” said Cindy O’Neill, Director of Operations at the Edison YMCA. “Given that one of the tenets of the YMCA is social responsibility, this gives the YMCA the opportunity to give back to these brave men and women, as well as their caregivers”. For more information on the YMCA Military Outreach Program, go to http://www.ymca.net/military-outreach/memberships.html.
If you feel you are eligible for either program or know someone that may be, please contact Membership and Marketing Director Kristine Rosko at the Edison YMCA at 732-494-3232, ext. 3512. To find out more about the Hidden Heroes campaign, go to www.hiddenheroes.org and register to be eligible for the Hidden Heroes YMCA membership discount.