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ymca community involvement

Family Time, Friends, the Future

Tammy and her family have been coming to the YMCA to swim and play, but originally Tammy was coming by herself. “I originally started at the YMCA in the Tobacco Cessation program,” said Tammy. “I was at class one day, and overheard a conversation about the mentoring program, and my ears perked up.”

The Mentoring Director Danielle Mace’s desk happened to be in the room where the Tobacco program was taking place. It was a classic case of “right place right time” for Tammy, who has been caring for her three grandchildren for years. “I knew that the Y was a great place, but with three of them, it was hard for me to figure out all the details. The mentoring program took all of my worries away. It provided a free membership to each of the kids, and I signed them up right away.”

Tammy’s three grandchildren – Dakota, Sierra, and Montana – have been participating in the mentoring program ever since she happened to overhear Danielle’s conversation that day. “They come here for mentoring, and they know – homework first. Each of them have found something they like to do, so it makes it easier to get them to work first when they know fun is coming.”

The team at the Northern Dauphin County YMCA has developed partnerships with local organizations that help support the work they do. “We are lucky to have great local partners who believe in the work that we do,” said Danielle. “The kids get dinner, snacks, activities, and more because of the generosity of our donors and partners. We can teach the children about nutrition and how to prepare fresh foods, we work with them to identify what kinds of activities they like, so we can help them get healthier. We also work on homework first to teach them how to prioritize. It’s important, because many of them are lacking some of that structure.”

Now, Tammy and her family spend their evenings at the Y. Moving through the building, they participate in mentoring, sports, and even swimming. “I have noticed a real change in them since we’ve started coming to the Y together,” said Tammy. “They come home happy and tired after all of the activities and I never have to fight them to come here. I can tell that they are physically more active, and grades have been improving. It’s a real blessing to have the YMCA available to me and my family.”

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