Building Strong and Bright Futures: YMCA Child Care
“My kids have been part of the Y’s child care programs since 2015. My oldest son, who starts high school this year, has since aged out and participated in the LIT program this past summer. I currently have 2 boys ages 8 and 6 enrolled in both the Summer Camp and After School programs. The Y has been a second family to us over the years. In addition to child care, my kids have participated in numerous other programs, including swimming. We’ve also been part of the Open Doors Program. The child care services provided have always been great, and during COVID-19, they were a complete godsend. As a single mom of 3, I’m not sure how I would have gotten my kids through remote school without the Y since I am an essential worker. They really stepped up and helped in ways unimaginable. They have been such a support to us, and I don’t think I could ever thank them for all the care they provide to us. The director, Kayla, is always helpful and goes above and beyond. My kids LOVE going to the Y, and we plan to be in the program until they age out. I am SO grateful to have found such a great program and am so thankful for all the Y has been for me and my family.”
Staying With The Y
“I am keeping my Y membership active during this time because I love the fact that the Y is so much more than a ‘gym and swim’ facility. It encompasses the spirit of community, and as a member for over 20 years, my family has received so much from the Y that I will always continue to support it. We’ve found friendships, swim and basketball teams for our children, and a safe and fun place to work out. The YMCA has been a wonderful fit for our family, and because of the benefits we’ve received, I try to embrace opportunities to help out when outside needs arise. Feeding and taking care of families within our community makes me so proud to be a member of such a great organization. We are all in this together, and united we are so much stronger, so I feel humbled by the efforts of the Y. During this very difficult time for so many families, I LOVE that our Y has gone above and beyond to make our neighbors’ lives more bearable and provide nourishment where needed. My family and I will do all we can to support the Y, from keeping our membership active to donating food continuously throughout this tumultuous time.”
“We have been YMCA of Centre County members for 15 years. Even though the facilities are currently closed, we are keeping our membership active so that those funds can support the Y’s emergency operations, notably feeding those in our community that are facing food insecurity.”
“I decided to keep my Y membership active even though I’m not currently using the facility after I learned the Y is feeding over 1,000 kids per day in Centre County. This is great to hear given the current situation we’re all facing due to COVID-19. I’ve been a longtime member, and helping in whatever way I can makes me feel happy. Hopefully this all ends soon and life goes back to normal. Looking forward to getting back to the Y soon!”
Be Healthy. Be Strong. Belong.
“I came to the Y after 7 months of being completely sedentary due to surgery and then chemotherapy. I needed to regain my strength and reduce pain from the neuropathy I developed due to treatment. I began using the pool to move without pain and then gradually increased my level of effort. With coaching from Y staff, I was eventually able to do some swimming, and from there, I started personal training. The Wellness Director guided me through exercises until I was able to do them on my own. The warm and welcoming atmosphere at this Y gave me a sense of community and a goal to help others in Bellefonte feel connected and supported. When I was asked to join the Advisory Committee, I agreed willingly. I love this Y and have such great appreciation for what they do for children and families, especially those who are in need.” – Diana Launse
“The Y is a real asset to the community….I see the Y as a helping hand, encouraging everyone, and making its facilities available with programs for anyone: from the very young toddlers in child care and swim lessons to the older adults in Gentle Yoga. For disadvantaged people, everyone can find their place through the Open Doors Program, Backpack Program, and so much more. Thank you to all who make this possible.” – YMCA Member
Eliminating Childhood Hunger One Backpack at a Time
One day as one of our Backpack Program volunteers was walking into the school, a parent came up to her and gave her a big hug with tears in her eyes, thanking her for the program and how much it means for her children. She told her it was a relief to not have to worry about having enough food for her children on the weekend, since they are struggling financially. It made the volunteer feel even more committed after seeing first hand what a difference the Backpack Program has made.
“Every Friday, I am so excited to distribute the Backpack Weekend Food to the kids and it brings so much joy to see their smiles. Some of them start asking me on Friday morning when they will be getting their backpacks. One sixth grader always gives me a hug and thanks me the minute he sees me holding his YMCA bag….It is heartwarming to know that these children have food on their tables every weekend.” – Teacher from Backpack Program Participating School
A Gym Transforms Bodies. The Y Transforms Lives.
“With the help of the Y’s Open Doors program, our family has had an eventful year. Our vacation included experienced swimmers, thanks to Y swim lessons. Our children gained an immense amount of confidence, courage, and strength, and we have been able to become healthier adults through our Y involvement. We adults even ran our first 5K with the Y this year! We look forward to continuing to grow as a family within the Y community.” – YMCA Family Member
“Thank you for granting us access to the Y through the Open Doors Program. We are, without a doubt, fully utilizing our membership and loving our experience. My routine swim has been nothing short of therapeutic…a previous part of my life that I loved so much is making its way back to me. My kids adore coming tot he Y and love the novelty of wearing swim suits in the winter, drying off and then shooting hoops in the gym. It is heartwarming to have our membership be affordable for us, and I can’t thank the donors enough.” – YMCA Family Member
“I’ve been struggling with my weight for YEARS and this is the first time in a long time that I have been able to stick to my workouts… I’m doing things I didn’t think I could do and things I know I would not be doing if I was on my own. The trainers make me feel comfortable, push me, and are aware of everyone’s levels… My kids have seen me fail so many times… The last program I tried, I told my son that he would be able to put his arms around me within a month, which didn’t happen. But now, he IS able to and HE was as happy about it as I was!” – YMCA Family Member
Have a Y story to share? Email it to [email protected].