Volunteer Spotlight: October 2018

Volunteer Spotlight: Brian Lee's Story

Brian Lee, Volunteer SpotlightBRIAN LEE: NASHUA YMCA WELLNESS CENTER VOLUNTEER

I have been volunteering at the Nashua YMCA most recently, since February 2017 in the wellness center.

Why do I volunteer? Great question!

I volunteer my time to make a small difference in my community! I believe that if everyone makes a small difference volunteering in their community, all these small differences make a big impact.

In today’s world of tumultuous news events, drug addictions and conflicting opinions on what’s right and wrong in our society, we need to pull together as a human population and be strong and support one another! There is so much conflict nowadays in the world, in our government and in our society in general. We need to be role models for our children.

One of the best ways to do that is to be a selfless volunteer!

It doesn’t matter how you do it, as long as you are able to give back to the community and society. As I mentioned, the small differences make a big impact if everyone gives a little bit.

I have been involved in the YMCA in one way or another since my late teens. I used to belong to the Fall River, Massachusetts YMCA as a member back when I was in college. Shortly after, I worked at the fall river YMCA part time while I was earning my bachelors degree. It was at that time, that I started feeling a sense of community and what it means to be part of something larger. While working there, I had made some great friends and felt like I was helping the community and accomplishing something. You see, I used to be so focused on where I was going and what kind of direction my future held for me. I worked hard in high school and college to chase my dreams. But then I realized it wasn’t all about me. Sure, I wanted to be successful, but in order to be successful, you need-not always be self-focused; something that I hope everyone is able to eventually see in their lifetime. It’s not about you particularly, it’s about what you’ve done for society. It’s not what society thinks about you and what you have accomplished, but about what you can give back to the community. In the end, that is what matters. That’s what you will be remembered for.

Later on in life and after my kids were born, the YMCA again was a big part of my life. My kids were able to benefit from the variousYMCA programs, Including Leaders club, basketball, swimming, and the various children and team activities that are always going on. One of the wonderful programs that my kids were involved with is the Leaders Club. This was a huge confidence booster and allowed them to really come out of their shell to become fine and accomplished young adults. My oldest son had graduated # 10 in his class from Nashua High North in 2017 and I attribute a lot of that with leadership skills that he learned while in Leaders Club at the Nashua YMCA. My younger son is also very accomplished with being very involved in fitness and utilizing the YMCA fitness and wellness facility, as well as the pool. He just qualified for the State Finals on the Nashua High School North swim team while only in 10th grade and is in his first year ever swimming on a team level. I associate that with the fact that he is able to stay in shape and utilize all the YMCA offers.

I mention about my family being involved with the YMCA because the YMCA has given so much to us. It is only a natural instinct to give back to the YMCA in whatever ways and means we can. Monetarily we are more than happy to give to the YMCA to support all of their wonderful community programs, but I think just as important, volunteering is the ultimate way of helping the community in general. It is satisfying to make such great friendships with staff members, management and other fellow volunteers! The Nashua YMCA has a great working team and volunteering behind the desk at the wellness center gives me a great sense of learning who our local neighbors are. I have made some great friends over the course of several years being involved in the YMCA as both a member and volunteer.

I also volunteered back in 2010 for a time, while my family was actively involved in YMCA programs. My wife Tiffany, also volunteered in the Kids Stop children center for over eight years! She has always had a big heart and I had wanted to also give back to the community. She had done so already in the past with volunteering for the NYSL Nashua Cobras soccer team. She was team manager and volunteer for that position for over 10 years! By volunteering at the Y she also wanted to be involved in the community, get to know her neighbors and make new friends! She was able to meet a lot of great people and still have and maintain many friendships made from volunteering at the YMCA to this day! There are so many friendly faces here and we are glad to be part of that!

Lastly, and this is more on a personal level, which I normally don’t share, dealing with me particularly volunteering, and why I chose to do so.

About a year and a half ago I came across a medical issue that took me away from my means of livelihood and my job that I’ve been doing for over 25 years.. I had so much time on my hands and I was home most days pacing the floors wondering what to do! I was not socializing and not working. I was also told by my doctors that I could not go for walks outside in the winter cold months and I had to limit my activity. Then one day it occurred to me that I needed to get out of the house and start associating again with people. I knew that I was starting to go through a depressing stage with being practically housebound every day and not having much social activity. I was also getting out of shape, conversely, from a former, very physically active lifestyle. I knew I had to stay active and fit, and per Dr.‘s orders, on a limited basis. It occurred to me that the best way to do this was to go to the YMCA! I could stay active and also socialize with fellow neighbors and friends there.

I decided to volunteer!

It allowed me to give to my community and also give me a sense of hope, accomplishment and gave me a general well-being feeling. I was staying active, socializing, making great friends and gave me a sense of selflessness. While working in the wellness center I was able to help others that maybe, we’re not as active, but were looking to do so. I was also helping people that were looking to learn a new fitness routine or even just learn one or two new machines that they had never used before.

With all the benefits of the YMCA, both giving and receiving has been a wonderful experience. The Y is helping me and I am helping the YMCA.

I wouldn’t have it any other way!

 

To find out how to get involved at the Y, visit www.nmymca.org/volunteer!

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