Irving & Amelia, Lynn YMCA & St. Teresa’s House
Made possible by Wells Fargo
Once a month for the past several years, students from the Lynn Y’s Youth Center and Out-Of-School programs walk a few blocks down the road to St. Theresa’s House, an apartment complex with assisted care to seniors and the disabled, to spend a quality couple of hours playing games, sharing stories and enjoying snacks with a group of regulars. It has proved to be a great way to bridge these two generations within our community and an experience that both groups look forward to, whether young or old.
One particularly shy student, Amelia, who was a bit out of her comfort zone at the St. Theresa’s visit had a change of heart after getting to know Irving. After breaking through her initial nerves, they opened up to one another discovering they were born in the same month. When he mentioned the exact day, she smiled with disbelief and responded, “What? That’s my birthday too!” As they got to talking, they realized they had more in common than they thought and suddenly Amelia felt like she could let go of any inhibitions she had when she arrived. Though small and simple, it was a special interaction for both of them and one that Amelia wasn’t going to forget anytime soon.
Upon returning to the YMCA, Amelia decided that with their birthdays coming up, she wanted to do something special for Irving and find her own way to give back. She knew that she would be celebrating at home with family and close friends, and realized he likely would not have the same opportunity to be around loved ones on his special day. Instead of making this day all about her, she wanted to recognize and appreciate him instead, and she made sure he had a cake on his birthday.
For someone who tends to struggles with establishing relationships –and especially being at an age that tends to not see beyond their own wants and needs– this was a big step for Amelia. Additionally, it reinforces just how valuable the YMCA and their community partnerships are to developing socially responsible, caring individuals.
As an anchor in the community for 148 years, the Lynn Y has been providing youth development services for its entire history. Today, children ages 3-18 can participate in the Y Academy- a licensed early learning and out of school time program- as well as a drop in Youth Center. This busy YMCA serves as many as 700 youth a day in high quality programs focused on youth development, healthy living, and social responsibility. Over 95% of youth in our programs require financial assistance in order to participate. These programs and access funds would not be possible without the support of funders like Wells Fargo.
Thank you Wells Fargo for your support, and for making moments like Amelia and Irving’s special birthday possible!