YMCA Volunteers Impact Lives -- Including Their Own
Heart Surgery to Health
Linda Williams has been a regular, active member of our Active Older Adult group exercise classes since undergoing open heart surgery. But after years of enjoying her Y membership, she decided she wanted to do more and give back to the organization that has meant so much to her.
Linda found her place at the Y after open heart surgery 11 years ago. The surgery turned her life upside down – she retired from her job due to her health and felt her life looked pretty bleak. Once she was released by her doctor, Linda decided to make a commitment to her health and she joined the Y.
Finding fun and fitness, as well as belonging, in the Active Older Adult classes improved Linda’s overall health and wellbeing. Her doctors call her a model patient as she consistently attends group exercise class four days a week in addition to cardio workouts, but she wanted to do more.
Volunteering Made an Impact
Linda always had a passion for event planning, so she volunteered to help with decorations and serving at the annual Veteran’s Day Breakfast, that turned into serving as a volunteer event coordinator for our Breakfast with Santa. Volunteering at these events brought out Linda’s passion, benefiting our staff and members, as well as Linda’s happiness.
“Watching Linda light up as she stepped into a role as a dedicated event volunteer was powerful for me,” says Nikki Richards, member involvement director at the Witham Family Y. “I saw her happiness improve and her excitement for these events was contagious.”
Linda has continued to volunteer in many ways beyond events at the Y. She has joined the community campaign of the Witham Family YMCA Annual Campaign. Linda helped the Witham Family YMCA kick off their Triangle Society, by speaking at the kickoff breakfast. She has volunteered at annual campaign fundraisers including the Witham Family YMCA Summer Celebration and others.
When Linda saw that there was a need for a regular hospitality volunteer at the front desk, she jumped at the opportunity to serve four days a week greeting and encouraging members.
“I love hearing Linda encourage other older adult members and those who share their stories about committing to their health following heart surgery,” says Nikki. Having someone who has been there — recovering from heart surgery — there tell our members, ‘You can do it!’ is pretty special.”
Linda’s service to the Witham Family YMCA has made a significant impact for staff, for members and for Linda. If you want an opportunity to give back, like Linda does, check out Y volunteer opportunities today.