YMCA employee helps spread Christmas cheer

December 24, 2005|By RICHARD F. BELISLE


For four years, Beverly Coyle has been the Waynesboro YMCA's "go-to girl" when Christmas rolls around.

Coyle, the customer service supervisor at the front desk, "goes above and beyond" her normal work duties to coordinate the YMCA's annual "12 Days of Christmas" program, said Alan Smith, the agency's executive director.

Coyle's efforts "really makes an impact on the community, not just the Y," Smith said.

Coyle said the program covers the first 12 days of December, with a special event every day. She has to start planning the events as early as August to get everything coordinated. Members of the front-desk staff are a big help, she said.

"I try to come up with different ideas each year, to add something new," Coyle said.

Coyle retains the events that are successful year after year.

"What works, we keep," she said.

One of the most popular programs is the annual winter coat collection. This year, more than 100 coats were donated. All are given to needy people, Coyle said.


Another event is the crafts show in the gymnasium. In a good year, 25 or more vendors show up with their wares, Coyle said.

This year, Coyle managed to get free use of a large-screen television for a family film night featuring "The Polar Express."

One of the most important repeat events is the adopt-a-family program.

"This year's family is a single mother with three children," Coyle said.

YMCA staffers work with the welfare department to select the family each year.

Collecting toys to coordinate with the Waynesboro Rotary program is another popular effort each year, Coyle said.

A blood-donation day was scheduled, but inclement weather kept the donors away. Only 16 showed up, but Coyle said she hopes to do better next year.

Another 12-day events is a craft night for preschoolers. This year, they made reindeer antlers, held a carol sing in the YMCA featuring preschoolers and had the annual gift-bag program for a selected area nursing home.

"The 12 Days of Christmas is one of the most special times here every year," Smith said.

Coyle works extra hours each year to guarantee the program's success.

"It's extra work, but it's one of the most rewarding parts of my job," Coyle said.

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