The YMCA Is a Place For Rebuilding and Community

My Y Story: The McCarron Family


The YMCA has been a big part of 6-year-old twins Elijah and Xavier McCarron. “It’s always been a special time when we come to the Y to run the track, shoot hoops and use the pool,” said their father, Robert (Bobby) McCarron, a single Dad raising his children alone. “The Y has been a great part of the kid’s social life.”

In the fall of 2015, the McCarron family’s life was turned upside down. Bobby and his sons moved to Nashua from Africa three years ago when Bobby’s wife passed away in a tragic accident when she was swept into the Zambezi River in Livingstone, Zambia. Robert, a Lowell native, brought the boys back to the United States, where he would have support from his family while raising his sons. Robert and his wife Maria lived in Livingstone, a city in Southern Province of Zambia, where he worked in the hospitality industry. In many ways Robert and the boys are building their life from scratch in Nashua. He left his home in Africa and a job he loved. When Bobby first moved to Nashua, he did not have a car, so he and the boys walked two miles to the YMCA. Slowly but surely, they are getting on their feet financially. But, the struggle has been difficult.

With help from the Y’s financial assistance program, Robert has been able to afford childcare so he can work and his sons can be in a safe, caring, and nurturing environment. “The Merrimack Y teachers are amazing. This summer the boys have become very close with the counselors at the sports camp at the new Westwood Park YMCA. I drop them at the Nashua YMCA in the morning, they take the Y bus over to sports camp, and then I pick them up back here at the Nashua Y after work. It’s been so helpful. We loved participating in International Night, when you served food from different countries. We came in African attire. I want to honor our ties to Africa,” he said. Bobby founded and runs the Coach in Zambia Foundation, a nonprofit organization that focuses on using sports as a catalyst to mentor youths. Additionally, he was a FIBA (The International Basketball Federation) certified basketball coach and Assistant Men’s National Basketball Coach for Zambia. Bobby loves that his boys are active in Y sports. It’s a great part of their family life.

Bobby sent this note to the Y: “I just wanted to thank you both and the YMCA in general for the fun the boys have been having this summer, especially the Bruins event yesterday. The boys came home so excited with lots of smiles stories and happiness that filled the house. Seeing them that happy is what I live for. A real Bruins camp is something I definitely can’t afford on my own and the fact that the boys got to experience something like that has deep meaning to me. The depth of my appreciation can’t be expressed properly. Just know that their smiles this summer mean a lot to me and both of you and the YMCA have a major part in that. Thank you.”

Robert, thank you and Elijah and Xavier for being a part of our Y family.

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