Boothbay Region YMCA: A Community Catalyst for Good
In a 2011 speech to young leaders, Michelle Obama noted, “You may not always have a comfortable life and you will not always be able to solve all of the world's problems at once but don't ever underestimate the importance you can have because history has shown us that courage can be contagious and hope can take on a life of its own.”
While this wisdom was shared long before the COVID-19 pandemic and the unprecedented events of the past year, it speaks to a wider sentiment that each and every one of us has both the power, and the responsibility, to make a greater impact in this world. It is a sentiment that the Y has always taken to heart, and is part of what makes this Y in particular such an important community resource in the Boothbay region.
Like all of you, all of the staff at the BRYMCA could not have predicted that life as we know it would radically change as a result of a global pandemic. Moreover, none of us could have ever truly prepared for the impacts COVID-19 has had, and continues to have, on our country and our community. While the BRYMCA prides itself on being an accessible community resource all the time, the COVID-19 pandemic has been an especially eventful time for community initiatives at the Y campus and beyond.
The Y has worked to augment safety protocols so that vital programs like the Fit Kids After-School Program, Y-Arts programs, and Dolphins Swim Team can still serve kids and families at some capacity. This fall’s Fill the Bus initiative brought in 1,300 non-perishable goods and more than $3,000 for the Boothbay Region Food Pantry. This winter’s Holiday Giving Tree program served 28 families and 67 children, ensuring that no one child woke up without a gift under their tree. Since March 2020, more than 8,000 grab n’ go meals have been served through the Y, with program expansions at the Harbor Montessori and Child Enrichment Center, and a new snack program in the works with the Boothbay Harbor Memorial Library.
Moreover, the Boothbay Region YMCA is currently the only Y in the country to serve as a COVID-19 vaccination site, and it is through community partnerships with LincolnHealth, and others that this good and life-saving work is able to happen.
The Y has always been a place where help of all kinds is freely given. It is truly a community catalyst for good, and while it cannot solve the world’s problems all at once, every effort to bring courage and hope, to what can feel like a hopeless world, is a step in the right direction.
That being said, it’s even more important to recognize the good work that each and every one of our community members has done and continues to do in the face of challenge and adversity. These initiatives and areas of impact are made possible through the generosity of all of you. Thank you for bringing your own courage and hope and goodness to help lift all of us up. Whether through donations, volunteer hours, coordination efforts, advocacy, commitment to programming, or something else, the people in our region continue to make an impact by working together for the common good.