Found My Y: Finding Inspiration in our Staff, Members, and Volunteers

Last updated: February 11, 2022, at 9:31 a.m. PT

Originally published: February 11, 2022, at 9:20 a.m. PT

meals volunteer

By. Judy Smith 

Around the Y, we often say we’re so much more than a gym, as a catch-all phrase to describe what happens here. Through my many years at the Y, the vast range of work we do never ceases to amaze me. I continue to be inspired by Y leaders and team members who give their heart, energy, and passions every day through the delivery of programs, services, and community impact. Together we’ve helped thousands through our work and the results are helping our community become healthier and stronger.  

Found My Y InfographicTo ensure our services are available and affordable for all, we also fundraise to create financial assistance and lower barriers to access for all. Our Annual Fund Drive, now in full swing, is one way we highlight our work, walk with community to meet needs, and invite others to join us with a gift of support. Y staff and volunteer leaders have helped kick off the effort with personal donations to help bring our programs, such as youth education, housing, family support, and access to the outdoors to more in our communities. To date, nearly 250 Y staff and volunteer leaders have contributed, and now we invite you to help continue the momentum! 

We also have magical beings who give of their time and talents because they believe in the work, yes volunteers! During my time with the Y, I have learned more about the world and had the most enriching experiences through the opportunity to partner along with volunteers to serve others.   

Whether leading a class, serving on a board or working alongside as a campaigner, volunteers make our Ys complete and are the power that fuels our programs. So far, just this February more than 250 people have volunteered with the Y to help others. What an amazing thing to be a part of. You know what they say, “Teamwork makes the Dreamwork!”  

Learn more about how you can help as a volunteer or by donating to make a positive impacts on community.  

Judy Smith is the Associate Vice President for Community Giving at the YMCA of Greater Seattle. 

Found My Y is an occasional series of reported stories and personal essays from the people in and around the Y who weave the fabric of our communities. From sharing fun anecdotes of levity to the grand moments when we learn something bigger about ourselves, stories are our history and a gift. Have a story to share, or want to nominate someone for our next installment, e-mail us at with the subject line "Found My Y."