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Every Member has a Y Story

Highland Senior Member Story

“The Y is my sweetheart; I started on valentines day,” shares Linda. Six months into her health journey, Linda had a membership to a different gym but was looking for more. “I heard great things about the Y,” she shared.

PSU Member Story

Like many working parents, Michelle struggled to find childcare for her two youngest children. “It was hard for me. My parents would help when they could, but they also worked,” shared Michelle.

Highland Aquatics Member Story

With a pool in her backyard and her energetic two-year-old, Claudia knew she had to find swim lessons for her son Phoenix. “I searched online for somewhere that offered swim lessons nearby,” said Claudia. In her search, she found Parent & Child swim lessons at the Highland Family YMCA and signed up. “We think it [...]

Support the 1 in 3!

Donate to the YMCA and make more stories like this possible!

 1 in 3 of our members relies on Financial Assistance to participate at the Y. That means for every child learning life-saving swim skills or for every child that made their first basket in basketball, 1 in 3 would not have had that chance without the Y receiving donations from our community.

Navigating the court system can be difficult for an average person under the best of circumstances, but for Richard, who was struggling with brain fog after recovering from COVID-19, the task seemed impossible.

After unexpected medical expenses, Richard and his wife fell behind on credit card payments. Living on a fixed social security retirement income, they could not pay for medical care and living expenses.

In an effort to pay down their debt, the couple decided to work with a company that consolidates debt. Unknown to Richard at the time, one of their creditors was unwilling to consolidate the debt and instead opted to file a lawsuit.

After receiving a civil summons for credit card debt in the mail, “I thought to myself my gosh, what am I going to do?” said Richard. “I was really in a mess.”

Richard had 30 days to complete the requested court forms. “I went to the court, and the clerk wouldn’t accept my paperwork. I had filled it out all wrong. I saw this guy 3 or 4 times; he told me to get legal advice,” said Richard.

The courthouse clerk gave Richard a list of legal aid resources available in the Inland Empire.

“After trying to call a few and having no luck getting a hold of any of ’em. I went down to the Y,” said Richard. He had 15 days left to file the required forms.

“Presently, San Bernardino and Riverside courts do not offer self-help services in civil cases beyond small claims and landlord/tenant cases,” said Paula Salcido, YMCA Legal Aid Director and Attorney at Law. “The YMCA, Legal Aid Program, is available to provide vital information about the civil court process, explain available options, and prepare court forms if the choice is to file a response with the court.”

The creditors did not want to work with the debt consolidation company. “They were asking for a bunch of money every month, and me and my wife have social security as our income. We couldn’t afford that …


Amber needed care for her three young foster children

“The foundation they give them there is setting them up for success,” said Amber. “I think what they are doing with these little guys is amazing.”


Jasmine needed a place for her family to stay physically active

“Without the outlets at the Y, my kids would have been negatively impacted mentally.”


Cynthia is a single-parent with two daughters attending Day Camp

“There are a lot of us single-parents out there, we have to work, but we have our kids, and we don’t have any time to take off work to take care of our kids.”


Cambria's Selective Mutism was causing difficulty in her schooling

One of the clues that Cambria’s silence was more than shyness, it was that she was reluctant to communicate even nonverbally.


Connie wanted to overcome her fear of swimming

“I didn’t know the first thing about swimming or even floating. I was with my cousin, I remember, and she was yelling out to the lifeguards that I didn’t know how to swim, so they pulled me out. After that, I was terrified of the water.”


Maria needed a place for her daughter Arlene to be active and make friends

Maria wanted not only to find a sport for Arlene to be active, but also a place for her daughter to make friends.

Support the 1 in 3!

Donate to the YMCA and make more stories like this possible!

Each donation the Y receives goes directly to our Financial Assistance program. 100% of our donations go to serve the community so that all can enjoy the life-changing programs of the YMCA.

Offering social programs & resources for all

The Y offers a variety of programs to benefit the collective community, ranging from wellness workshops to our Legal Aid Clinic.

