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Steve Smith

Steve Smith


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Jennifer Dickey

Membership Director

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August 15, 2016 @ 12:00am

Two young boys staining a picnic table

Happy August.  Summer, love it.

Are you like me on Facebook?  I breeze through my friends posts to see what they are doing and get quick updates on their families.  There are always a ton of videos that I don’t have time to watch so I skip them out of habit.

For some reason last night I watched this video Middle School Football Team Play Video.  Take a few minutes, I can wait.  Wow, right?

There are so many aspects of this story that inspire me.  First, the kids did this all by themselves.  Did you hear the adults get upset that their child stopped at the 1 yard line.  So like us, winner take all.  Second, the impact that they decided to have on someone else life.  They knew what a difference it was going to make.  They planned it, executed it, and most of all, they were humble about their actions.  But the most important lesson was at the very end, the young man who was in tears about his actions.  How many times do we see people in tears for the regret that they have for their actions.  This young man was in tears about what he had done, for the right reasons.  He also admitted that he would have not made this choice by himself, but did you see the life changing moment for him as well.  Do you think that he will be thinking about his neighbors and the global world differently because of this life learning experience?  You bet.

The YMCA this year started a teen leader program for the summer with Manitowoc Public School District and financial support from our donors and the United Way.  It is your typical summer program with a twist.  The kids do your fun camp activities by doing field trips and your normal daily activities associated with a camp program.  The twist?  Between the field trips and activities, the major focus of the program has been on service learning and giving to others.  Just like that football team, our kids have been out in the community helping out around town with various projects.  For a small example of the summer, they helped out at the Wisconsin Maritime Museum, the Humane Society, and looked for evasive species in Lake Michigan for the DNR.  They have done all of this with a smile on their faces. 

Now, I don’t know if we will end up with a kid in tears about what they have learned this summer, but I am sure that these kids are going to be even better citizens of our community and think about others from their experiences.  That is what it is all about.

How can you give to someone today?

See you at the Y!

Steve Smith, CEO

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