Monday, December 24, 2012

Thank you for your support!

Thank you for supporting us this past year!  We are in the process of reformatting our blog.  In 2013 we will be integrating our blog into our website, therefore we will be shutting this page down.  We appreciate each of your comments and for being one of our followers.  We are have a lot of exciting things in store for the new year so please stay tuned in 2013!  We hope that the new year brings you peace and blessing!

Happy Holidays from your YMCA Family!

Friday, November 16, 2012

Meet Twila!

 Downtown YMCA Diabetes Prevention Program participants
In January 2012, Twila went to her physician for some blood work.  At just 5’3, weighing 320 lbs., she was concerned about hypertension and high cholesterol.  After the lab results came back, she learned that she was at risk for developing type II diabetes.  Her physician gave her six months to lose weight to bring down her blood glucose and A1C levels.  As her physician explained if she did not make changes, she would be diagnosed with diabetes and would have to begin a medication regimen to maintain the diabetes.
Within days of receiving her results, Twila received an email from her employer about a new program being offered at the YMCA of Central Ohio -- YMCA Diabetes Prevention Program.  She called her insurance company to sign up and based upon her BMI and results from her lab work, she was admitted into the program.
A month later, Twila began the YMCA Diabetes Prevention Program.  Armed with weekly meetings for support and information to assist her in transitioning toward a healthy lifestyle, she began to see positive results.  Thanks to water aerobics and swimming, along with changes to her eating habits, Twila began to experience weight loss. 
In July 2012, Twila returned to her doctor and was retested for diabetes.  The results revealed that her A1C had decreased substantially, her blood pressure leveled off and her LDL and Triglycerides had even dropped.  Thanks to positive strides, Twila’s risk for diabetes was significantly reduced.  Today, we are proud to report that Twila is 50 lbs. lighter and continues to make progress.  She plans to be down 75 lbs. by February 2013.
To learn how to reduce your risk for developing type II diabetes or to obtain information about the YMCA Diabetes Prevention Program visit

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Cancer Survivors Find Support at the Y!

At the age of 26, Miller was diagnosed with cancer. Despite his prognosis, he remained optimistic about being cancer free. He went through radiation to treat the cancer.  During his journey he continued working out at the Y. Two years later, he received devastating news the cancer returned and had spread to his lymph nodes. 
The second time around proved to be more challenging for Miller as he was required to undergo chemotherapy and more intensive treatment to address the illness. At times, Miller felt like his body turned against him and that he had no control. It took him more than a year and a half for him to regain his "normal."  Today, we are pleased to report that Miller is cancer free, remains active at the Y, and he and his wife are expecting their first child together!
According to the World Health Organization, Cancer is the leading cause of death worldwide, accounting for 7.6 million deaths. Early detection and management is key strategies for preventing certain types of cancers. One of the ways the YMCA of Central Ohio is supporting cancer survivors in our community is through our new initiative, LIVESTRONG at the YMCA of Central Ohio.
LIVESTRONG at the YMCA is a free 12-week, small group program designed to provide support to cancer survivors throughout central Ohio. The program begins October 23rd and will meet twice a week for 90 minutes at the HILLIARD/RAY PATCH YMCA. This new initiative helps cancer survivors regain their strength to help them return to their normal life or their "new normal." The goal of this program is to help participants build muscle mass and strength, increase flexibility and endurance and improve functional ability. Additional goals include reducing the side effects of therapy, maintaining weight levels, increasing energy levels and self-esteem.  A final goal of the program is to assist participants in developing their own physical fitness program so they can continue to practice a healthy lifestyle as a way of life. In addition to the physical benefits, the program provides participants with a supportive environment and a sense of community with fellow survivors, YMCA staff and members.
In an effort to raise awareness about this program and to sustain funding for the future, the HILLIARD/RAY PATCH YMCA will be holding its first LIVESTRONG at the YMCA Spin-A-Thon on November 10, 2012, from 9:00 am - 12 noon.  Celebrity Instructors include, Jeff Hogan from WBNS-10TV, Andrew Roberts, CEO of YMCA of Central Ohio and many more surprise guests. All proceeds will benefit the LIVESTRONG at the YMCA program at the HILLIARD/RAY PATCH YMCA. To purchase tickets, visit 
For more information about LIVESTRONG at the YMCA of Central Ohio, contact:
Natalie Mamlin
4515 Cosgray Rd.

