SOUTH SHORE YMCA

Member Stories

Every day, men, women, children and families from all walks of life come together as part of the South Shore YMCA community, striving to become their better selves — spirit, mind and body.

Share your YMCA story with us!

Share Your Story

Cathylee Melchin

I struggle with my weight constantly and I’ve tried gym after gym with no success…every gym I’ve ever been to has cost more than I can afford, and everyone has been so judgmental. The YMCA has offered me a TRULY non-judgmental place to work out and because they have helped me with financial aid, I actually go now and have been able to lose weight, become healthier and feel better about myself. The staff here is wonderful.


Lisa Looney

My son was in a motorcycle accident leaving him paralyzed. He was always in the gym and took care of his body. The partnership program gave him the ability to continue doing something that he enjoyed. As I have to drive him it has pushed me to work with a wonderful trainer two times a week.

The Y has given us hope and lifelong friends!

Scott Palmer

After dropping out of high school at 16, I could have drifted into the darkness, and who knows what would have been my course in life. Instead, I wandered into the Y. I was immediately hooked on this feeling I got from working out. A year later, I competed in my first bodybuilding show, representing the Y. Here I am, 43 years old, still doing the same thing with as much passion as I did when I was that 16-year-old little kid. Looking forward to the next 30 years.


Mary Ferson

I am 84 years old and have been swimming at the Y for 33 years at 6am before heading for work. I’m retired and continued that routine for 15 years. I’ve been having chemo recently and the MD’s are amazed at how strong all my vitals are and what a strong constitution I have. They all attribute it to my exercise routine.

Thanks, Quincy Y. I think you may have saved my life.

Jeffrey Barker

We’re just an ordinary family: Most of the time we’re busy with school, work and a host of activities. Slowly, we realized that regular exercise was largely neglected in our lives. We didn’t know what to do. Earlier this year we joined the Y because the variety of programs provided each of us opportunities to nurture our personal health and well-being in ways each of us would enjoy. My wife and daughters enjoyed their Yoga and Zumba. Swimming became my top choice as I trained for and completed several triathlon sprints. We’re just an ordinary family, but the Y makes us feel like champions. They encourage us to make healthy choices each day. Over these months we’ve learned that healthy living is a series of small choices made each day. Joining the Y family increases the probability that those small, daily choices are good for each of us.


Amy Farrell

Our family joined the Y after hearing great things about how the whole family could play. Our twin girls have had some medical issues, and at first, we were hesitant that others wouldn’t understand. We have found the childcare staff to not only be completely amazing but have taken the time to really “get” our children. This has re-opened Mom and Dad’s life, to be healthy, both physically and mentally! A good workout is worth all the gold in the world. Dad is finally able to get back into the pool and swim, and Mom has lost over 100 pounds!

Thank you to the Y for helping us to be the healthiest family we can be!

Sandy Pierson

The day after I got a cancer diagnosis and surgery date, I came to the YMCA and found a cancer display in the lobby. I took information about the Cancer Support Community. I contacted them and received a free relaxation CD. I played it before and right up to the surgery. I was very anxious and it calmed me down. The support I got from the YMCA for my cancer surgery was a life-saver. I am grateful to the YMCA for the gifts of good health and camaraderie it has provided me.

The YMCA is one-stop shopping for wellness and fitness in body and mind. Thank you!

Jordan Alexandra

The Y has given me the confidence to see I’m much more than I give myself credit for. I wake up every morning eager to take care of my body and mind. My program has helped me defeat asthma and manage my anxiety. After ten years of insomnia, I can finally sleep again.


Bobbi Kalb

Neither rain nor storm or dark of night can prevent me from traveling 45 minutes each way, every day, to take my Senior Arthritis classes. Being a friendly, enthusiastic person, I sought out the same population for myself over 6 years ago. Through Arthritis Swims I have met and become friends with a large group of diverse and interesting people with a similar mind of keeping active and busy to help our bodies remain active and healthy.

