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Every Member has a Y Story

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When California issued the school closures and stay-at-home orders in March, many families and essential workers were left searching for a safe place for their children. As a single parent working in the healthcare field, Cynthia Angulo needed care for her two daughters, Arionna (8) and Jade (6), so she turned to the Y.

“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,” shared Cynthia.

During the closure, the Y was able to support the families of essential workers.

“Providing child care for families during COVID-19 is a tangible outpouring of the Y’s mission.Our purpose has always been to be a place of support to the community,” says Breann Lindsey, Camp Director at the Redlands Family YMCA.

Arionna and Jade were already a part of the Y’s afterschool program when they started day camp. It was comforting for them to see the familiar faces of their afterschool Y teachers with so much uncertainty. The Redlands Y Day Camp staff helped Arionna and Jade navigate distance learning over the spring to keep the girls on track. “It was very helpful for them to see adults that they knew. The girls love them,” said Cynthia.

During this unprecedented time, Cynthia is happy that her daughters are experiencing new and fun things at the Y. “It’s the interaction, and they can go outside and play. They are learning basketball or soccer, tossing a ball throwing a frisbee all the fun things kids are supposed to be doing,” Cynthia shared.

Arionna and Jade enjoy the crafts and are always learning new things at Day Camp. “They are learning to make lanyards, or trying to,” laughs Cynthia. She remembers making lanyards when she attended the summer camp through her local YMCA as a child and teen.

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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.

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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.”

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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 4!

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.

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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.”

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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.”

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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.”

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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.

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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!

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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.

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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.”

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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.”

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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.”

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.”

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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.”

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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.”

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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.

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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.”

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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.”

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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 4!

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.