120 Stories to Celebrate 120 Years of Service
In May, The Gateway Family YMCA announced the launch of a story collection project to collect 120 “Y Stories” to celebrate 120 years of serving the community in June 2020. Through an overwhelming response, The Gateway Family YMCA was able to share 120 stories throughout the month of June and continued to share those stories throughout July.
“The Gateway Family YMCA celebrated 120 years of serving the local community this June,” stated Krystal R. Canady, CEO, The Gateway Family YMCA. “We are proud to support the needs of the communities we serve, and as those needs have grown and changed over the last 120 years, our Y has pivoted and changed to provide responsive services and programs for all.”
Each year, The Gateway Family YMCA provides service to 15,000 YMCA members and 25,000 community members and program participants. In addition to traditional YMCA programs like child care, youth sports and swim lessons, The Gateway Family YMCA also provides housing and social services, chronic disease self management, and WISE Adult Social Day Services programs.
“I’m a mother of two, trying to provide for my children the best way I can. What the Y has done for my family left me speechless because my babies are safe and have a roof over their heads. The staff are very loving and caring. What can I say, I am blessed to come across the Y. Seeing my children smile each morning means the world to me, and I’m glad I have the opportunity to get on my feet for my family,” Betzaida, YMCA Housing Resident and Member.
“The Y has helped to shape the lives of many individuals and families,” stated Melynda A. Mileski, EVP/COO, The Gateway Family YMCA. “We often receive tremendous feedback from current and past members who want to share their Y story of impact.”
Stories included learning to swim at the Y, meeting a best friend at a Y program, serving the community through Togetherhood or the 7th Grade Leaders Club, gaining a healthier lifestyle or the Y as a first place of employment, as well as emotional stories of overcoming obstacles and receiving support through housing and social services.
“When I came to the Y, I was homeless. The Y gave me a place to stay and programs to help me get back on my feet. Every day since I’ve been here, I have been treated with respect and dignity. There is a genuine interest in my well-being. A year later, I’m on track to find my own place and live independently. I couldn’t have done it without the wonderful, caring people of the Y,” Chris, YMCA Housing Resident and Member.
“One of the things we often say is that everyone has a Y story,” added Colleen A. Clayton, Chief Membership & Development Officer. “120 years of serving the community is a major milestone for our YMCA and we wanted to celebrate those who have been a part of our history during our anniversary month.”
The Gateway Family YMCA is a 501(c)(3) non-profit, health and community service organization of caring staff and volunteers dedicated to strengthening the foundations of community and stands For Youth Development, For Healthy Living and For Social Responsibility. The Y impacts the community by providing quality services to people of all ages, races, faiths or incomes. The Y is a powerful association of men, women and children of all ages and from all walks of life joined together by a shared passion: to strengthen the foundations of community.
For more information on The Gateway Family YMCA, visit tgfymca.org.