Do Some Good, Get 3 Months Off Your Membership – By Jason Shriner

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Summer camps are coming!

As jaded as some people may think the world is, most people strive to do good. This drive to do good in the world goes beyond big commitments like volunteering. Even with the simple act of buying something, people want their actions to have intention and meaning. Amazon smile gives a charity of your choice a small percentage of your purchase. Bombas donates a pair of socks for every pair you purchase.

We want your money to go further with us here at Parks and Recreation, so that’s why Amelia Powell developed a brand new membership special for April. Here’s how it works: when you donate $50, $100, or $150 to the Catherine’s Caring Hands Scholarship fund you’ll receive one, two, or three months off your annual Basic or All Access Passport membership. Here’s the most important piece: you can apply this to your current membership. It’s very rare that we ever run a membership special that could be used on your current membership, so it’s important that you take advantage of it!

It’s also important to point out that you’ll save money in most cases when you donate to take advantage of the membership special. If you have a non-resident All Access Passport you’ll save $79 a month for a total of $237.

The Catherine’s Caring Hands Scholarship was started in July 2015 by QMT Windchimes and Jamie and Patty Baisden when the previous Director of Parks and Recreation, Catherine Morretta, passed away. Since then many families have been able to participate in recreational programming that they might not have been able to afford including swim lessons, summer camps, preschool, and extended care. Scholarship recipients pay only 10% of the original program cost and the fund covers the remaining 90%. The fund is managed independently of the City’s budget and is funded solely by donations and grants.

With summer camp season right around the corner, all day childcare can put a burden on families who are already dealing with financial hardships. My partner and I were in and out of the hospital last year, and the pressure those bills put on our budget has been an eye opening experience. I’m still paying for them even four months later. (Could I just get one itemized bill instead of these trickling bills that never end, please?) Financial hardships can be temporary, sometimes they’re not, but I’m honored to work for an organization that recognizes these issues and works to maintain program accessibility (in this case, through a partnership).

Here are a few more details you should be aware of when taking advantage of this special in April. The months you get for free are applied to the end of your membership and if you don’t have enough time left on your membership you’ll have to renew in order to get additional months. There are no minimum months required to take advantage of this special (the referral program we have requires a minimum of two months on your membership in order to benefit). You’ll need a receipt to verify your donation, and donations can be made at City Hall or the Manassas Park Community Center.

Let’s work together to make the value of your dollar go further! You can save on your membership, and we can provide recreational programming to families who might not be able to afford it. I’m looking forward to working with you in improving our neighbor’s quality of life.

Jason Shriner is the Marketing Manager for the City of Manassas Park, Department of Parks and Recreation. He can be reached at 703.335.8872 or via email at J.Shriner@ManassasParkVA.gov.

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