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SOMERSET COUNTY YMCA
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Somerset County YMCA - HomeFor Youth Development; For Healthly Living; For Social Responsibility
Why-Give

Why Give

As a cause-driven, nonprofit organization, we work to ensure that everyone, regardless of age, income or background, has the opportunity to learn, grow, and thrive. Today, more than ever, families struggling financially, physically and/or emotionally need a helping hand. They need a place to belong and the support of those who care. They need the Y.

We build a stronger community by collaboratively addressing community needs and offering opportunities for our members, volunteers and staff to make a meaningful difference.

See how the Y had a transformative impact on some of our members’ lives. Your gifts of time and treasure are vital to making that happen.

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Y Stories - Youth Development

“Shortly after joining the Y swim team, I was diagnosed with Hodgkin’s Lymphoma. My biggest fear was not being able to swim, but luckily a port catheter allowed me to get back in the water. The overwhelming support of my coaches and teammates helped me throughout my treatment, as did the swimming. It worked off any chemo drugs in my veins, any bad scans and any self-pity. I would leave the Y happier and healthier. The friends and personal connections I have made at the Y have touched my life in significant ways. I am so grateful to be a part of the Y.”

— Shana


"Swimming on the Y team since the age of 9 has helped me to believe in myself. I learned to set goals and to work as hard as I can to achieve them. The Y taught me responsibility for myself, respect for others and the importance of volunteerism. I was recently recognized by the National Girls & Women in Sports Association for excelling in sports, school and citizenship. I'm proud to say that, thanks to the Y, caring for people and my community has extended into all aspects of my life, in and out of the pool." 

— Brianna


“As a kid, I was bullied in school and never felt like I fit in. At Y camp, I was relieved of harassment in a positive environment where the counselors displayed caring, honesty, respect and responsibility. My summers were full of friendships and fun. I never worried about being teased; instead I was encouraged to build character. I was inspired to become a counselor and a volunteer Y tutor during the school year. I’ve learned that no child is beyond hope and every child deserves to thrive. I’ve seen the difference I can make in the lives of others and I’ve grown as a person. I am indebted to the Y.”

— Matt


“Being part of the swim team has been so rewarding -- I’ve made great friends who I root for and compete against. My coaches have inspired me to dream big, to set goals, to work hard, and to have a positive attitude…all while having a ‘splash’ of fun! Recently, I began to volunteer with the Y’s Saturdays in Motion (SIM) program, which helps children with special needs. I so enjoy playing with the kids in gymnastics and then in the pool. This year, I helped organize and run the SIM fundraiser. I am proud that we raised $4,600, which was $2,100 higher than goal! Because of these experiences, I am a better swimmer, student, friend, and person."

— Emilie


“Each day, I pick up my boys from the Y and they are so happy. The financial assistance we receive from the Y means everything to me. I know my children are safe, learning, and making friends. It allows me to focus on work without worry. The Y has changed our lives by bringing us all good things. ‘Thank you’ just doesn’t seem enough for all the Y has done for my family.”

— Angelina

Youth Development Videos

Y Stories - Healthy Living

“Back in 1973, as a newly divorced, single mom with a three-year-old son, I went to work full-time while also pursuing my degree at night. At the time, the Y was a lifesaver for us. I had comfort and confidence knowing my son was well cared for in the Y's child care and summer camp. It changed our lives in immensely positive ways. Recently, I lost both my beloved brother and my horse 'Destiny,' plus I tore my meniscus. I was in a bad place physically and emotionally. I needed healing, so, again, I turned to the Y. The staff is so friendly and welcoming-- they go above and beyond to support everyone, because they truly care about your well-being. Now, I'm healthy and active again. And, just as important, the staff makes me feel important ... I feel a sense of belonging. The Y has always been there for me; it is such a blessing."

