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Posted by on Oct 27, 2017 in Uncategorized |

YMCA Annual Campaign Story – Dennis

YMCA Annual Campaign Story – Dennis

  Fourteen months ago Dennis was in the third and final stages of an incurable cancer. He endured six months of radiation and chemotherapy to put his cancer briefly in remission. Then, Dennis fell. What would have been a minor spill resulted in an explosive burst fracture of his spine and an eight-hour surgery to repair his shattered body. Cancer had left him broken and alone. Dennis had no access to physical support or emotional support and no community where he could belong. Worst, he struggled to feel self-worth with no ability to contribute to society. During recovery, his physical therapist suggested he check out the YMCA for help. Dennis took a tour of the Y, and was told about LIVESTRONG® at the YMCA. “I found what was missing in my life thanks to LIVESTRONG® at the YMCA.” With access to excellent facilities and trainers, his balance and strength drastically increased. Dennis was no longer alone – he had a whole class of people who have been through the same...

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Posted by on Oct 26, 2017 in Health and Wellness, Social Responsibility, Y Stories, Y Stories, YMCA of the Inland Northwest |

My Y Story – Amy

My Y Story – Amy

They say it takes a village to raise a child, and for Amy Jarvis, the YMCA is part of her village. The mother of two spends her days caring for 2 year-old Elizabeth and 4 year-old Ezekiel, all while her husband Joshua is serving in the Navy defending our country. Petty Officer First Class Joshua Jarvis is stationed at Port Hueneme just outside Ventura, CA, some 1,200 miles from Spokane. The distance makes it difficult for the family to be together often, and the deployments make matters even worse. Amy is not alone though, her family assists with taking care of the two kids when things get busy, and the YMCA is here for her when she needs a break. She says being able to put Elizabeth and Ezekiel in child watch can be a life saver “it gives me my sanity, being able to get some time to myself, being able to run off the stresses of doing everything on my own.” Through the Y’s Military Outreach Initiative,...

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Posted by on Oct 4, 2017 in Social Responsibility, Staff, Uncategorized, Y Stories, Y Stories, YMCA of the Inland Northwest, Youth Development |

Staff Spotlight – Brenda

Staff Spotlight – Brenda

Brenda Jamison is the Early Childhood Education Coordinator at the EWU Children’s Center. She began her time with the Children’s Center in 1990 and worked for 6 years before taking time off to raise her family, then returned in 2012. “When I wanted to get back to work, this is the only place I wanted to be,” Brenda said. As the Early Childhood Education Coordinator she is tasked with adjusting learning curriculums and making sure over 50 staff members are properly equipped to teach the students. This includes making sure the correct curriculums are in place while balancing varying standards from many educational entities. Training, mentoring, coaching, encouraging and sometimes being a shoulder to cry on are just some of the things that make up Brenda’s day. When asked why she keeps coming back, Brenda said “for the love of the kids, they’re the future. You give, but you get a lot back.” Away from the office Brenda enjoys spending time with her husband, two children and three grandchildren....

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Posted by on Sep 27, 2017 in My Y Story, North YMCA, Social Responsibility, Staff, Uncategorized, Y Stories, Y Stories |

My Y Story – Ahmad & Aziz

My Y Story – Ahmad & Aziz

One day, Shah Perai, a mother of four young sons, came home to find her house devastated by an explosion. Such ruinous havoc was sadly not extraordinary in the country she called home, a place wrought with unimaginable violence. If the family wanted to live, they had to seek refuge. Undergoing a deluge of horrors, Shah Perai and each of her little boys, Aziz, Ahmad, Shafiq, and Sidig, managed to escape war-torn Afghanistan. These five brave refugees landed in Spokane, Washington. The YMCA provided them with a family membership through financial assistance. Over the following weeks, Aziz worked diligently with Y aquatics staff to learn how to swim for the first time ever. Eventually the YMCA fully funded Aziz’s formal lifeguard training, and he quickly became a paid YMCA Lifeguard. Aziz helped his younger brother, Ahmad, learn to swim, and soon Ahmad also completed the YMCA Lifeguard Training class. Today both brothers not only work as lifeguards at the YMCA to help support their family, but they also exemplify...

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Posted by on Sep 7, 2017 in Social Responsibility, Staff, Y Stories, Y Stories, YMCA of the Inland Northwest, Youth Development |

Staff Spotlight – Lauren

Staff Spotlight – Lauren

Lauren Wimmer is a Cause Driven Leader On Duty at the Spokane Valley YMCA. What began as a simple response to a Craigslist ad has blossomed into a passion, and a family for Lauren. Her story with the Y begins in Salem, Oregon, where she accepted a position working the front desk. While working there, she met Jacob a coworker, and struck up a friendship that would grow to be much more. Over two years after meeting at the Y, Jacob and Lauren became engaged and just welcomed their daughter, Harper, into the world. Aside from her fiancé and daughter, the YMCA helped shape Lauren’s goals and aspirations. She says she really wasn’t aware of all the things the Y does in the community, but now wants to make working for nonprofits a big part of her life moving forward. “It’s so fulfilling working here, I feel like if I can just make a difference, even for just one person, then it’s all worth it.” Outside of her time...

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