Guest Column: Their potential, their health, our future

Published 8:34 pm Friday, July 13, 2018

Live United by Dennis Dieser

Dennis Dieser


All youth deserve the opportunity to discover who they are and what they can achieve. The Albert Lea Family Y is able to play a part in youth development thanks to local community support and the United Way of Freeborn County. Through the Y, millions of youth across the country are cultivating the values, skills and relationships that lead to positive behaviors, better health and educational achievement. Y activities give our children the opportunity to become confident kids today and healthier, happier adults tomorrow. Out-of-school time activities are crucial for this development. All children regardless of need deserve these opportunities.

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Improving the nation’s health and well-being is a priority for the Y. Children and adults need to understand and value their health and gain experiences to nurture their well-being. The Y offers resources and guidance to maintain or improve physical activity, health and wellness. The Y brings families closer together, encourages good health and fosters connections through fitness, sports, fun and shared interest. As a result, youth, adults and families are receiving the support, guidance and resources needed to achieve greater health and well-being for their spirit, mind and body. The Y is proud to work with the United Way in strengthening community. The Y has been listening and responding to our communities most critical needs for 104 years. Whether developing skills or emotional well-being, welcoming and connecting diverse populations or advocating for healthier communities, the Y fosters the care and respect all people need and deserve. Working together with all of the local partners, we all can build a stronger, more inclusive community, provide support for families and promote positive change overall.

This situation is a perfect example of how the community working together can help ensure everyone has access to programs regardless of need.

“A husband was laid off from work and had to take any part-time job to help cover the family bills. The husband and wife both work, but they were struggling to make ends meet and child care is a big expense for the family. They were so relieved to learn that the Y has financial assistance for out-of-school time activities thanks to the United Way. They really did not know what their family would do without this support. The family really felt like the community cared about their situation and listened to them.”

The Y is proud to collaborate in strengthening the community. We all are the community. We are men, women and children joined together by a shared commitment to nurturing the potential of kids, promoting healthy living and fostering a sense of social responsibility.

At the Albert Lea Family Y we believe that lasting personal and social change can only come about when we all work together to invest in our youth, our health and our neighbors. That is why, at the Y, we are proud to collaborate in strengthening community. Every day, we work side by side with our neighbors in our community to make sure that everyone, regardless of age, income or background, has the opportunity to learn, grow and thrive. Financial assistance keeps the Albert Lea Family Y available for kids and families who need opportunities the most. We count on the generosity of our members and community and the United Way to help people of all ages and from all occupations to be healthier, confident, connected and secure. We must always remember our youth are our future.

Dennis Dieser is the executive director of the Albert Lea Family Y.