— Bonnie, Member


"In 2014 I was diagnosed with a stage-3 brain tumor, just months after winning my 7th consecutive national age-division triathlon title. Following two successful five-hour surgeries, doctors discovered a second inoperable stage-4 brain tumor. Regular infusions and medications made training difficult. Thankfully a good friend referred my wife and me to the Y's cancer recovery program, LIVESTRONG® at the YMCA. The caring staff and motivational support of other LIVESTRONG participants has been therapeutic. I've returned to swimming and running and seen improvements in my endurance and strength. I'm determined to beat cancer and repeat some of my past achievements while hopefully inspiring hope, in other cancer patients."

— Doug, Member


“In 2013, after 10 years of being severely overweight and taking high blood pressure and high cholesterol medications, I was diagnosed with diabetes. I realized I needed to commit to an active lifestyle, not just for myself, but for my family. I started by walking at the Y. I became friends with members and staff who encouraged me to try the Y’s group exercise classes, so I did. It changed everything! As my strength improved, I even began to enjoy running—so much so that I’ve completed the Hop 5K twice and a 10K. By 2014, my health was so improved my doctors took me off all my medications. To date I’ve lost 40 lbs. and successfully reversed my diabetes. I have so much energy—I take six classes a week. I’ve regained my life and my health, and I owe it all to the Y and the fantastic people I’ve met here.”

— Suresh, Member


“I am former police officer and FBI agent, so staying in shape was important. In 1981, I came to the Y to work out three to five times a week. The fitness classes were excellent, but what kept me coming back were the friendships. The same guys have been coming here for years and we have a ‘breakfast club’ that celebrates birthdays together. Our families have dinners. We motivate each other. At 71, I am able to climb stairs, do yardwork and if I get hurt, I bounce back because I stay fit. To me, the Y is not just a place to stay in shape it’s a family.”

— Ed, Member


"I have a black belt in karate and I am used to exercising. But with three kids, including a baby, it's hard to stay motivated. I needed to do something, so I came to the Y. I am here twice a day, and sometimes three times a day, taking cardio classes or spinning. If time allowed it, I'd be here more. When you challenge yourself, you discover what you can really accomplish. I began by wanting to lose weight, but I've realized how important it is to feel good and stay healthy. The instructors give me confidence and encourage me. I feel better and stronger. When you feel good, you can be a better person and you have more to give your family. And for that reason, I will keep coming to the Y."

— Meryem


“Exercising at the Y keeps me strong. Three years ago, I was diagnosed with cancer, but 17 days after surgery I was back at the Y. My strength allowed the doctors to be aggressive with treatments, yet I never missed my fitness classes. I joined LIVESTRONG® to continue my recovery and it helped me physically, emotionally and mentally - what a gift. Then the Y gave my daughter an academic scholarship, relieving some of her school loan burden and allowing her to focus on studying. I thank the Y for its continuing commitment to families.”

— Bernadette


“This past June, I signed up for a Fitness Assessment at the Y - it made all the difference for me. I’ve lost 46 lbs! I feel empowered. I am stronger. And I have more energy. The trainers inspired me with great advice and taught me to be realistic about my fitness goals. They set me up for success. There’s no place like the Y, everyone’s so friendly and the staff shares such positive energy. This experience has been life-changing. I couldn’t have done it without the Y.”

— Annette


“A little over a year ago I had a stroke, lost mobility in my left side and was in a wheelchair. I was determined to get healthy again and after intensive rehabilitative therapy, I was able to walk with a cane. But, I wanted to get back on my bike! I went to the Y and learned about the Active Older Adults program. Although my doctor was skeptical, I convinced him to let me try the Y. Through the Strength & Balance, Tai Chi and Spinning classes I have regained much of my balance. Last summer I was able to achieve my goal -- to ride my bike outside. I attribute my recovery to the Y, and only wish I had become a member before my stroke.”

