On Thursday, area YMCAs will collaborate to launch the 2014 annual campaign to support individual community needs.

Those YMCAs are the Tri-State Family YMCA, Neosho, Grove, Okla. and Rogers, Ark., Joplin Family YMCA, Osage Prairie YMCA, Nevada, Mo. and the Fair Acres Family YMCA, Carthage.

The kickoff for this event will be held at 4 p.m. at Victory Ministries, formerly known as the Bridge in Joplin, near the Holiday Inn.

“The main purpose of the kickoff is to generate regional attention that the Y is so much more and all locations are kicking off campaign season,” said Johanna Rowe, community relations director of Tri-State Family YMCA. “The Ys rely on generous support of donors to help thousands of people within our communities. Together, we can help our friends, families and neighbors achieve so much more.”

The kickoff will feature a campaign video comprised of representatives from each Y sharing their Y story. Community Bank and Trust’s Rudy Farber will be the keynote speaker and Southwest Missouri Bank will give the first official donation to the campaign.

“Each YMCA decides the campaign goal based on the needs of the community,” Rowe said. “The 2014 campaign goals for the Tri-State Family YMCA branches are as follows: Neosho Freeman Family YMCA $71,000, Grand Lake Family YMCA $36,000, and NWA $80,000.”

The funds raised from the individual campaigns are used in their own communities to ensure that everyone has access to vital community programs and resources that support youth development, healthy living and social responsibility. Every day, the area YMCAs work to support the people and neighborhoods that need it most by addressing community issues, such as school readiness, chronic diseases and food insecurity.

“Every Y has the same cause … as a charity, we’re dedicated to nurturing the potential of every child and teen, improving the nation’s health and well-being and giving back and providing support to our neighbors,” she said. “So it only made sense to join forces with the other Ys to be one loud voice, just as Helen Keller once said ‘Alone we can do so little; but together we can do so much.’”

Rowe said the collaborative effort has been a learning experience.

“It’s nice to see what each Y has to offer in terms of skills and experience, and I feel the collaboration will only get stronger as we continue this relationship.”

For more information, please call the YMCA at 455-9999.