Why do you volunteer?
Volunteering is a way for me to help others just as I was helped by other volunteers who willingly gave their time, warmth, and skills in non-profit organizations.
Why do you volunteer with the YMCA specifically?
Before I started volunteering, I saw the children, staff and volunteers interacting and having fun in an atmosphere of support for each child. I began and continue to volunteer at the Y because of staff’s encouragement, the children’s learning, and the opportunity to be a part of a great community resource.
What is your favourite thing about volunteering?
After I asked one child over several weeks to take off his socks and shoes and put his sock in his shoes, he yelled out with glee, “ I put my socks in my shoes”. Over time a four year old girl struggled with using scissors, then proudly showed me she had cut out a snowman. These moments are priceless in my memory.
What is your YMCA story? What brought you here?
I came to the Y looking for a way to become physically fit (stronger, more flexible, have more endurance). Since then, the staff, programs and facilities have contributed to lowering my Body Mass Index and increasing my physical abilities. I have also found the skills and cheerleading of staff in personal training (Dennis Kaufman) and Active Older Adults (Sherry Smilar) have improved my mental health. Staff member, Jen Swail, in preschool programs is an excellent mentor and role model in enabling me to increase my abilities to help children learn and be active. I continue to benefit from the way people in the YMCA administration, cleaning, life-guarding and many other areas contribute to my growth in body, mind and spirit.