Serving Our Youth

The Y is for healthy kids so we eliminate the barriers that keep kids in our community from staying active or connecting with friends.

two women and a man standing next to each other

With the help of the Legal Aid Clinic Sara was able to move forward

“Looking back at the situation, I knew that I needed to get a divorce but I didn’t have the resources or the access at hand. When the Legal Aid Clinic was able to work with me, I felt hopeful that I could live a better life.”


Betsy needed to make her physical and mental health her number one priority

“With five kids to support, you often give up your own passions so they can pursue theirs.”

Y fitness employee with member

Robbie was prompted by his doctor to find a sport or exercise he could look forward to

“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.”


Ernesto needed a place to manage his Post Polio Syndrome symptoms

“If I don’t exercise at the Y, I have to endure horrible pain from my Post Polio Syndrome. Being a part of the Y helps me function on a daily basis.”

Cultivating a Sense of Belonging

The greatest gift the Y provides? Community. Many of our members needed a place to feel safe and encouraged while working towards their goals.

Creating Access to Wellness Programs

Access to healthy living programs shouldn’t be a privilege for some but a right for all. Through Financial Assistance, we eliminate financial barriers to healthy living.

Want to be featured on our Y Story Hub?

Submit your story below!

Share how the Y has helped you and your family live a healthier, happier life. Whether you’ve been a member for 10 years or 6 months, we know that the Y plays an important part in the lives of our members. We want to hear from you about how the Y has helped you!

father and children smiling in front of blue wall

Jeremiah needed safe and affordable childcare for his children

“During school breaks and summer it was hard, I would have to ask family to care for the kids or take time off work,” shared Jeremiah.

family man and woman with two small children

Kellen needed the support and resources to focus on her and her family's wellbeing

“I had gained weight and was struggling with anxiety and stress in this new role. I didn’t feel like myself anymore.”


G beat diabetes with the changes he made at the YMCA

With a smile on his face, G shares: “The best medicine is exercising at the YMCA! When you are working out at the Y, you are working out with a group of friends.”


Calvin's journey from homelessness to connected Y member

“The Y is a blessing,” shares Calvin. “When you’re homeless, finding a safe place to shower can be a luxury. The Y has given me and my mother a place to do that. We cannot say thank you enough for that.”


The Yanez family cultivated healthy habits with the help of the Y

“As parents, you always want to provide fun experiences for your kids. So when you find programs that are not only engaging your kids but teaching them strong values, it’s a dream come true,” shared Brittany.


Vanessa found quality childcare for her five children at the Preschool University

“Since being a part of the YMCA, I see such a difference in my kids. They’re advanced compared to other kids their age and they have great conversational skills,” shared Vanessa.


Darren got support for his journey with Multiple Sclerosis

“Being diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis was the best thing that ever happened to me because it taught me how to live,” shared Darren.


Anastasia found new friends at the Y after moving across the globe

“When you move to a new continent with a new language, it feels overwhelmingly difficult. The Y made all the difference in adjusting to this new country.”


Heather found the environment & help she needed to live a healthy life

“I don’t think I would be where I am, both emotionally and physically, without the YMCA. There is no other place that could have helped me heal.”

CoS Pool 1-min

The Segovia family gained important swim skills to keep them safe

“Safety Around Water not only gave my grandchildren confidence in the water but it gave me peace of mind to know that they know how to enjoy the water safely.”


Mia's fun at the Y is made possible because of Financial Assistance

Mia’s family’s goal is to give her daughter the opportunity to take as many classes as possible so she can develop skills and make new friends.

Frank Sanchez

Frank overcame his diabetes diagnosis with his training at the Y

“I found so much support at the Y, from both staff and members. I kept reminding myself that I am using this opportunity to set a positive example for others.”


Meet Jeremy, better known around the YMCA as "Mr Redlands"

“The YMCA is a good place for men like me. You’re around good people, you get a lot of support and feel safe at the Y. It’s my second family.”


Ryen has Paralympic dreams and training at the Y made all the difference

“I walked into the Y’ knowing how to doggy paddle. The Y’s coach helped me build my skills so that I could not only compete but that I could be a competitor.”

Support the 1 in 3!

Donate to the YMCA and make more stories like this possible!

Each donation the Y receives goes directly to our Financial Assistance program. 100% of our donations go to serve the community so that all can enjoy the life-changing programs of the YMCA.