Snow Days and Weather Woes
As I traveled home in the dark through the first snowstorm of the season, I thought about what it takes to make a community thrive. Having just dropped off one of our staff members who rides a bike to work every day, I felt fortunate to work with such a committed team. While snow storms often show us the worst of New England weather, they can also inspire acts of compassion and empathy that strengthen bonds between others.
When I was a child, I treasured a snow day. It meant deciding between playing games outside, drinking hot cocoa by the fire or reading a good book (I was a child long before the internet). Now, the decisions we make during a snow day affect an entire community. It means coordinating plows, shoveling sidewalks, and making sure our hallway floors stay dry. It means preserving the safety of our members and staff while upholding our responsibility to keep the community healthy, despite the obstacles of New England weather.
Here at the Y, we have the immense privilege of helping our community thrive. We often need to look beyond ourselves to serve the collective needs of our constituents. Our decisions impact hundreds of people, which can be gratifying and inspiring. We need to have empathy for the person who uses our steam room to relax after a long overnight shift, the person who needs to move in our warm pool to help keep their back healthy, or the child who looks forward to climbing in the Amaze Place while their parents get a few minutes of relaxation.
Despite trying to do the best for the most, our decisions will inevitably disappoint some. Our YMCA is filled with a wide range of individuals with a variety of opinions, needs and wishes. We strive to be a true community by fostering a shared understanding of our differences and commonalities not just on snow days, but every day.
Thank You to Our Staff
No matter their role, our staff are here to make a positive impact on those we serve. We are here because of our members who share a smile and a kind word. We are here for the members that would not be able to meet their health needs elsewhere. We are here for the kids who feel like this is another home to them. From senior programming and disease prevention to wellness, youth engagement and volunteerism, our Y makes a difference. We are your neighbors, friends and family. We were born here or moved here for the same reasons you live here. When we come together for the common cause of strengthening our community, we can do so much more.
I’m so proud of all the ways our YMCA goes above and beyond to help make our community thrive. I am grateful for all of the staff, members, volunteers and supporters who believe in the great work we do. On each snow day, and every other day, the collective impact is truly helping to create a better us.
May your holiday season be filled with warm smiles and hearts.