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YMCA of Greater Hartford
Corporate Office
241 Trumbull Street
Hartford, CT 06103

 
Attn: Social Services

Social Services
CHANGE FOR LIFE PROGRAM
When I started in the Y I could barely walk and I needed a full oxygen tank. Then I found the CHANGE FOR LIFE PROGRAM. As the program progressed I fought all the way, but I did not quit. Now I can walk seven laps around the pool and I know what I have to do now to keep moving forward.

This summer my daughter Dee went to Camp Chase and the impact on her and all of us has been nothing short of amazing. I saw her change from a little kid to a young woman. She is more mature, and she is doing better in school and with her friends. Without camp I do not know what she would be doing.

We have a New Year's resolution to live a healthier life. The Y is going to be a part of that change.

– Bobby & Dee, YMCA members and Change for Life participants
CONQUERING FEARS AT ANY AGE
“Although I was an active senior, I still was not getting the consistent exercise that I needed. After coming to the Y as a guest, I knew this was where I needed to be to stay healthy. I quickly joined fun fitness classes that got me moving, but what I really wanted was to learn to swim. All of my life I’ve had a fear of water. The aquatic staff at the Y has been amazing, helping me conquer each step along the way with encouragement and compassion, and now I can swim and float…with no fear.”

- A grateful senior YMCA Member

FROM ONE GENERATION TO THE NEXT
“My parents first brought me to the Y as a child. I was able to spend time and enjoy all that the Y had to offer, and it was an important part of my childhood. Now as a parent, I want my daughter to experience all the fun of overnight camp, as well as have the opportunity to discover and participate, as I did, in the Achiever’s Program. The Y has many resources, classes, and programs for families, and I think the Y is a great place for children—to grow and learn.”

- A lifelong YMCA Member Y Achiever, Parent Achiever & Adult Achiever

A DIFFICULT JOURNEY MADE EASIER
“My wife loves being a member of the Y—and attends the LIVESTRONG® at the YMCA program for cancer survivors. Here is where she found her strength after cancer with friendship and support from the other program participants and instructors. Since joining the Y myself, I now come to swim and recently took part in the Masters Swim meet! We love going to the Y together to keep healthy, energized, and fit. I am very grateful that at the Y, my wife found her smile again.”

- Husband and wife YMCA Members and LIVESTRONG® participant

 
YMCA Read To Succeed
The YMCA recognizes that literacy and education are the cornerstones of a community’s well being. Parental literacy is one of the single most important indicators of a child’s success in school. The National Assessment of Education Progress has concluded that children whose parents are unable to read are twice as likely to be nonreaders themselves.

Because the Y understands that the building of strong families requires that family members be functionally literate in order to participate in the decision making of community work, it offers Read to Succeed, a reading program for adults.

A special reading program designed for adults with reading, spelling, and writing difficulties, 1:1 individualized instruction, lessons taught by certified teachers.

This program is held at the Downtown Branch, Monday- Thursday 9:00am- Noon or 4:30pm – 8:00pm and you must be 18 years or older to participate.

Email Karen Theroux for more information.
GOOD NEWS

New Traditions for a Meaningful Thanksgiving Season
Thanksgiving. For most of us, it's an opportunity to spend a long holiday weekend with friends and family... and food and football! The last thing anyone want to think about is work, but this Thanksgiving, I'm asking you to bring some of my work home to your family. Wait! Don't throw down that newspaper!

Everyday at the Y, the work we do is inspired by a three-fold mission that leads us to serve our communities through Youth Development, Healthy Living, and Social Responsibility. While you and your family are giving thanks for the blessings in your life, consider incorporating new traditions to your repertoire to help make your family and your community stronger.

I challenge you to add to this list of what you can do to place some extra emphasis on the giving part of the holiday this year...

Youth Development: Don't let Thanksgiving Day pass without encouraging your children to be responsible family members. Youth development begins at home-- Traditional Thanksgiving tasks of helping to prepare dinner, clean and serve others are skills that will carry forward for a lifetime. Have Youth Development to spare? Between the parade and football, think about how you can help kids in your community through volunteer coaching, tutoring or mentoring.

Healthy Living: Set a good example and head outside to play some football instead of just watching it on TV. Take a family walk around your neighborhood or local park to burn off some of those turkey dinner calories. Better yet, update a few classic recipes with lighter choices.

