Last week, I spent time with some of my favorite customers and colleagues - those that serve our communities in our YMCA's. At the Association of YMCA Professionals Annual Conference, I visited with old and new friends, learning more about how different YMCA's help improve lives in their respective communities.
Before returning home, I traveled to Houston to spend time with Gina Peterson and Mike Hagan of the YMCA of Greater Houston. Having worked with the Houston Association over the last few years, I've always enjoyed visiting with Gina and Mike, as well as the staff from their various centers. Because Houston is such a diverse city, the Houston Y Association reflects that - with large and small centers, each with its own unique stories and challenges.
The new Houston Texans YMCA, seen in the below video, is the newest addition to the Houston YMCA family. Even in its short seven month history, this center has enriched the lives of those in the surrounding neighborhood, and the facility is seen as a vital part of the revitalization of this community. A tribute to Quentin Mease, who was dedicated to bringing the YMCA's to minority communities in Houston, is an integral part of this Y's decor, and the dedication to this particular community is shown through the staff's interaction with everyone who visits. Their caring about members and guests does not go un-noticed - while I was there, a member bought lunch for the staff in appreciation for their providing him a quiet place to workout and take a nap on his lunch break.
Yes, YMCA's do have health and wellness facilities - but their impact goes a lot further than providing a gym and swim. YMCA's provide a welcoming and caring organization, supporting Healthy Living, Youth Development and Social Responsibility - do you have a story to share about your YMCA?