Y Stories

Y Employee

  • “Six months ago, we awarded a family membership to a mom and her two children thanks to the Reach Out Campaign. They come in twice a week to swim, play in the gym and eat dinner in our conference room. As shelter residents, our Y enables this mom to give her kids stability, dignity and quality family time, just like every other family here.”


  • Yola, a single mother of four children, knew she needed to make a change in her life after being laid off from her job of 20 years at a nursing home. She discovered that her lack of technology and office skills made finding a higher-paying job difficult in a very competitive job market. 

    After graduating from YMCA Training, Inc’s 20-week intensive hands-on program, Yola wrote, “I now know Microsoft Word, Excel, I love PowerPoint and Publisher and other various skills that I have learned that will make me successful in the work place.” Yola is now employed as a Clerk for the Commonwealth of Massachusetts.


  • “My name is Rae-Jonay and I attended Y overnight camp in New Hampshire last summer through a Y camp scholarship. This was the first time I had ever gone to overnight camp and it would not have been possible without the scholarship. I can’t wait to go to camp again and I am grateful that someone gave me and other Y kids the chance to go to camp.”


  • “This program is so powerful and necessary for young men of color it must continue after we leave. Watching male role models that look like us inspired me to do something great with my life.”

Mary - Sandy Island Family Camp

  • “The decision to donate time and money was an easy one for me. The Y has given so much to us and I feel it is important to give back so that others may have the same wonderful opportunities.

    I know that there are many worthy charities that need support, but the Y has so many programs, including camps, which help to strengthen the community as a whole, but also help guide young children and teens towards productive and healthy activities. And for those people who cannot donate money, there are many opportunities to donate time and volunteer. The opportunities to donate time and money are endless!”

Y Member

  • "Shortly after joining the YMCA my daughter was diagnosed with Guillain-Barre Syndrome and spent a good part of that year in hospitals and rehab. When this former healthy young woman was discharged in a wheelchair, we were just so overwhelmed. The Y became an integral part of her determination to get back on her feet. The Y is the only pool in our vicinity to have a handicapped access pool. We came on a daily basis and she worked very hard on her physical therapy program. I cannot say enough how much it meant after months of her hard work when she graduated to a walker. On that day, your staff gave her a standing ovation! The Y became part of our family... THANK YOU!”

To the Swim Instructors at the Charles River Y:

  • I was driving to the Y this morning to swim, as I do almost every morning of year (and this has been going on for thirty two years now!) - and heard a very tragic story on the radio - a four year old in the MetroWest area drown in a swimming pool this past weekend.

Melvin's Story

  • Camp serves youth from all walks of life.  Kids from the neighborhoods surrounding the Y as well as kids from our local subsidized housing neighborhoods.  The blending of all kids and giving them a level playing field is one of the most special things about camp – all kids get the same opportunities.  One 6 year old child named Melvin last summer showed us just how much camp can mean for the growth of all.

Gretchen's Story


    When the Ayoub family moved to Needham in 1984, one of the first things they did was join the Charles River YMCA.  Mom (Gretchen) considered YMCA programs to be integral to their family life – sports, summer camp swimming – not to mention the whole social network of friends that came with Y activities.  And for Gretchen the YMCA social network became a lifeline she never expected to need.

Jerry, Oak Square & Charles River Y Member

  • The YMCA has had an overall influence on my family and I mostly because of multiple, convenient locations. We are members of the Needham Y where my children enjoy swim lessons and soccer, while my wife enjoys Yoga. Mostly I love the flexibility of being able to go to the Oak Square facility which is close to my job. Because of this convenience, it allows me to work out on my lunch break which makes me feel better throughout the day, splits my day in half, and also makes me more productive during my work day.