ymca programs

Y STORIES

YOUR GIFT CHANGES LIVES

Your gift truly makes a difference in the lives of the countless families we serve. On behalf of those families touched by your support, thank you for your kind generosity!
Watch Testimonials

 

Meryem Y Story“I have a black belt in karate and I am used to exercising. But with three kids, including a baby, it’s hard to stay motivated. I needed to do something, so I came to the Y. I am here twice a day, and sometimes three times a day, taking cardio classes or spinning. If time allowed it, I’d be here more. When you challenge yourself, you discover what you can really accomplish. I began by wanting to lose weight, but I’ve realized how important it is to feel good and stay healthy. The instructors give me confidence and encourage me. I feel better and stronger. When you feel good, you can be a better person and you have more to give your family. And for that reason, I will keep coming to the Y.”

— Meryem, Member

 


Shana Y Story“Shortly after joining the Y swim team, I was diagnosed with Hodgkin’s Lymphoma. My biggest fear was not being able to swim, but luckily a port catheter allowed me to get back in the water. The overwhelming support of my coaches and teammates helped me throughout my treatment, as did the swimming. It worked off any chemo drugs in my veins, any bad scans and any self-pity. I would leave the Y happier and healthier. The friends and personal connections I have made at the Y have touched my life in significant ways. I am so grateful to be a part of the Y.”

— Shana, Member

 

 


Mike Y Story“My wife, Marcia, was a 50-year-old Y fitness instructor when she was diagnosed with Early Onset Alzheimer’s. When I told Marcia’s supervisor that I understood if they couldn’t keep her on staff, he said they couldn’t afford not to because the staff and members loved her and it would be inconsistent with the Y’s mission not to support her. When she finally lost her ability to teach, the Y continued to open its doors and heart.  Staff drove Marcia to exercise class and assisted her in the fitness room. The Y gave Marcia a gift by allowing her to hold onto her passion for fitness and a sense of normalcy. It is truly a special organization that lives its mission of serving others.”

— Mike, Member

 


Ed Y Story“I am former police officer and FBI agent, so staying in shape was important. In 1981, I came to the Y to work out three to five times a week. The fitness classes were excellent, but what kept me coming back were the friendships. The same guys have been coming here for years and we have a ‘breakfast club’ that celebrates birthdays together. Our families have dinners. We motivate each other. At 71, I am able to climb stairs, do yardwork and if I get hurt, I bounce back because I stay fit. To me, the Y is not just a place to stay in shape it’s a family.”

— Ed, Member

 

 


Brianna Y Story“Swimming on the Y team since the age of 9 has helped me to believe in myself. I learned to set goals and to work as hard as I can to achieve them. The Y taught me responsibility for myself, respect for others and the importance of volunteerism. I was recently recognized by the National Girls & Women in Sports Association for excelling in sports, school and citizenship. I’m proud to say that, thanks to the Y, caring for people and my community has extended into all aspects of my life, in and out of the pool.”

— Brianna, Member

 


Matt Y Story“As a kid, I was bullied in school and never felt like I fit in. At Y camp, I was relieved of harassment in a positive environment where the counselors displayed caring, honesty, respect and responsibility. My summers were full of friendships and fun. I never worried about being teased; instead I was encouraged to build character. I was inspired to become a counselor and a volunteer Y tutor during the school year. I’ve learned that no child is beyond hope and every child deserves to thrive. I’ve seen the difference I can make in the lives of others and I’ve grown as a person. I am indebted to the Y.”

— Matt, Member & Volunteer

 

 


Bernadette Y Story“Exercising at the Y keeps me strong. Three years ago, I was diagnosed with cancer, but 17 days after surgery I was back at the Y. My strength allowed the doctors to be aggressive with treatments, yet I never missed my fitness classes. I joined LIVESTRONG® to continue my recovery and it helped me physically, emotionally and mentally – what a gift. Then the Y gave my daughter an academic scholarship, relieving some of her school loan burden and allowing her to focus on studying. I thank the Y for its continuing commitment to families.”

— Bernadette, Member, Volunteer and LIVESTRONG® at the YMCA Participant

 


Wendy Y Story“While I was in a shelter for abused women, the Y offered me financial assistance so I could become a member. I cried. For me, the Y was not just a place to work out, but a place to get my mental well-being back on track. Exercising, learning to eat healthier and getting positive reinforcement gave me energy and helped me cope. I gained the confidence and self-esteem I needed to go back to school and earned a 4.0! Words can’t express how great I feel. The Y saved my life.”

— Wendy, Member

 


 

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