FOR SOCIAL RESPONSIBILITY
Being in the unique position to assist so many from our community, we often hear from those we assist or observe the difference that we make to those who visit us at the Y. The following are examples of those who have touched our hearts with their thoughts and actions. Names have been changed to protect their identity.
We hope you enjoy these Mission Moments.
Submitted by Staff
There is a family that comes up north from Florida every summer and they have a little boy named Jon (name has been changed). Jon is on a swim team in Florida swim almost 200 kids and receives little technical coaching. Jons mom sat down with me and told me she is very impressed with the way we run our swim lesson program. She loves seeing the instructors having fun with her son while working on his technique. She repeated over and over again how thankful she is that we spend one on one time with each child. She mentioned next summer they plan to stay the whole summer and keep Jon swimming at the YMCA the entire summer! Also, Jonah is a national 8 and under swim champ! Amazing kid.
SilverSneakers® made it possible for me to work out three times a week. I've always wanted to join the YMCA, but couldn't and now because of SilverSneakers® I can. I love it. I feel so much better and plan on working out four times a week every other week and three times the other week. I am alternating weeks.
As someone who always focused solely on cardio during her daily workouts, I was excited to incorporate strength training into my workout regime. Working one on one with Pam for three months not only allowed me to learn how to use equipment in the weight room that had once seemed so intimidating, but also how to get in an incredibly effective workout with just free weights and a physio ball. The changes that I have seen in my body over the past few months have been incredible! I not only feel great—my core is stronger and my arms and legs are more toned—but I love starting my day working out with Pam (her enthusiasm is contagious) and leaving the YMCA with a feeling of satisfaction and accomplishment that stays with me for the rest of the day. I will truly miss my time with Pam—laughing and chatting with her during my training session made the hour fly by—and will forever be indebted to her for providing me with the knowledge and tools to take these workouts with me wherever I go. Thanks for everything, Pam!
"I came to the Y to increase my stamina, lose weight, and to gain strength. I also came to meet new people and work with people going for the same goals as I have. I also want to be part of a group that enjoys coming together and helpfully making a few friends along the way".
"(I) started working out at the Y so that I can become more health aware and to be in better physical shape".
"My family and I got memberships to the YMCA about four years ago to help keep us active and fit. My children are active in Y programs. My wife and I believe that children should be physically active as much as possible. Having fit minds and bodies is important in growing strong individuals".
"I am currently unemployed. The access to the YMCA and all of its functions has been a great stress reliever. Coming daily has helped me get in shape, reduce stress and stay positive as I look to re-establish employment. My fiance and I are getting married in August and we plan on being in the best shape of our lives for our special day".
"I started (membership) November 2006. In September of 2005 I was told I could not work anymore. I have an autoimmune disease. I was devastated when I was told this. At home I have a very nice treadmill, but you know how that is, it ends up with dust. So I decided to join the YMCA. I am limited to what I can do yet I would encourage anyone to join their classes and water classes. I had knee surgery in December. After two weeks I was walking around the Wellness (Center track), not fast, but I was exercising. I could not go in the pool for six weeks. Also the staff is outstanding. I am and mean always greeted with a smile, hello and if they aren't busy, a smile and good-bye. I am so happy I joined. I have met people and that too is great"!
"The YMCA has been a great place to come to after school and on the weekends. My sister and I come to the "Y" about 3-5 times a week for strength conditioning and training and we always look forward to coming here. We went to other places, but they're not as good as this place! We are preparing to be fit and active for our volleyball and softball season!!!
"I come to the Y often when I'm in town. My family goes often, so they always keep me informed of what's going on. Great place to lift weights. Keep up the good work. Peace".
"Since I have joined (the YMCA) I am off all meds for depression and anxiety. This is my "comfort zone". I am 64 years old and feel like 20! I am taking care of my husband a Vietnam war vet who has dementia and he is very abusive - this (the YMCA) is my 'Calgon take me away'. God Bless all of you and continue to be a blessing to all in whom you contact. Thank You".
"When we moved to Rhinelander four years ago part of the draw was that the YMCA had aerobics - I love - love - love aerobics. So I joined and went to Pump & Step. When I got pregnant I was too sick to go to classes and eventually quit. Now - after two kids - we're ready - as a family - to come back and be a healthier family. I love Zumba! My three year old loves Tumbling. We love Y"!