Friday, October 5, 2012

Help Keep Central Ohio Warm this Winter!

In just a little over a month, the doors to our Men and Women's Emergency Winter Shelter Overflow program will open.  Our emergency shelter program provides a safe, warm haven for individuals who have been turned away from traditional shelters during the coldest months.  This season, we will offer 130 warm beds to men and 60 beds to women each night during the cold winter months - November to March.

At the Y, we believe that everyone deserves a warm bed and safe place to sleep.  During the month of October the Downtown YMCA will be collecting blankets to help keep men and women in our community warm this winter.  Our goal is to collect 400 blankets -- but we can't do this alone.

We need your help!  We are asking that you reach out to your friends, co-workers and families to help us collect new or gently-used blankets, and bring them to the Downtown YMCA Member Services desk, located at 40 W. Long Street (on the corner of W. Long and Front St.) during our normal operating hours.  To ensure we're ready, please drop off the donations by October 31st.  For more information, please contact 614.224.1131 or visit our website:

So can we count on you Central Ohio???

Please take a moment to watch the video below and see how we helping men and women throughout central Ohio stay warm this winter!





Thursday, September 20, 2012

Doma Finds New Home at The Y!

As the old advertisement goes, before Martin Luther King, Jr. changed the world, he was just another kid at the Y. No one will ever know what the Y did for MLK—help with confidence, provide community, exercise body and mind? And now, in 2012, the Y may be doing something just as great to the people of this country—they house Freedom a la Cart—a social enterprise which teaches survivors of sex trafficking job and nutrition skills. The problem is that while survivors of trafficking have legendary loyalty and terrific work ethic, they have never kept a schedule, managed money, or worked in a job where they weren’t beaten and controlled. The rest of us grew up watching our parents’ careers, got our first jobs at 16, blew our first paychecks on cute jeans and music for driving fast. We messed up and learned work skills eventually. But survivors of sex trafficking didn’t do much of any of that, and they have kids to support and lives to create. After two years of great recovery with the likes of Amethyst, Maryhaven, Southeast and CATCH court, they are ready for the world. But they don’t have the work skills necessary to find, secure a job, let alone a career.

Doma—our little non-profit, doma means ‘home’ in many languages—saw this missing link to success in life, and we started our business. But it was homeless, just like our ladies; we cooked out of a bar, out of church kitchens, desperate for a kitchen we could afford, we searched for months. I know there is a cart-before-the-horse analogy here, but I’m watching my word count.

And here came the Y, marching down the street to help us so much, giving us a beautiful kitchen, an ice machine, making everything clean and lovely. And how have we repaid them? We’ve been late for two catering events. We showed up at one with thirty beautiful salads and no forks. Growing pains, being new to the business, working with an unskilled staff in a new space. We thank the Y by inspiring them to flex their patience muscles. Now we have an expediter, a work-list and checklist for every event, a timeline. Through the Y’s generosity, we are learning the skills that will keep Freedom alive—which is crucial for the well-being of our ladies. Everyone needs job skills, and o how the ladies love being a part of this life.

So right now, in many ways, Freedom is just another scrubby kid at the Y. But ten survivors of sex trafficking have the first job they can trust in their entire lives. And twenty more survivors know that when they are ready to work, Freedom and the Y are here for them. Even women in jail as I write this (yes, survivors of sex trafficking are often in jail—it’s a long story, call me) have been told while in shackles and tears there is legal and sustaining work for them when they are free—the relief and wonder in their faces make my life whole.

But this is just the beginning! What if every major city had social enterprise for survivors of trafficking? What if Cause Cuisine blossoms all over the country? What if women who have been shackled for a living have a chance at Freedom? The Y has many, many commercial kitchens! But we will start small and remember the forks, learn to keep an eye on the time.

So, what is the Y doing for women survivors of trafficking? It is immeasurable as the sea and strong as the sky. All we can do is say, thank you.

Kae Denino
US Project Coordinator
doma USA/Freedom a la Cart
Guest Blogger

Friday, September 14, 2012

Early Detection Can Save Your Life!

