YMCA Volunteering

First Friday Message

"HELP Wanted"

Despite the cyclical nature to YMCA work, I’ve never regarded it as monotonous. At this time of year, we’re working hard to help the “resolutioners” from January and February stay motivated while we’re deep in preparations for a fun summer with the kiddos. But behind the scenes, this is the time of year when we’re also working hard to identify volunteer leadership for our Ys.

In at least two prior First Friday messages, I’ve celebrated the work of our sports coaches and if you’re in and around our buildings when these programs occur, you can probably agree that this is a story that can be told multiple times per year. But this month, I want to quickly highlight the advisory and governing board members that also make Ys so unique.

Many moons ago, I had moved to a new community to lead a Y and didn’t know a ton of people, but I was challenged to rebuild an advisory board for this Y. I knew that the members loved the Y and many were in the position to give back personally and professionally. With that in mind, and always willing to try something new, I put up “Help Wanted” signs throughout the building. The flyers talked about the benefits of volunteering, listed the great pay (i.e. $0), and why their Y needed help.

The response was AMAZING. Members who had walked those halls for years had seldom been asked to give of their TIME and TALENT. From that simple flyer, we recruited board volunteers who continue to be involved in the governance of that Y to this day.

Over my many years in the Y, advisory and governing volunteers have been a godsend in my life personally and professionally. I have been inspired by their commitment and generosity and in every state where I’ve worked, those volunteers – my friends – continue to be an inspiration to me.

So, here’s the pitch (you knew it was coming, right?!):

Our Y, like Y’s across the country, remains focused on how we can better serve our community. Specifically, we want to greatly increase our service to teens, provide access to safety around water, and create YMCA experiences for those who otherwise would not be able to afford a Y experience.

Your Y is always looking for people who want to help us help others. If you are interested in serving or if you have served here in years or decades past and had a transformational story you’d like to relive, I’d love to have a chat with you.

Until next time…

Kevin Bolding, President & CEO
YMCA of Central Florida

The Y. For a better us.®

First Friday messages offer a monthly peak behind the veil of leading through change from the Y’s President & CEO.