A mission moment shared by YMCA employee: "
(A young member) came in with his dad again tonight to go swimming. When they came out his dad told me that tonight was the very first time that (the young member) allowed his dad to let go of him in the water to swim on the noodles by himself. He was very proud of (him), and said that was very exciting for the both of them".
"Well, I go workout sometimes and I started out benching about 20 lbs. and I have now gone to 30 lbs. which is quite impressive, I think, considering my stature and lack of strength. I'm called the weak weenie at school so I'm happy I'm getting stronger. Maybe you could buy a lighter bar for benching so I don't have to bring my own. Thank you and could you call me ASAP about a fitness coach. Thank you".
"I think the Y is a great place for kids and young adults. It not only provides fun healthy things to do, but keeps you out of trouble".
"I enjoy coming here because I always get in good workouts, it's close to home and the hours work for my schedule. Also, the people are really nice and fun to talk with".
"I got the family membership so my husband and I could bring the kids here to meet new people and maybe make some new friends and spend time with each other as a family. Me and my husband started working out together to get in shape and lose some weight. It's the first time we've worked out together since we been married - 14 years now. And we're all glad that we joined the YMCA".
"I joined the Y about three years ago as a way to get my life back. My time here plus a diet has helped me to lose 60+ pounds. I am happy to be a member and look forward to a long relationship with the Y".
"I am in many sports as in cross country, gymnastics, etc. and want to stay in shape. I also come here to be with my family".
"My husband got frustrated since I was not putting the effort into coming to the YMCA on my own so for my Christmas present this year he signed me up for the Biggest Loser. It turned into something I love instead of something he wanted me to do. I have wonderful trainers and wonderful people going through the same struggles as me. Best of all I am slowly losing weight and gaining confidence at the same time as well as making many new wonderful friends".
"I am a part-time member here at the Y for three years now. I came in the winter because it's easier to walk indoors vs. outside. I swim and walk mostly. Also, on nice days I go out on the trails and do some snowshoeing".
"I started to come here because I wanted to lose weight and come here with my family. This room looked very energetic and made me want to come more".
"I come to the Y to workout and stay in shape. It's a great stress reliever. I work on different dance routines and perform at Marquette basketball games".
"I enjoy running and working out any time I am free. I started coming to the YMCA two weeks ago and I feel very welcomed. The facilities and machines are clean and well-kept. My favorite equipment? I would not be able to choose because I enjoy everything, including the pool".
Working out at the Y makes me feel energized throughout the whole day and sometimes part of the next. I also enjoy the atmosphere which helps to motivate me to exercise more.
After many years, I was doing nothing, my husband and son started working out and going to the YMCA. I finally decided to start getting in shape so I joined a spin class at the YMCA. Now I fell like I have a healthier outlook. Thanks.
"The YMCA is a great place to workout and get rid of any stress from the day. There are always friendly people working behind the desk and many friendly people working out. It has been great meeting many new people. I love the feeling of accomplishment after a hard workout and the great sense of satisfaction".
"I wanted to come to the Y to gain muscle and lose weight, but ever since I started coming here I have more energy. I feel so much better during the day and like coming here to make me feel like a new person"!
This email was sent to our Eagle River Program Center
Just wanted to thank you for the great job you did teaching our class last night. As much as my friend Jean and I grumbled, we really did enjoy it. That was the best work out I've had in years, and as tired as I was last night, I feel invigorated today. Jean told me that she didn't even know she had muscles in her armpits until today!
Also, after taking the winter session weight training class with Ali, I really like the bosu ball so I took the 20/20/20 class specifically to learn how to use it. Needless to say, I was happy that you incorporated it into the class even if it was only a little.
Have a great day and come back and teach our class again sometime!
(Y member signature)
The Benefits of Regular Exercise
Yoga Class Participants
I want to thank you for your time and dedication to the YOGA class Mondays and Wednesdays at NCSS. I was very disappointed when the class was cancelled, because I finally felt I was making some progress. I certainly felt better and was far more agile than I had ever been. But, here I am, recovering from a broken hip lamenting the fact that there is no more YOGA. Yes...I broke my hip on January 8 in my home after tripping on our dogs torn rug. This is the interesting part, Katie! Dr. Dyreby told me that he had the option (with someone my age 62) of replacing the hip, or simply repairing it. He said that because I was in such good physical condition, he would repair my hip. I nearly jumped for joy!! And, it's all because of YOGA!!
