I want to thank everyone for their support of Welcoming Week. I am so proud of “us”. I heard and saw countless, staff, members, and volunteers communicate their pride of the Y being a welcoming place “for all.”
Some successes of Welcoming Week included:
2 television interviews to advocate for more connected communities featuring our Y.
275 t-shirts sold to Y staff and members. Consider that a pledge of support for the message.
5 Member Interviews posted to Facebook to help our community understand the many faces and stories of immigration.
Hundreds of “I am a Welcomer” activity sheets completed to help individuals self-examine why it is important to them.
We really won’t know the successes of the week until we watch our community and individuals grow for decades ahead. But you never know the power of simple interactions and encouragement in life.
I found a lot of satisfaction interviewing a member named “Apollo”. I met him in 2002 when I arrived in Waukee as a Program Director. I was the basketball coach for two of his boys, Josh and Nelson when they were pre-K and I was just 24 and new to this mission. While I’ve known him for 16 years, I really didn’t realize the support he has received and credit he gives to the Y and the environment he found. I’d encourage you to listen to his story here, and continue to realize you are making a difference each day with those you encounter. The question is, what kind of difference will you make?