Meet Jessica, a member of the Farmington Valley YMCA, who was a Y member, left to go to another gym for several years, and then came back last December:

"I was at Big Sky for six or seven years, and I really loved it, but had gotten a little bored of my routine there, and I wasn’t finding a lot of new things to do. I decided to come back here. We had taken on two foster babies, and they were infants at the time, and the child care at Big Sky, I wasn’t liking it. It was one room with a lot of kids. I was finding it really hard to get to the classes.

"So I came back here, I was in a total slump from taking them into our lives and moving, and I had gained lots of weight, and I had just totally lost my desire to work out. And coming back here just renewed all of that. It was like, the best. I use the pool, I have some back issues and the pool has been a total game changer for me because when my back would act up before I would be out of the gym for three, four, five weeks at a time, I couldn’t do anything. So now I’m in the pool once a week and I haven’t had any of those issues. I can be here all the time. We come 5, 6 days a week. I come with my kids, on the weekend we swim. And they love the child care; the people in child care treat them like their own kids. But now we’re doing an extreme fit challenge with Jackie, so the Y is awesome because they have all these challenges and they’re very affordable. But that has been something that is just so invaluable.

"Lastly, our Y offers a sense of community that is so immensely special, it cannot be put into words. The people you meet in groups and classes quickly become friends because of the sense of community that exists there and I have met so many wonderful people this past year. I always feel an incredible sense of belonging. It is a place where love, light and laughter shine brightly always for me and my family."