From The Director

You Can Change A Life

Mary* nervously walked through the front doors of the Bear Levin Studer Y, hoping to find a friendly face. She asked the young woman at the Welcome Center, “Do people like me belong here?” You see, Mary is a plus-size woman who had never belonged to a fitness facility before. “Girl, everybody belongs here!” was the reply she received. After a tour, Mary learned the Y even offered scholarships to people like her – a single mom working a low-wage job, trying to do the right thing for herself and her son.

Months later, while working at her job, Mary met a member of one of the families whose generous gift made the new Y possible. She broke into tears, explaining that when she walked into the Y, she felt welcome and not judged. She called her membership at the Y “life changing” for herself and her son. Mary hugged this donor and thanked him.

Not every member who receives a scholarship has had the opportunity that Mary had to personally thank a key donor. But she is among the 13% of members who receive financial assistance that enables them to be a part of the Y community.

Every day, we offer scholarships for membership, programs such as after-school and summer camp, swim lessons and more. Every day, dozens of Marys walk through the doors of our Y and step on a treadmill, or ease into a lap lane, or join a group exercise class. Every day, we changes lives – including lives of our neighbors who may be challenged by their financial circumstances.

Because of our donors – people just like you – that is possible.

Every spring, we share the story of the Y – Mary’s story – and invite our members and the community to make a charitable gift to our Annual Campaign so that we can always say yes. In 2018, we had a mission impact of $638,000 in the two-county area. That’s the total value of programs and services that we gave back to the community.

This spring, you will have the opportunity to give at whatever level is good for you, the opportunity to share the Y experience with someone who might not otherwise have the opportunity. You can build a stronger community, create a better us with your gift.

Watch for more inside the Y and on our social media. More than 50 volunteers will be personally sharing the Y story and inviting you to give. Please take a minute and consider how you can help.

Because of our donors – people just like you – the Y is a place for everybody.

*This member’s name has been changed to protect her privacy.

Our Mission: To put Christian principles into practice through programs that build healthy spirit, mind and body for all.