Sunday, July 14, 2024

Summer fun and community spirit at Hood County YMCA

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Karissa Sorrells, Hood County YMCA's director of wellness and sports, recently shared insights about upcoming celebrations. "We have two exciting events coming up. 'Father of the Year' on Saturday, June 13, the weekend before Father’s Day, is especially exciting because Father’s Day originated within the YMCA," says Sorrells. "We are grateful to be able to celebrate dads that truly go above and beyond for not only their family but their community as well," she said, "Our second event is July 26 at the Cleburne Railroaders stadium where The Y is the spotlight for the night, and one of your very own Hood County YMCA leaders will be throwing the first pitch! We have been given a special link to use when ordering tickets that will benefit our local branch to put back into our community!"

Located at 1475 James Road, Granbury, the YMCA continues to be a pillar of support and engagement for residents of all ages. The YMCA's longstanding mission " … pours out of our walls and into the community every day, from staff volunteering for community events and service clubs to our members sharing the stories of their experience at The Y with others to advocate for all we do to serve," says Sorrells.

"Nothing is ever going to be the same as it was before COVID-19 for any establishment," Sorrells says, "However, we continue to be conscious of sanitization of equipment and our facility, and we continue to see membership and program participation grow towards the pre-covid numbers."

The Hood County YMCA offers various regular programs and services, including personal training, swim lessons, youth sports, disease management, nutrition and childcare. These programs cater to individuals of all ages, promoting physical health and overall well-being. As a nonprofit organization, the YMCA recognizes how important it is to collaborate and support other nonprofits in our community to assist those in need. Partners like United Way and Mission Granbury are just a couple of organizations the YMCA works with in this effort.

“During the summer, the YMCA runs the popular Summer Day Camp. Available as full-day (8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.) and half-day options, each week features fun themes such as ‘Culinary Kids,’ ‘Artful Antics’ and ‘Animal Explorers,’ to name a few," Sorrells says. Full-day campers enjoy snacks, lunch and swimming in the outdoor pool daily. "We are always trying new and exciting programs to serve the needs of our community," Sorrells says, adding, "Currently, we are trying to build our youth pickleball program with upcoming clinics and leagues!"

Beyond fitness and recreational activities, the YMCA aims to build bridges in the community through initiatives like support groups for mothers, which discuss and work through real-life challenges that come with parenthood. Potlucks for seniors aim to foster social connections, battle social isolation, and encourage a healthy lifestyle, both mentally and physically.

Numerous members have benefited from the YMCA's programs. Sorrells explains how L. Beekman praised the power personal training has had on her physical and mental health. Countless other members have benefited from the aqua aerobic sessions and other group classes as well. Beyond physical health, these opportunities give participants a sense of belonging and community regardless of age. Sorrells says, " … even our youth sports have grown by leaps and bounds. Group exercise classes and youth sports also provide a sense of community and enhance social skills. Sorrells acknowledges that by the end of an eight-week sports season, even the social skills of the youth have grown by leaps and bounds.

The YMCA is dedicated to making its programs accessible to all. The Open Doors program offers significant discounts on memberships and programs to community members who receive benefits like SNAP or food stamps. Eligible applicants can receive 50% off memberships and 25-50% off programs such as camp, sports and swim lessons. People who are interested in joining but find themselves in financial difficulties may also receive assistance based on their income.

  Collaboration with other nonprofits is a cornerstone of the YMCA's strategy. For example, partnering with the United Way and Mission Granbury supports community well-being. Programs are generally open to individuals of all ages. Their mission is a big task and volunteers are sought and appreciated.

Sorrells says, "We are always looking for volunteers to help at events and on our advisory board for those who want to make an even bigger impact. Volunteers can contact any one of our directors about specific opportunities." The membership services team is comprised of dedicated individuals eager to share information on the programs and special events offered. Anyone interested can stop by anytime for a tour of the facility, register in person, or visit the website at ymcafw.org and social media pages for all program information.

For more information, visit: Hood County YMCA - YMCA of Fort Worth (ymcafw.org)