September is National Prostate Cancer Awareness month.  It is a time set aside to increase awareness about this important issue.  The American Cancer Society estimates that this year, more than 240,000 new case of prostate cancer will be diagnosed in the United States.  Nearly 30,000 men will die of prostate cancer.  Roughly 1 in 6 men in the U.S. will be diagnosed with prostate cancer during their lifetime (1 and 7 in Canada). 

Prostate cancer is the second leading cause of cancer in American men.  Despite these statistics, there is hope.  With early detection and treatment men can live happy, healthy and long lives.  In fact, more than 2.5 million men in the United States who have been diagnosed with prostate cancer at some point are still alive today.
Typically, prostate cancer occurs mainly in older men.  In fact, nearly two thirds are diagnosed in men aged 65 or older and it is rare before age 40.  The average age at the time is diagnosis is 67.  At the age of 49, Dan Hennessey was diagnosed with prostate cancer.  With the help of early treatment and detection, the support of his physician, family and community, Dan is cancer-free today. 

During his prostate cancer journey, Dan began to write as way to express his thoughts and feelings about his prognosis.  His writings evolved into a book, “With the Snap of a Glove,” in which he shares the vulnerable, human side of prostate cancer and its impact on relationships in his life.  A Canadian resident, Dan considers prostate cancer a global issue and is determined to spread his message all over the world. 

Passionate about creating awareness, Dan contacted the YMCA of Central Ohio recently to share his story and to ask for our support promoting awareness about early detection and treatment.   Across the nation and in countries all over the world, the Y is a leading force on health and well-being.  At the Y, we believe that practicing and supporting healthy lifestyles means more than just simply being active.  It’s about maintaining a balanced spirit, mind and body.  We are also committed to creating awareness about important issues that impact our community.

Recognizing the impact prostate cancer has on families, Dan created a video to encourage dialogue between teens and their parents and to promote awareness to a new generation.  We hope this video will help stimulate dialogue in your homes about this preventable disease.  More importantly, we hope that it will help to save a life.

Thank you Dan for sharing your journey with us, and we hope that it will inspire you!




Saturday, September 1, 2012

The Y tackles Childhood Obesity!

September is designated as National Childhood Obesity Awareness Month. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) childhood obesity has more than tripled over the past 30 years.  Nationally, more than 23 million children and teens are obese or overweight.  For African American and Hispanic children the rates are much higher.

Childhood obesity has immediate and long-term effects on health and well-being. Studies show that children that are overweight or obese are more likely to be at risk for cardiovascular disease, including high cholesterol or high blood pressure. Obese children are also more likely to at risk of developing type 2 prediabetes and be at greater risk for developing bone and joint problems, sleep apnea and experience issues with poor self-esteem. Long-term, children and teens who are obese are likely to be obese as adults and more susceptible to heart disease, type 2 diabetes, cancer and osteoarthritis.

Healthy lifestyle habits, including making healthier food choices and increasing physical activity, can help reduce the risk of childhood obesity and other related diseases. As a leading nonprofit dedicated to strengthening community through youth development, healthy living and social responsibility the YMCA of Central Ohio offers the following tips to help families in Central Ohio incorporate regular physical activity and healthy eating into their lives.

Eat Healthy: Make water the drink of choice (supplemented by 100 percent fruit juices and low-fat milk) and have fruits and vegetables available at every meal. Snack time should include foods that contain whole grains and lean protein instead of saturated and trans fats.

Play Every Day/Go Outside: Kids and adults should have at least an hour a day of unstructured play outside (when possible) with children having a goal to obtain 300 minutes of physical activity per week.  Just starting out, start small with 10 to 20 minutes at a time.

Get Together: At least once a day families should dine together, with kids involved in meal preparation and clean up. In addition, adults should spend one-on-one time each day with their kids.

Reduce Screen Time: Time spent in front of a television, computer, cell phone and video game should be limited to two hours per day.

Sleep Well: Kids and adults need to keep a regular sleep schedule—10-12 hours per night for kids and seven to eight hours for adults.

For more information on how your family can live a healthy, active life, visit

Friday, August 24, 2012

Achieve Balance at the Y!

