You know the old saying, “what goes around comes around”? Well, when it comes to the countless lives touched by the Y in so many ways for so many generations of families and individuals, that ‘boomerang effect” of goodness is in full force. It has been said that something like 70% of all Americans have had a Y experience in their lifetime. No matter whether you are new to the Y as an associate or volunteer, or have a decades-long history, you’ll find that no matter where you go or who you talk to, almost everyone has a meaningful and memorable Y story somewhere in their life. It sticks with them and, in many cases, has become part of who they are.
When people donate to our cause, they will sometimes share a story that tells us why they decided to give. The note below from Richard Gong is one of the many stories I discover every day about the impact the Y has now, and has had for decades, on the lives of countless people. As you read Richard’s story, I hope you will think about the effect your work has on individuals in our community and that you will realize that you are a part of a long and mighty chain of human decency, respect and dignity which lifts spirits and helps unite us all around our common humanity.
“I am a past Big Brothers Big Sisters mentor in Maryland & believe in the value of youth mentoring. During WW II, my immigrant father did defense work in Buffalo, NY, until he was drafted, & the YMCA housed him & other Chinese workers. I learned to swim at the Madison, NJ YMCA. My father helped raise funds in the 1960s for the new YMCA in Madison & was active in Indian Guides with my younger brother. My first job in high school was as a locker room attendant in the Madison YMCA. Lots of connections.”
Thank you, Richard for sharing your story and for your generous donation. Thanks to all of you as well for the work you do which carries on the proud tradition of helping others. It’s clear that it’s recognized by people like Richard Gong and so many others.
All the best,
John K. Hoey
President & CEO
The Y in Central Maryland