Buy a shopping bag; help send a kid to camp! Gándara Center has been selected as the beneficiary of the Big Y World Class Market Community Bag Program for the month of June. For the entire month, when you purchase a $2.50 reusable Community Bag at the Big Y at 503 Memorial Avenue in West Springfield (Century Plaza), $1 is donated to Gándara Center (unless otherwise directed by the customer through the Giving Tag attached to the bag).

The money raised will help one of Gándara Center’s recent fundraising initiatives: the Aventura! Summer Camp Scholarship, which sends Springfield children and teenagers to one session of summer camp for free Most of our scholarship recipients come from low-income households, and some of them are in our foster care program. Summer vacation is often the most difficult time for parents to find affordable, safe opportunities when school is not in session. That’s when the Aventura! Scholarship comes in. It opens new doors for families that may not have the means to send their children to a day camp. Each dollar raised goes directly to the scholarship and sends kids to camp.

“We are overwhelmed with excitement to be selected for this community program,” said Gándara Center Executive Director Henry Julio East-Trou. “Having this opportunity will help spread the awareness about our agency’s work, as well as support our mission by continuing to make a difference in the lives of our communities’ most vulnerable populations. I hope everyone hearing this news shares it with family, friends, and co-workers.”

This Big Y program is designed to make it easy for shoppers to give back to their local community while supporting the environment. The Community Bags are located on displays around the store and at the checkout. When purchasing a reusable bag, say, “I support Gándara Center.” For more information about the program, visit