Serving families has always been at the heart of the Y. With school now back in session, kids (and parents) often find themselves consumed with balancing rigorous schedules. Our desire is to provide opportunities for families to build stronger bonds, achieve greater work/life/school balance and stay engaged with each other and their communities.

This school year, The Y wants to make sure that parents and kids have the tools necessary to live a healthy and balanced life. Below are some tips for healthy eating and physical activity:

1. Start your day off with breakfast. Skipping breakfast can make kids feel tired and irritable. Breakfast is a great way to give the body the refuel it needs. Studies show that kids who eat breakfast tend to eat healthier and are more likely to participate in physical activities (Source:

2. Get active and moving! On average, children and teens spend an estimated seven hours a day engaged in some form of media. This trend has contributed to increased rates of childhood obesity. Studies show that by decreasing screen time and increasing physical activity helps to kids maintain a healthy weight, improve psychological well-being and help kids gain more self-confidence. More importantly, physical activity helps to increase life expectancy rates  (Source:

3. Make healthier food choices. Grabbing dinner out or at a fast food restaurant is often easier than cooking at home. Often these foods, although convenient, are loaded with high calories and fat content. Preparing healthy meals in advance is a great way to save money and control what your child consumes.

4. Eat together! Mealtime is a great time to talk to your kids about what’s going on in their lives. In fact, studies show that the more families eat together, the less likely kids are to smoke, drink, use drugs and engage in other negative behaviors. Eating together as a family also helps to promote healthy food choices  (Source:

5. Include physical activities in family time. Our busy schedules often keep us from spending quality time with our families. One of the ways to change this is to plan activities with the entire family. Instead of watching TV, try spending time at the park, going for a walk or participating in a family fun activity at the Y!

Though life can be hectic and unpredictable, one thing remains certain – the Y is, and always will be dedicated to building healthy, confident, secure and connect children, families and communities.

Experience family time at the Y!

Friday, August 17, 2012

After the Bell...Discover the Y!

This weekend marks the end of summer for most kids as they return to school next week.  After the bell rings at the end of the school day, children and teens need a safe and nurturing place to go until their parents return home from work.  In Ohio, 30 percent of K-12 youth are left unsupervised after 3 p.m. and are responsible for taking care of themselves. As a leading nonprofit committed to youth development, healthy living and social responsibility, the Y offers quality after school programs that not only help youth learn, grow and thrive, but keep them safe and surrounded by caring adults.   

Combining play with academics, the Y’s after school programs fill gaps in schools and in the Central Ohio area by offering enrichment through arts, music, physical education, sports and nutrition. Youth in the YMCA of Central Ohio's after school program receive an educational based curriculum, which includes a school literacy program and homework assistance.  Our programs not only keep children and teens safe but engaged in fun and productive activities.

Studies show that youth who participate in after school programs demonstrate increased school attendance, academic performance and develop skills such as problem-solving, team building, negotiation and critical thinking.  Additionally, after school programs help to reduce achievement gaps among children from disadvantaged households. It’s also a healthy way for children and teens to stay active and productive when the school day ends.

Enroll your child or teen today!

Friday, August 10, 2012

This Saturday, August 11th has been designated by the global organization, Kids for Peace as a day of kindness.  It’s one day out of the year that kids all over the world are encouraged to perform small acts of kindness.  This year, the YMCA of Central Ohio has joined other organizations around the world to participate in the The Great Kindness Challenge.  Instead of doing just one day, we have decided to dedicate an entire week for our YMCA campers to perform good deeds for others in our community. 

Over the next week leading up to our annual Spirit Day on August 17th, more than 1,000 Y campers will be performing as many good deeds they can complete within the week.  One of their acts of kindness will be to write notes of gratitude to our military for their service to our country.  The kids that complete 20 or more acts of kindness will be recognized on Spirit Day.

There are many ways for your kids to participate in The Great Kindness Challenge.  It can be as simple as smiling at 25 people, hosting a lemonade stand and donating proceeds to someone in need or even sending a card to a military family.   For a list of more acts of kindness, click here!

If you decide to participate, please be sure to post photos or share stories on our Facebook or Twitter pages.