Challenging yourself. Taking a new exercise class. Running that extra mile. Stepping out of your comfort zone. Overcoming your fears. It’s always better—and more fun— with friends. By creating a community where all people can connect, the Y fosters friendships through shared interests, challenges, and goals. In 1935, the United States Congress proclaimed the first Sunday in August National Friendship Day to honor the beautiful role friendship plays in our community -- and two Y members couldn’t agree more.
Betty and Paulette found connection through the Indian River Family YMCA’s Active Older Adults program and water fitness classes, despite their diverse backgrounds. Originally from Fayetteville, North Carolina, Betty, age 83, joined the Y to participate in water fitness classes. Paulette, a 68-year-old from the Bronx, New York, joined the Y following surgery and also attended water fitness classes to aid in her rehabilitation. Betty is Caucasian; Paulette is African-American. Betty is from the South; Paulette is from the North. They found common ground in the pool, overlooking their differences to form a beautiful friendship. “We both need it in our lives because that’s what keeps us going,” Paulette says. “Going to the Y, having somewhere to go, and having something to do. And you meet just great people.” Betty agrees. “I got in the pool and met my sweet friend,” she says. Now, Betty and Paulette spend time together outside of the Y shopping, singing in their church choir, and giving back to their community.
This month, bring a friend or make a friend at the Y and see for yourself why it’s better together.
Check out Betty and Paulette’s full story, and learn how you can support the ways in which the Y enriches lives through friendship and community.