From the minute you step in to Hanover, and those sliding doors part, I feel happy and welcomed by the smiles and greetings from behind the counter.

Family of Naveen

Naveen loves to swim, play tennis, participate in theatre, play basketball and enjoys the Friday bouncy house activities. Andal, Naveen’s mom, appreciates the exceptional early childhood education he has received through the South Shore Natural Science Center’s Nature preschool and Laura’s Center for the Arts. As a family, they are constantly learning how the YMCA enriches the community through its outreach, and the numerous ways to get healthier while socializing and connecting with other families. Andal shared that they have just seen and experienced the tip of the iceberg and know it’s a place of that evolves with you throughout life.


Alex McFarland

My swimming life was majorly impacted by the YMCA. For the past 8 years, I had been swimming every summer in classes with little improvement. But, when I joind the Y for a 3-season session, that changed. My strokes, attitude and overall performance in swimming doubled! Thank you, YMCA staff!


Alice

As one of three children with a single mother, I have seen firsthand what it is like to struggle. I know that camp would not have been a possibility for my siblings and me if it weren’t for the generosity of others.


Anonymous

At camp, everyone is a family. It’s like you’ve known each other your whole life. I want to be a CIT so I can pass on this great experience to younger kids.


Steve’s Family

Steve has been multi-handicapped from birth, but also, unbelievably, a few years ago he suffered a stroke. With continued exercise and activity becoming the most vital key for Steve to retain as much mobility as he possibly can, being at the Y has made the difference! Now, Steve does not have another major disability in his life to overcome! Thank you so much for your help with this newest lifelong challenge he must face. But most of all, thank you for your support of Steve’s life.


BK – South Shore Strypers Swim Team Member

What swimming has done for me is teach me dedication, teamwork, and the confidence it takes to go for it and leave no regrets behind.

The YMCA gave me the opportunity to push myself every day and chase my goals.

Nicole, LIVESTRONG Participant

When I was four I received a life-threatening diagnosis. As a childhood cancer survivor, I have spent my entire life fighting to stay alive. Although my cancer is gone…I have been struggling for as long as I can remember to improve my quality of life. Since joining the Y through the Livestrong Program I am beyond grateful to say that my life has changed. This program and Y have had such an amazing effect on my life, through bonding with other survivors, finding physical strength I never thought I had, and just being able to put my disease on the side lines for a while. Thank you to the Y, Livestrong, my fellow cancer survivors and our fearless physical trainer as she showed us all to BE STRONG.


Matt, SSYMCA Member and Partnership Program Participant

The Partnership Program was introduced to me two years ago as I was looking for somewhere to continue my PT. When it comes to dealing with persons in wheelchairs, there is only so much PT that we are granted. What’s unique about this Y and the Partnership Program is that we can continue physical training forever. The key is ‘getting better’. A lot of the equipment that we use in Physical Therapy is allotted here in the Partnership Program. I am so appreciative of it.

By working through the Partnership Program, it has allowed me to stand and walk again.

Jamie Casella, YMCA Before/Afterschool Parent

When we first started at the Y, I was a voucher pay. The staff that dealt with vouchers were always so helpful. A few years later, I transitioned from a voucher pay to a private pay. This was a scary time for me, but the staff were so patient and understanding with my situation that the transition went better than I could have hoped. My youngest, now in the fourth grade, continues to attend Before & After Care and summer camp every year. He loves it so much, he gets upset when he can’t make it. I refer to my experience as a partnership. I did so, because it truly is. The staff have known me and my children for 12 years and counting! They have helped me shape my children into the spectacular people that they are today. My daughter is now graduating from high school and my son is off seeing the world as a member of the US Navy. I am thankful for all the help and support that all the staff at the YMCA… such a wonderful program with a great bunch of people.