— Pete

Y Stories - Social Responsibility

"Before birth, my son, Tyshawn, was diagnosed with hydrocephalus (fluid on the brain). In the first two years, he had many surgeries and complications. So, I researched new doctors and moved to NJ for better medical care. It wasn't easy ... we were homeless until we found Interfaith Hospitality Network in Somerville. They connected us to the Y for child care so I could work. Putting him in the care of others made me nervous, but the Y staff quickly put me at ease. Tyshawn loves his teachers at the Y; they give him love and compassion. His progress has been amazing-- he's learning so much, gaining social skills and developing confidence. I am so thankful for the Y and the financial assistance it provides. It has drastically changed our lives by allowing me to work to support my son's medical needs and by helping Tyshawn to grow. The Y gives me hope that there is good in this world."

— Jasmine


“While I was in a shelter for abused women, the Y offered me financial assistance so I could become a member. I cried. For me, the Y was not just a place to work out, but a place to get my mental well-being back on track. Exercising, learning to eat healthier and getting positive reinforcement gave me energy and helped me cope. I gained the confidence and self-esteem I needed to go back to school and earned a 4.0! Words can’t express how great I feel. The Y saved my life.”

— Wendy, Member


"My wife, Marcia, was a 50-year-old Y fitness instructor when she was diagnosed with Early Onset Alzheimer's. When I told Marcia’s supervisor that I understood if they couldn't keep her on staff, he said they couldn't afford not to because the staff and members loved her and it would be inconsistent with the Y's mission not to support her. When she finally lost her ability to teach, the Y continued to open its doors and heart.  Staff drove Marcia to exercise class and assisted her in the fitness room. The Y gave Marcia a gift by allowing her to hold onto her passion for fitness and a sense of normalcy. It is truly a special organization that lives its mission of serving others."

— Mike, Member


"Swimming on the Y team since the age of 9 has helped me to believe in myself. I learned to set goals and to work as hard as I can to achieve them. The Y taught me responsibility for myself, respect for others and the importance of volunteerism. I was recently recognized by the National Girls & Women in Sports Association for excelling in sports, school and citizenship. I'm proud to say that, thanks to the Y, caring for people and my community has extended into all aspects of my life, in and out of the pool." 

— Brianna, Member


“Exercising at the Y keeps me strong. Three years ago, I was diagnosed with cancer, but 17 days after surgery I was back at the Y. My strength allowed the doctors to be aggressive with treatments, yet I never missed my fitness classes. I joined LIVESTRONG® to continue my recovery and it helped me physically, emotionally and mentally - what a gift. Then the Y gave my daughter an academic scholarship, relieving some of her school loan burden and allowing her to focus on studying. I thank the Y for its continuing commitment to families.”

— Bernadette, Member, Volunteer and LIVESTRONG® at the YMCA Participant



“Two weeks after I became unemployed, I heard about the Career Forum program. I attended weekly for the valuable information shared, networking opportunities and job search support. Importantly, I learned that the Y is so much more than just a place to exercise – that I could benefit from a free, volunteer-led program that helped me get back on my feet by staying mentally and physically healthy. I was so grateful that I became a volunteer myself and I donate to the Y’s Annual Campaign – after all, I landed a job thanks to the Y.”

— Jennifer


“Devastated…that is how I felt when I learned I had stage-3 breast cancer. Since my diagnosis 20 months ago, I have had several surgeries, chemotherapy and 37 rounds of radiation – all of which has taken a radical toll on my body. To battle the pain and fatigue, I turned to physical therapy but had marginal results. Recently, a fellow cancer patient recommended that I try LIVESTRONG® at the YMCA. This program is amazing – there is such support and camaraderie. When I joined I couldn’t lift my arms above my head, and just last week I not only put my hands over my head but I was able to clasp them behind my back! What a moment – we all cried. This program is better than any kind of therapy. I regained my mobility, I am stronger, I feel better about myself and I have reclaimed my sense of independence. It has transformed me.”

— Denice