Help Us Help Others

Help Us Help Others
Chaplaincy Clark County

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Tis the Season

Good morning,
I pray the day is finding you well.

‘Tis the season.

I often wonder about this term. Why in the world would we have a season for giving? Why not give all year long?

But alas, ‘tis the season.

As usual in our YMCA, it starts with a conversation. Someone, somewhere, comes into relationship with one of our family and because our family cares about people, a conversation ensues.

Many times, it is face to face.

Sometimes it is an email.

Hi Eddie,

I received a call from L___ L_____ (a member) asking if we could provide a temporary membership for a family she’s helping through sharehouse. It’s a single mom and 3 kids (14,8,5); the father was killed in a car accident last year. They had been living in her car until recently, they are now in temporary housing. Could we perhaps find a way to provide a month’s membership for Lynn to include in their Christmas?

Thanks!

Sarah Greene
Membership Services Supervisor

Clark County Family YMCA
11324 NE 51st Circle
Vancouver, WA 98682

So, the conversation starts.

From: White, Eddie
Sent: Wednesday, December 19, 2012 7:24 AM
To: Greene, Sarah
Subject: RE: Sharehouse request for temporary membership

I don’t have an issue with this we just need to make sure we capture the story.

Thanks,

Eddie White
Executive Director

Clark County Family YMCA
11324 NE 51st Circle
Vancouver, WA 98682

As you can probably guess, I am the “Story capturer.”

Of course Eddie did not have an issue with helping a family in need, he is Eddie of course. A man who loves Christ, and through his love has grown to be a person who loves others.

But why do we do these things? Things that do not help our bottom line or that seemingly have no benefit to us?

We are the “Y”, that’s why.

One of the things that one quickly realizes when one studies the history of the YMCA is that we (the YMCA) are not in competition with anybody.

One of the things that one quickly realizes when one studies the history of the YMCA is that we (the YMCA) do not compete, we fill niche voids.

There is only one reason that we started having pools in our “Y’s”. It was because kids were drowning in rivers, ponds, and lakes. There was a void that needed filling. Kids needed to learn how to swim so they would not die in rivers, ponds, and lakes.

There is only one reason that we started having gyms in our “Y’s”. Positive activities during people’s “free” time was needed.

There is only one reason that we started housing people. As social institutes started having problems in this area, the YMCA was there to fill the void.

There is only one reason the “Y” has childcare. It is because there was a void, and we are doing our best to fill it.

Most people have no idea what it is that we really do.

I do know who does know though.

One of our staff’s husband works for a big box gym. He was at a meeting in which a suit came in from corporate. This is what the suit said, “We are about profits, people. We are about ROI. We are about the bottom line. If you care about people, go to work for the YMCA.”

I could not have said it better myself.

We care about people.

We care about you.

We do not compete.

We fill niche voids.

This family had a series of horrific things happen to them, something that we seem to be inundated with lately, horrific things happening to people.

They had a void that needed filling.

I thank God that we were able to fill this void.

‘Tis the season.

For us in the YMCA our season lasts for more than a month or two.

We measure our season in years.

When I think of Christ, I think that He measures seasons in years too; actually He measures seasons in eternal measurements.

Can we extend our season too?

Blessings,

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