I am going to try a water aerobics class and, hopefully, a YOGA class at the Y. I am doing very well with my cane and occasionally use a walker at the schools. I went back to work last week, part time. Next week is full time at Pelican.
My friend Trudy and I were in the front row by the window. Trudy was the shorter blonde, and I was the fat brunette with short hair. Anyway, we miss you. See you soon. (Yoga Class Participant)
A Life Changing Step
"Last year the YMCA granted me a scholarship that enabled my daughter and I to become members. This was such a blessing. This membership has changed our lives in many ways.
When we started using this facility last January we were not very active during the winter months. My daughter was a couch potato in training. It's not that I wanted things to be this way, we just did not have access to anything different. The winters are long in the Northwoods and 2009 was too cold to enjoy the outdoors for a 2 year old. The YMCA offered us a daily alternative from our otherwise unproductive lives. My daughter started taking swim lessons, among other active programs for children her age. She went from barley getting her hair wet, to a seahorse in just a few sessions.
In 2008 I suffered a back injury that required surgery. I had gained weight throughout the years, but this injury was the nail in my coffin, so to speak. Yet when I obtained by Y membership I started to utilize the wellness center and have managed to lose over 30lbs this last year. Unfortunately I still have about 80lbs to lose to be within the healthy range for my age and height. I feel that the wellness center and the biggest loser program can be (crucial) to my success. The desire and the determination needs to come from me, but the knowledge and support of these programs will also help me achieve the victory of health. I look forward to the day when I can be the same person on the outside as I have always been on the inside. My weight-loss journey is more than cosmetic for me, I need to do this for my health. Every pound I lose removes stress from my back and adds years to my life. With a three year old daughter I cannot afford to cut my life short. For me to be the best parent I can be, I need to be a healthy one and a good role model. I do not want my daughter to experience the struggles I have with my weight. If I teach her how to be healthy now, maybe I can save her from years of heartache and struggle in the future.
I am now enrolled in an associate's degree program online and well on my way to changing our lives for the future. Please allow us to continue using this wonderful opportunity. Someday the tables will turn, I will graduate and (hopefully) get a good job. Someone else will just be starting their journey. Someone I can help once mine is over. I look forward to the day when I am able to be the sponsor and not on the receiving end. Until that time I ask you to help us continue ours. We are so grateful for the time we have been able to use this wonderful facility already".
Teaching the Importance of Giving
One of our young members, Garrett, was encouraged to set aside a portion of his allowance and donate it to a charity. We were honored and touched by Garrett's $21 donation to our 2009 Strong Kids Campaign. Garrett's mother sent us the following letter that we would like to share with all of you. A big Thank You to Garrett for his generosity and his mother for raising such and outstanding young man. Enjoy.
Dear Chris & Staff:
Thanks so much for giving our family a level of service that can only be described as "above and beyond". This year, our son, Garrett, was encouraged to set aside a portion of his allowance for charitable giving. We allowed him to select the beneficiary of the gift and since he loves sports, he chose the YMCA.
Before making the donation, we called ahead and requested your staff to 'overdo' the enthusiasm a little bit in order to reinforce that he was doing a good thing. Though it's certainly not your job to help me teach my son a lesson, you and your staff made Garrett feel like a "rock star" for giving what may be the smallest donation you've ever received at the YMCA! The reception he received was nothing short of a hero's welcome!
Supporting community organizations and 'giving', in general, is important to us and we hope to instill this fundamental value in our son. As he's quite young, these concepts are still fairly complex for him, but your staff went the extra mile to help him understand the importance of giving to others. We believe their sincere interest and your follow-up correspondence truly made an impression on Garrett; we know it certainly made an impression on us.
It's safe to say the YMCA has given more to us than we could ever give back! Over the years, we've enjoyed the facility, classes, and community-sponsored activities. More than all that, however, your time, thoughtfulness, and simple act of kindness to my sons a gift that will last him a lifetime.
Thank you - and thanks to your staff - for an amazing effort.
The Kulhanek Family