Lindsey, Mom of Noah

We recently started our summertime adventure with Camp Gordon Clark. My son Noah is on the spectrum and has been diagnosed with high functioning ASD with ADHD and sensory issues. I am a single mother who needs to work full time, year-round. So that means my son has to go to a summer camp for over 8 hours a day, so I can work. I did a lot of research and found Camp Gordon Clark…an INCLUSION camp! They understand and get that each kid is different in their own special way!! From day one he was embraced by everyone. He was thrilled to make so many new friends. Camp Gordon Clark completely changed our summer for the best. Thank you everyone, from the bottom of my heart!


Anonymous

Ben is a participant of Building Bridges, a social skills program targeted for children on the Autism spectrum. Ben’s parents say that Building Bridges has truly opened up possibilities for him, and they have seen him grow in ways that they never expected. At Building Bridges, Ben loves answering the Question of the Day and doing yoga! He is more social and outgoing with others and engages in conversations in meaningful ways.


Anonymous

Alice is a beautiful, smart 12-year-old girl who always has a look of uncertainty and struggles with anger and anxiety. Her father is in jail and her mother suffers from PTSD. She joined the South Shore YMCA Reach & Rise group mentoring program for kids affected by trauma. She never talked about the sessions, but always looked forward to going, racing to get her homework done so she could participate. Just before the program ended Alice and her mom began participating in regular mental health sessions with a therapist, a turn the mom contributes to the help Alice received from the Y’s Reach & Rise™ program.


Anonymous

Our Food Pantry and Holiday Drives allow the South Shore YMCA to bring meals to homeless shelters, serve Thanksgiving, Christmas, and other holiday meals, and support hundreds in need of healthy food. The Y provides membership assistance to families in need to make the Y accessible to all. Did you know there are homeless families living in shelters in your area? The Y reaches out and helps them belong, grow and thrive.


Joe, Volunteer & Member

I like to give back through volunteering, but never really understood how much until I started volunteering at the South Shore YMCA’s Farm in Hanover. I love the exercise and the sunshine, but mostly I love knowing that the work I do is producing great results for the community, that the foods raised here will help people who truly need it most.


Christy, Camper

Because of camp, and my Burgess-Hayward family, I am now unapologetically myself. I am positive and extremely self-aware; I know my strengths; I try, each and every day, to be kinder and more thoughtful; I believe in myself and in achieving my dreams; I’m confident enough to say I have dreams; I work to better myself and to do what makes me happy; I am confident, motivated, empowered.


Anonymous

Membership at the Y has helped our family immensely. As the mother of a toddler, having a safe place to go where I know my daughter will be well-cared for while I work out or catch up on work in the cafe has given me peace of mind and a much-needed break during the day. The Y has also allowed us to meet other families and has given us a safe place to play during the long winters. We appreciate the safe, clean environment and the quality of the staff.


Nicole and Wes Pitre

We love the Y because we feel like we always have someone to play a pick-up soccer game with in the field house or have a friend to work out with. Our son loves the playroom because the staff really knows him and helps to foster positive relationships with other children. He begs to go to the playroom every day and it’s sometimes hard to convince him to leave when we pick him up! We never have a worry when we are taking a class or working out because we know our son is in a safe and nurturing environment.

We are thankful for the amazing staff at the Y!

Danielle Bello

My boyfriend and I first joined the Y in Quincy when I was about four months pregnant. I really wanted to make sure I stayed in good shape to prepare for childbirth and of course for raising a little one. I was really excited about the variety of activities available to me at this facility–I chose mainly swimming while pregnant, but was able to take classes and do cardio, or even just walk the track if I wasn’t feeling up to much else.

After having my daughter, the Y became a second home. There were mom and baby classes, and of course the playroom/daycare which changed my stay at home mom life–a couple of hours to myself to workout, use the steam room, or even just sit and take a breath was priceless to a new mom. The staff helped ease the stress of leaving my young girl, and she’s grown to love her time alone with them and her new pals. We’ve made friends, we have lunch with other moms and dads and their kids. My boyfriend and daughter and I often come together and use the pool, play basketball, or go to open play tot gym.

