“I have been a member of the Y for almost 7 years now. I’ve always enjoyed working out and when we moved to this area, I wanted to find a gym that was nice and where the people are welcoming. When I came to this Y, I felt one of the best feelings. Everyone was so helpful, whether it was the staff at the front desk, the people in the Wellness Center, even the members who came here to work out – everyone is willing to help you. It’s very welcoming, very warm, and supportive.

I used to come in and run on the treadmill for my cardio workouts and one of the instructors kept telling me to try a group exercise class. One day I did, and this changed my life. My fitness level skyrocketed after that. The group exercise classes really changed the way I work out and gave me such endurance and strength. I was able to do four marathons in a year.

Last year hit my family really hard. We lost my father-in-law and several other family members to COVID-19. My father-in-law dedicated his life to helping people. Before the pandemic, he planned to come here from India and I wanted to show him the Y, but unfortunately he passed away in January before he could come. My father also always finds ways to help other people. I wanted to honor the legacy of my father-in-law and continue the legacy of my father. I signed up to volunteer at the Y and started by helping out at Fanny Wood Day, and then found out about Togetherhood. It was the perfect time and the perfect opportunity.

The past almost two years have made me realize that although money is important, if you’re not out there helping someone, you are missing out. Being there, doing something for others, giving your time, it’s very important. I’m hoping with the committee, we can expand our reach to more people and let them know that they are not alone. There are people out there ready to help.”