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two men standing next to one another holding a kettle bell

With a big smile and an unmatched passion for basketball, Robbie’s short walk to the Highland YMCA never loses its excitement. Even years after joining, coming to the Y remains a highlight of his day.

Robbie first joined us after being prompted by his doctor to find a sport or exercise he could look forward to. So his mother Melissa, and he began their search for a place that would be within their financial means and would be sensitive to Robbie’s circumstances.

Their search led them to the Highland YMCA.

As an adult with special needs, Robbie requires a place where he can feel supported physically and emotionally. Community support is equally as important as accessible exercise equipment for Robbie.

“Life for Robbie before the Y was bland and repetitive,” shared his mother, Melissa. “He didn’t have the social life he has now, he didn’t have the passion he has for basketball. The Y has given him so much.”

“Life for Robbie before the Y was bland and repetitive,” shared his mother, Melissa. “He didn’t have the social life he has now, he didn’t have the passion he has for basketball. The Y has given him so much.”

Robbie found his footing at the Y fast, finding friends on the basketball courts to play pick-up games with and new classes to get him moving. While he made friends with our members, his most impactful friendship happened when he met Henriey, a YMCA employee.

“My favorite part about working out with Robbie is his determination, no matter how hard the class he shows up and keeps trying. Robbie is a large person with just as large a heart and he helps members and staff to practice and exercise compassion,” shared Henriey.

“My favorite part about working out with Robbie is his determination, no matter how hard the class he shows up and keeps trying. Robbie is a large person with just as large a heart and he helps members and staff to practice and exercise compassion,” shared Henriey.

Since joining the Y, Robbie’s life is completely different.

He’s lost over 40 pounds. He’s made friends. He spends his days being with friends, being active at the Y and setting new goals with the help of Y staff.

“I love playing basketball with my friends here and going to yoga or kettlebells. I know when all the classes are so I make sure I never miss one if I can help it because I love going,” shared Robbie.

All of this would not have been possible had it not been for financial assistance. It was through the generosity of our donors that Robbie was able to discover his passion for basketball and develop friendships along the way.

“It brings joy to my heart to see Robbie getting phone calls from his friends at the Y, to see his excitement for Henriey’s group exercise classes. I thank the Y so much for their Financial Assistance program. If it wasn’t for the reduced rate, none of the friendships or physical progress would be possible.”

Support members like Robbie

1 in 4 support Financial Assistance

The YMCA provides Financial Assistance so that we can eliminate the financial barriers that keep families and individuals from wellness resources and a community of support. When you donate to the YMCA of the East Valley, 100% of those donations go straight into our Financial Assistance program so we can serve more in our community.