I got healthy while pregnant at the Y, my daughter took her first swim at the Y, I lost 15 lbs of baby weight at the Y. I used to belong to gyms, now I belong to a community. I truly am my best self because of the Quincy YMCA.


Alison Bryan

Thank you so much for allowing me the opportunity to let you know how much the Y means to me. I joined the Y about three and a half years ago and it has made me a better person! I originally joined the Y as a very lazy and tired mother of 2 young children just looking for a break from the demands of motherhood for two hours while my kids were in the playroom. I started to take a couple of fitness classes and pretty soon, wasn’t feeling so lazy! Over the past three and a half years, I have developed a nice routine of working out a few days a week while my children are in the playroom and sometimes even when they’re at school! I have never felt better or stronger in my life and I owe it to the Y!

There are several factors that have created a family-like environment for me at the Y. It starts as we walk in with the amazing front desk staff that greet us, by name, and with a smile! They are so helpful and engage my children in conversation and genuinely care about us. I have used the playroom since joining the Y and the caring, attentive, skilled staff that care for my children are like no other! They have helped me when my children have protested going into the playroom, struggling with some separation anxiety, while I work out. They have truly learned who my children are and what they each need to enjoy themselves while they are there. My children have made many new friends in the playroom and the staff has always been so good to all of us! They have gone above and beyond what I would expect of them. I have never had anything but positive interactions with all of them! I trust them whole-heartedly with my little darlings. I know the care that my children get when they are in there is top-notch.

I have gone from classes, to independent workouts, to physical therapy and to working with a trainer and all the experiences have been exceptional! To have Spaulding Rehab accessible from the Y, which also allows me to physically recover from injuries while my children are being provided with outstanding childcare, is so convenient. If I had to carve time out for myself to do this during the small pockets of free time that I have, I maybe wouldn’t have made it a priority. The instructors and trainers who work at the Y are knowledgeable and motivating I have gotten to know several of them on a person basis and even some of their children who have also spent time volunteering or taking classes at the Y. They have checked in on me regarding an injury I sustained last year and about different difficult life experiences that they have known I have been going through. They are amazing trainers, but more importantly, are compassionate individuals who truly care about the members with whom they interact! ! I feel as though I’ve joined a community that has nourished my body and my spirit.

I travel about a half hour to get to the Y. Next year, my youngest goes to kindergarten and I had thought about switching to a gym that was closer to my house since I no longer would need the outstanding childcare that I’ve received while being at the Y. There is no way I am going anywhere! The community that I have built at the Y is irreplaceable and absolutely worth the drive! When I look back to the woman I was three and a half years ago and then see the woman I am today, I know that the Y has been a big part of getting me closer to a better me! I am physically in WAY better shape, I have a sense offing part of a family from the moment I walk through the door and my children have a calmer, more patient mother as a result of my taking care of myself and physically getting some of the stress associated with parenthood out at the Y!

Thank you so much to everyone who has helped shape my experience at the Y. I am truly and eternally grateful for the healthier lifestyle I have as a result!

Beth Steward

The South Shore Y has meant the world to my family. My oldest son was about a year old when we first signed up for a music class. Because of that class I learned about Tot gym and started going. At that time, we had very few local people in our lives- having moved from Canada to Quincy just a couple years before. We met so many people, similar age and situation as us, who now are like family. Our neighbors became good friends. We got to know the staff and started using the playroom on a regular basis. While I was pregnant with my 2nd baby my husband was traveling a lot for work- there would be days that I just needed a break and I’d put my oldest in the playroom where he’d have a great time, and I would sit in the lobby with a tea and my feet up and catch up with friends. My kids walk through the halls and get high fives and hugs every time they walk in! I get tied up chatting in the hallway with the friends I’ve made since joining. My kids when given the choice pick the playroom over staying home when I want to go to a workout class.

I am currently in the best shape of my adult life and none of it would be possible if it weren’t for the programs and amazing staff at the Y!