The YMCA of Lincoln ( made the holidays a little brighter for children at Elliott and Pershing Elementary Schools. Their annual Giving Tree program collected nearly a thousand donations for children in preschool through fourth grade so that every student would receive a special holiday gift this year. Gifts were distributed by YMCA staff and volunteers through the Y’s Community Learning Center (CLC) program on December 13.

“In November and December, countless toys, crafts, and books were collected at our four YMCA membership facilities,” shared Youth, Teen & Family Director for the Lincoln YMCA Austin Klingenberg. “The Giving Tree truly brings people together over the holidays, and seeing the joy in these children’s faces makes it all worth it.”

The YMCA of Lincoln leads the schools’ CLC program in providing after school care and summer programing to keep students safe, learning, and active while supporting their families. This program has helped thousands of students improve academically and provided enriching experiences that they may not have had otherwise.

The YMCA of Lincoln has served the community for over 150 years, promoting positive values through programs that build spirit, mind, and body for all. For more information about the YMCA’s Community Learning Center programs, visit