More confident in the water
Ahna wanted to follow in her older siblings’ footsteps and be included in something they were doing: her brother was playing basketball and her sister was working out – both at the Y. So, Ahna came to the Y, too! She chose swimming lessons, and loved her instructor. Ahna’s instructor not only helped her feel more comfortable in the water, but Ahna also now feels more confident! Her mom noticed the same once summer arrived, and Ahna was outside in the water more often – without a bubble. Now, Ahna looks forward to trying other programs at the Y such as gymnastics.
“Thank you very much for providing this wonderful opportunity for my family. I am entrusting the Y with two of my most precious possessions: my son and my health. While my family is right now, like many others, enduring through a financial hardship, I am confident one day we’ll soon be back on our feet. In the meantime, I am grateful for your assistance.” — Jessica, Y-Aid recipient
Used the YMCA All of My Life
“I’ve used the YMCA all of my life. When I was 4, I did their daycare program. The Y was where I met Santa for the first time. The Y is where I learned to swim. Many of my favorite childhood memories took place at Ponterill. The money you’ve contributed to this program will surely create many new happy memories for many, many people. Thank you.” — Lilly, Y-Aid recipient
Enjoy the After-School Program
“I would like to take this time to express my thanks for all the contributions you have made to the Pittsfield Family YMCA so that many children and adults in our community could participate in the many wonderful programs the center has to offer. In past years, my children have also benefitted from these contributions, as without them they would not have been able to enjoy the after-school program or the summer camp that has kept them safe and that taught them to continue to strive to become responsible, active young adults in our community. Thanks again!” — Tara C.
Seeking a supportive atmosphere
A mom has some weight issues, so she joined another fitness facility. After several months, she realized she wanted activities for her three children, too! So, she joined the Y where her children participate AND support HER with her fitness goals. Plus, she qualified for the Y’s financial scholarship program which made her wishes affordable.
A cancer survivor’s YMCA family
A senior cancer survivor joined the Y to stay active and keep healthy. She loves our water aerobics classes and misses being here when she isn’t. While she joined for the exercise, she gained so much more. “It’s become a family in the water aerobics class … I find that it’s peaceful, energetic. … Everyone knows everyone and cares for everyone.” She also brings her grandchildren to the Y for family open swim time.
The best childcare for their baby
We have a new baby being cared for in our infant room. The caretakers sought out the guidance of our infant teachers as it had been a while since they cared for a child so young, diligently caring for the baby and wanting to adapt to a consistent schedule. Although social services gave the option of funded home-based childcare services, the caretakers chose to pay privately to the Y because they’re so happy with our teachers. And through our financial scholarship program, these caretakers were able to make it possible.
Encouraging a young girl
A young girl had some issues, so her mom enrolled her in gymnastics at the Y. The girl was a little apprehensive at first, but the instructor encouraged her to try some moves, and she did! By the end of the class, she was having fun and said she wanted to come back. Plus, the next day she asked her mom for a hula hoop.
Developing team skills
Frankie came to the Y for the wide variety of sports and programs that we offer. Her mom explains, “I’m a student and everyone needs help in their lives,” referring to our financial scholarship program. Frankie has since tried every sport and loves each activity! She particularly loves outdoor soccer and feels that everyone is so nice. Frankie has developed great skills and has learned the importance of being part of a team.
Developing character skills
Ayden’s parents were looking for a community organization to engage their son and chose the Y for its youth programs. Ayden first tried swim lessons, then gymnastics and loved them! Ayden’s mom explained that the gymnastics instructor made the experience so much fun, helping him but never pressuring him. Ayden also looks forward to soccer when he’s a little older. From his time at the Y, Ayden’s mom sees his listening skills and ability to follow instructions have grown, just like him.
Reaching his health goals
In April of 2009, Carter joined the Y. His weight was about 340 lbs. His waist was 54 inches. His blood pressure and blood sugar were very high. Carter’s doctor recommended swimming. Carter came to the Y and expressed that he was on a fixed income. We provided Carter with a financial scholarship so that he could reach his health goals. Two years later, he lost 80 lbs. and 14 inches. His blood pressure and blood sugar are much lower. He shares, “I want to thank the YMCA for being there. The staff has been very supportive and friendly.”
A remarkable instructor
Theresa, a retired RN, joined the Y while she was in her 50s, taking classes and exercising. She later began volunteering and then started teaching classes. As one of our instructors, people have said they feel better and stronger by taking her senior classes, and she occasionally hears that doctors have referred patients to her classes. “I have my aches and pains like everyone else. I don’t worry about it. If you sit back and let those things take over, you’ll be in a wheelchair.” Theresa reflected on her own heart troubles by saying, “I survived my heart attack (in 1998 at 70 years old) because I was in such good shape.”
Beginning anew at the Y
Stephanie first learned about the Y when her older daughter played in our soccer program. She later sought a family membership to stay active during the winter by swimming together during family open swim time. She also wanted individual activities for her and her daughters. Listening to her needs, the Y awarded a scholarship so that Stephanie can continue to attend the Y. She has also volunteered her time coaching. In 2012, Stephanie and her family became the first recipient of the Y’s “New Beginnings” scholarship. Stephanie was honored, in part because it “really happened at a time in my life when I was looking for a new beginning” and an opportunity to focus on herself.
A heart-healthy routine
Since the late 1980s, Michael has been working out at the Y 3-4 nights a week, utilizing the fitness equipment and classes and swimming occasionally. Several years later, he was diagnosed with a severe heart condition. His cardiologist recommended eating better, in addition to exercising, to become healthier and has since lost 40 pounds! Michael says visiting the Y is a part of his daily routine and that he misses us when he’s on vacation. “The people and programs are great … If I wasn’t coming here, I wouldn’t still be around.”
Better than watching TV
A teen from the Democratic Republic of Congo, Bahati came to the United States in October 2009. Bahati joined the Y to prepare himself for doing sports but later became a volunteer assistant coach in our soccer league. Bahati also learned to swim in our pool. He enjoys coming to the Y to prepare himself for soccer and track and shares that doing so is a “good way to spend time, instead of watching TV.”
A volunteer coach
Jack has many connections with the Y. Jack first came to the Y in 1980 and was an employee, as well as a resident. Jack’s longest contributions to us, though, have been as a volunteer coach for our baseball and basketball leagues. Since 1981, Jack has helped children learn the fundamentals of youth sports and has enjoyed seeing them grow in their skill sets, all the while learning the values of “sportsmanship, attitude and teamwork.” Jack explains that the Y is a “nice place to be a member and a nice place for kids to learn.”