There is a compounded sense of obligation that comes with leading the YMCA of St. Joseph in the community that I grew up in, attended college in, and where I was first introduced to the YMCA.

Recently, I spent some time looking through historical photos and was reminded of the legacy that is now in our hands. As I looked at the pictures of so many YMCA members and volunteers from days gone by, I wondered how deeply each one of the people felt about the Y as a cause-driven organization. I wondered how those whose lives were touched by the YMCA, would tell their story to us today.

The pictures captured the essence of the Y as a mission-driven, character-building, non-profit, charitable organization. Young people could be seen at camp, in the pool and on the gym floor, Volunteers rallied as mentors and fundraisers that made our Y what it is today.

The fact is that the Y has always provided a means for individuals to learn, grow and thrive in small communities. Relationships and friendships develop, and for many last a lifetime. With camp, came a sense of independence and appreciation for the outdoors. In the pool, there was an introduction to water safety and self-reliance. Playing basketball brought physical activity, teamwork and the value of fair play.

Volunteers have always been the backbone of our Y, the historical pictures show rooms full of individuals rallying around sending children to camp, helping provide childcare or a means for a youth or family to spend time at the Y to improve health.

We want you to be in new YMCA pictures and help us spread our mission and values to future generations. Please consider joining, volunteering or contributing to our Y…your Y…for a better us.

If you have a question, comment or would like to volunteer or make a contribution, please contact me.

In health,

Sue White, CEO