Armed Services YMCA wants input on services needed in SWOK

Armed Services YMCA wants input on services needed in SWOK

LAWTON, Okla. (TNN) - The Armed Service YMCA of Oklahoma wants to hear from you on what services are lacking in southwest Oklahoma.

The Armed Services YMCA has operated in southwest Oklahoma since the 1940s. They offer a variety of services but want to offer more.

“Even though we have core programming like Operation Ride Home, Operation Little Learners, Operation Hero, that of course, we’re going to do because it’s core programming, but all of our other programs are going to be unique and distinctive to what Oklahoma needs and how we can support,” said Executive Director Sara Paape.

So, next month, they’ll start sending out a string of surveys hoping to pin down the exact services everyone is looking for and feels our area is lacking.

“I want to know what you want, I want to know you need and I want to know this from the junior enlisted, I want to know this from the spouses, I want to know this from the officers, I want to know it from the community and the retirees,” Paape said.

Veterans in particular are a group of citizens Paape said they’re already working on new services for.

“As the restrictions with COVID lift, we want to start social hours or coffee hours, whatever an appropriate tile would be for our retirees and veterans. We want to support from the minute you enlist to the minute you no longer need our services. And we had kind of strayed from that mission,” Paape said.

The surveys are not quite available to fill out yet but once they are, Paape believes it can be a huge step in the right direction for our entire community.

“It is not my job to come in and tell you what your problem is. It is not my job to tell you how to fix that solution. My job is to start the conversations and make people feel welcome so they tell us what they want and what those solutions are. Then once they’ve identified it, my job is to make that solution happen,” Paape said.

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