It's the Little Things


It’s not every day that I go to workout and see a sticky note reminding me how awesome I am stuck to the treadmill I’m hopping on. Yet, sticky notes started popping up everywhere at the Pat Jones YMCA. “Keep up the hard work!” “You’re doing great!” and more. Normally, I avoid clutter, but these notes started making members smile. Soon, I heard the chatter. ‘Did you see a note today?’ I heard members ask each other.

Soon, after some investigating, I discovered that my intern and volunteer, teenager Kayte Garand, had been placing the notes around the Y to anonymously encourage members. Garand offered her volunteer services to me as a way to stay busy and get some experience in a fast-paced work environment.

Why the Y? “I love the Y. I’m very active, and it’s one of my ‘happy places’,” she says.

Volunteers like Garand play an important role in our mission of Youth Development, Healthy Living and Social Responsibility. YMCA employees simply can’t do it on their own, and volunteers help fill those important gaps in the community. Whether it’s cleaning our wellness centers, coaching a sports team or reading to children in our before and after school care programs, volunteers provide a valuable set of hands in our quest for community enrichment.

During her stint as a volunteer, Garand did some cleaning and helping out at the desks. And, of course, she provided valuable encouragement for members. “Most importantly, I got to interact with those like me, doing what they love and trying to better themselves,” she says.

For Garand, volunteering is necessary for all communities. “Volunteering plays such a huge role in the community because it helps others at no cost and drives people to have better hearts.” To learn how you can use your skills in your community, contact your Y for available volunteer opportunities.

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