Social Responsibility: If 2014 has been a year that's found your family is on the receiving end of charitable giving, be thankful for those who have given, and have hope for a more prosperous 2015. If prosperity has found its way to your door this year, find a way to use your prosperity to help lift up those in need. Either way, volunteering makes our community strong and doesn't cost a thing.

What will you be doing this Thanksgiving to strengthen your family and your community? Share you ideas on our Indian Valley Family YMCA Facebook page.

May blessings find their way to you and yours this Thanksgiving season.


NEW HABITS FOR A HEALTHY NEW YEAR


Are your New Year's resolutions getting tougher and tougher to stick to? You're not alone. It's cold. The daily commute has been slippery more days than not, and the kids have had snow days, late openings, and early dismissals. It's getting just a little bit harder to find the motivation to keep that resolution to eat better and prepare nutritious meals. Cheer up! There's a little more sunshine every day, and there's still time to turn your New Year's resolutions in to "All Year's" habits that will last! Here are some tips to get you started:

Prepare yourself to succeed: If your kitchen is your healthy meal workshop, then your spice cabinet is your healthy cooking toolbox. It's the place where you find flavor for your favorite meals. I dare you to reach into the back. Did little plastic containers fly off the shelf? Did you touch something that expired in the early 2000's)? Remove everything from the shelves and evaluate what you have. If you don't know why you have it, or when you bought it, it's time to throw it out. Spices don't go bad, but they lose flavor over time. And it's not easy to cook when your kitchen is cluttered! And don't forget your refrigerator. It's time to say goodbye to the mystery leftovers and expired condiments. Wipe the shelves down and get ready to restock and cook!

Get ahead of the time crunch: You may have every good intention to put a homemade meal on the table, but if you're crunched for time and a novice cook, whipping up a meal after work isn't a realistic goal. Instead, use a few hours on your day off to get ahead for the week. Choose a few recipes that are on your skill level and prepare them in advance. A few favorites in our house? Vegetarian chili, chickpea curry, and chicken soup. They're economical, feed a crowd, and freeze well. Once you've gotten in the habit of making dinner in advance, healthy meals will be old hat!

Keep the basics on hand: Having a well-stocked kitchen doesn't need to mean spending a lot of money. Try to have items like onions, carrots, celery, potatoes, pasta and eggs available. That chicken soup I mentioned? It's made by simmering vegetables and bones from leftover chicken. It's a whole new meal prepared for just a couple of dollars. You can feed an entire family for less than the cost of a can of soup if you've made it a habit to include a few basics on your shopping list.

Tell your friends: You'd be surprised how many people choose healthy eating as a New Year's goal. When you find success with a recipe, share it with a friend, and ask for suggestions in return. If you add just one or two new recipes to your repertoire each month, by the end of 2014 you'll have a host of delicious meals you can prepare for your family and friends. With a support system in place, you'll be motivated to keep trying new thing, and keep up the healthy meal habit.

Have you stuck to your New Year's resolution? That's great! If you've fallen of the bandwagon (after all, it's not easy to resist pizza delivery when it's six below), don't despair. Start that kitchen cleanup this weekend, and get ready to take charge of your new habits for the rest of 2014!

Stability. Anticipation. Excitement.

This was the mood in our household in September, 2009. Our daughter, Martina, was starting kindergarten. I was nearing my degree in chiropractic medicine.

Suddenly, our world was shaken apart.

My wife died unexpectedly. Not only did her loss leave a huge personal void, it created financial anguish as she was supporting our family while I finished school.

Life has to go on, so when Martina started school, I needed care for her while I started my career. I had put together a patchwork of care arrangements that didn't always run smoothly. I believe that children and adults need to feel secure and safe in a predictable environment before they can process grief and loss. This on-the-fly care arrangement led me to worry Martina, wouldn’t be able to start rebuilding her life.

Fortunately, the YMCA was there to help. They provided financial assistance while Martina attended the Y's Kindergarten Care Program.

The Y brought stability to Martina’s life. The staff created a loving and supportive environment that allowed her to grow in a positive way. The Y’s program gave Martina a safe place to be a little girl, and gave me the peace of mind that I needed to build a new career and re-build our family.