Our country today seems to be as polarized as anyone can remember. What we often times see and hear on TV and in social media is anger and frustration between Americans who are unable to find common ground. And while its ferocity appears to have recently escalated dramatically, it is likely that the root causes have developed over an extended period of time. It is deeply concerning because it is so damaging, and because there does not seem to be any broad scale solutions.
In our struggle to understand the responsibilities the Y has to our communities; to find answers and solutions that will help to bring Americans together, we have come to the realization that while our Y alone may not be able to have a national impact we can make a positive difference in the local communities we serve. We have resolved that the best way for us to make this difference is to fully live up to our Mission of “ …being there for all” our Mission Promise “ … to help strengthen the foundation of community” and on a daily basis to live by our Core Values of caring, honesty, respect, and responsibility.
The newest edition of our strategic plan moves us to broaden our impact by helping individuals and families of all backgrounds and stages of life to learn, thrive, and improve our community. We will be redoubling our efforts to address critical social issues including early childhood development; providing more support for New Americans, low-income populations, and other underserved groups; battling chronic diseases such as obesity and diabetes; and leveraging linkages to community partners supporting substance abuse prevention and mental health. And although we believe that our Y offers an intentional, welcoming, relationship-rich environment that promotes accessibility, diversity, and inclusion of all ages, capabilities, and socioeconomic backgrounds, we will deepen our commitment to the principles of diversity and inclusion by updating our policies and increasing our training.
The stories we have included in this report represent a microcosm of the mission work we have done and hope to expand upon:
The Sailfish Swim Team that rallied around their coach and not only swam to major successes, but in the process became the quintessential team.
The Move Well program that provides knowledge and opportunity to help people of all ages make better choices for a healthier future.
The number of New American kids who attended summer camp more than doubled this past year. In addition to providing a natural, fun-filled experience, these kids were fully immersed within our culture learning new skills, making new friends, and better acclimating to our society.
Most importantly, our Y always will be a place where one and all are welcome, cherished, and respected. Where everyone can be safe and forge new relationships and bonds of friendship, families can flourish, adults can find comradery and fellowship, and where children can learn and thrive.
As we celebrate our 165th year, we will continue to strive to strengthen our community by being there for all and bringing people together.
Brett St. Clair, President, Board of Directors
James Doremus, Chief Executive Officer