Hampshire Regional YMCA

From the CEONews

What’s Happening at the Y: Update From Our CEO

By November 14, 2018No Comments

Who, What, When, Where, Y!

“At times our own light goes out and is rekindled by a spark from another person. Each of us has cause to think with deep gratitude of those who have lighted the flame within us.” – Albert Schweitzer
As I write this update,  the Red Sox just won the World Series, the Patriots are going strong, a mid-term election is in process and the news is still filled with tragedy and yet, hope.   While my dog is asleep on the couch (again), I am pondering what creates the energy we feel during a sporting event, a concert, a political rally or a spiritual ceremony.  If you attend one of these, you can feel the electricity in the air, whether it is the loud cheering of the home team winning, the quiet stillness during the national anthem, the chanting of a group with a shared interest or the love and fellowship spread by holding hands during prayer.

I believe humans need humans.  History has proven that humans who work together towards a common goal for the good of all, tend to fare far better than those who strive to stand alone.  Animals who work together in a herd tend to be healthier, live longer and adapt better than those who exist by themselves.

In today’s world, where many of us are fortunate to get almost anything at the touch of a button, we may never have to leave our homes.  We can work at home, shop online, play games on our computer, see our ‘friends” on Facebook, workout with a live stream video – and never have to interact with others.
Also in today’s world, mental illness continues to rise.  Suicide is the second leading cause of death in young people ages 15 – 24.  Depression affects 3.3 million adults each year. Over 17% of seniors are socially isolated – and these numbers are growing.
As Martin Luther King Jr said, “We have flown the air like birds and swum the sea like fishes, but have yet to learn the simple act of walking the earth like brothers.”

At the Hampshire Regional YMCA, we strive to walk together with you.  We strive to create a place where people do not feel alone.   Where positive interactions between people are shared. Where our YMCA core values: Caring, Honesty, Respect and Responsibility, are modeled on a daily basis. Our staff works diligently to provide an environment where our community can build relationships, and feel stronger, healthier and more connected.

The energy you feel at our YMCA may not be quite the same as winning a playoff game, but the gentle smiles we share in the hallway, or the quick joke that’s shared in the Wellness Center, or the hug between a child and their parent – all contain little sparks.  These little sparks added together create a community. A sense of belonging, a sense of unity.   At the Hampshire Regional YMCA, your little sparks feed our passion. Our passion is people.  Our passion is to help you be healthy and able to live your best life, together, for the good of our world.

At the YMCA, our “everyday” is impacted by little sparks; from the first steps of a toddler to the last lap made by a cancer survivor.   I invite you to come to a LIVESTRONG at the YMCA graduation and feel the spark between the staff, the survivors and their families. I invite you to watch a swim lesson and see the look on a child’s face when they accomplish a goal – then glance over and look at their parent’s face. These small sparks create a shared energy that impacts us all in a positive way. Together, we can do so much more…….

With November beginning the start of the Thanksgiving holiday season, I want to say “Thank You” to our members, our volunteers, our supporters and our staff. Thank you for creating sparks every day and turning those sparks into positive, loving energy – energy that when shared, multiplies.

Thank you for smiling in the hallway, sharing a joke, a handshake, a hug – thank you for helping us to create a positive place  – where together, we make a difference in the lives of many.
Many blessings to you –


Julie Bianco, CEO

Please feel free to reach out to me if you have any questions, suggestions or would like to volunteer to help!