My name is Valerie and I’m a single mother of 3 kids.    Prior to moving to Freehold, my family had been struggling moving from shelter to shelter.  With an extremely low income, I received some public assistance to help with food and daily expenses, but I didn’t know how I’d be able to afford childcare.  I was taken by surprise when I got the call that the YMCA & childcare resources were going to help me with that dilemma.  It was such a relief!  Just to be able to have safe and reliable childcare that I couldn’t afford without the Y’s assistance, has been such a blessing and a huge essential that has given me the ability to take back my independence and focus on reconstructing my life.  The teachers at the Y are always friendly and dedicated, and my daughter loves her classmates.   My boys love their before and after school care classes too.  It feels like a family, and I’m always comfortable that when I drop them off that they’re in good hands.  For a single parent, having that confidence and peace of mind is priceless.  When Christmas came around, I was so grateful and shocked by how the YMCA teachers and School Age Child Care staff came together to give me bags of toys, clothes and gift cards so that my kids could have a real Christmas.  I really felt blessed to see my children so happy on Christmas morning because of the Y.

I cannot thank the Y enough for the financial assistance and excellent childcare they provide, and I’m just very grateful that our family has had such a positive experience.  It means a lot to me!–Valerie B.

I’ve been a member for 10 years and I absolutely love everything about the Y. The staff and personal trainers are friendly and very knowledgeable. Highly recommend!–Karen Lozner

This is a wonderful facility! My kids love the programs. Staff is always attentive and courteous and the facility is always super clean.–Melissa Krupinski

A friendly place to get in shape. Wonderful staff. Great classes for everything from learning to swim to yoga.–Sharon Biles

Mel, what I love about SCAN@Y is “no promises made or outcome predicted.” When I joined in January, it was based on a list of activities. Nobody explained or provided a “syllabus” of what would be covered in art, sit ‘n b fit, tai chi, etc. I had no expectations. Since joining, I have met a group of folk I like. We socialize, compliment and encourage one another, but it do not intrude into one’s person life. There are NO personal phone calls, FaceTime® or social media. When we begin on Tuesday, it is quiet as we drink a hot beverage, think, reminisce or whatever. The group of over 50’s consist of singles, widows, widowers, partnerships. There isn’t any judging or criticisms beyond the norm in group interaction. I’ve lost about 12 pounds since inception of the program and have sustained this weight lost. I eat better, drink more water and have eliminated soda and sugary drinks. It is wonderful to get up in the morning and have a place to go once a week. I think daily wouldn’t work, but once a week is doable. Pat, SCAN, mentioned extending the program to two days; however, I would suggest attending one of two days, e.g. Tuesday or Thursday. As expressed by participants at the “public meeting” 6/21/2016, there is nothing else like SCan@Y. The list of activities have nothing to do with planning for the inevitable, care giving, or the so-called pitfalls of aging. We walk out the door each week with back straight, head up, looking forward to next Tuesday.–Anonymous

Alaina Lardaro has a lot to be thankful for and she counts everyone at the Freehold Y as a blessing. The directors, her trainer, staff, members and lifeguards have encouraged, acklowledged and celebrated Alaina’s achievments over the past three years since she became a member. As a 19-yr. old with Down’s Syndrome, Alaina knows nutrition, fitness and a positive body image are critical for a healthy lifestyle. Alaina has been training at the Y and swimming for the Monmouth Marlins for three years. She has consistently medaled at her regional and area meets and is a three-time gold medalist for 100m freestyle and 100m backstroke at the Special Olympics Summer Games. This past summer, Alaina also swam the first leg for her 4 x 100 freestyle relay team and they brought home the gold! Everyone at the Y is beyond excited for Alaina as she begins her new career with FFT Modeling Agency in New York City!

The Y’s Mission Statement – For Youth Development, Healthy Living and Social Responsibility – has been the embodiment of our family’s experience at the YMCA since our joining 10 years ago.  As members, we were always greeted with smiles, warmth and respect and the encouragement to participate in all the Y had to offer, including special needs classes/programs.  Both children had opportunities to exercise, make friends, and grow as young men in a healthy environment.

In the years since, both my son, Alex, and I have had the privilege of working here at the Y.  I was fortunate to be given the opportunity to begin a “second career” as an instructor in the Aquatics and Fitness Departments while working through some challenging times after losing my husband.  As a staff member and parent of a Special Needs child, I am pleased and privileged to be involved with classes being offered to the Special Needs community, for whom the YMCA has always been a strong supporter.

My older son, Alex, now an Eagle Scout and college student, had performed community service here while in his teens and then given the opportunity to work here at the YMCA these past few years.  He has enjoyed working in the basketball gym as a gym supervisor and basketball scorekeeper for the Y Men’s Basketball League.

I’m very grateful to my superiors, coworkers and members of the Y for giving me a “home away from home” that has consistently provided the friendship and support to deal with the daily challenges we all face, as well as an environment promoting mental and physical wellness for myself and my family.–Kathy S.

I wanted to let you know that I generally take 5 or 6 fitness classes a week and find that the quality of the instructors and the level of their involvement with the participants in their class is excellent.  They, each in their own unique way, provide a wonderful environment to work out in as well as consistent, interesting and challenging programs class after class after class.  Please congratulate them for their fine work.–Richard Faden

This has been an incredible year for me here at the Old Bridge YMCA because the Y doesn’t only bring families together, but it also brings people together who start off with a common goal, which is to be healthy ‘n strong.  In that individual journey we meet others who encourage, inspire, motivate and push us to be the best us that we can be.  So I just want to say, ‘Thank you, Y’, for the amazing staff and trainers that truly care about our health and well being.  And thank you for providing a place in which I’ve met some pretty amazing people who are truly becoming very special to me, who are becoming my friends.–Nannie Mateo

I want to take the time to say thank you for all of the hard work the staff at the YMCA provides.  I have been sending my boys here for the last 3 1/2 years.  The teachers are very sweet and helpful.  They are so understanding and flexible.  I once had one of the teachers help me by getting my son’s backpack from upstairs while I waited in my car because both of my other children had fallen asleep.  He was playing on the playground and she walked him upstairs to get his things so I didn’t have to wake them up.  The Preschool Prep room is amazing and my son has learned so much.  All of the teachers are so caring, friendly and compassionate.  I have recommended the Hightstown-East Windsor YMCA to friends and will continue to be a part of this child care program.–Jimmyanah D.

I would like to say that both I and my wife have been very happy with the treatment and education our son has received at the Hightstown YMCA.  He has made a lot of friends and learned a lot of communication skills in the 3 years he has spent at the YMCA.  The teachers and other staff have been wonderful and shown a real interest in my son’s learning and care.  We have received notes sent home by members of the staff telling us what a pleasure it is to see our son every day.  My wife and I feel that we have put him in the right hands for his development at the YMCA.  I would wholeheartedly recommend the the Hightstown YMCA to everyone with a child it is a great experience.–Richard and Lorraine Rogers

We love the Hightstown-East Windsor YMCA!  The YMCA has been providing a caring and nurturing environment for my two kids for most of their lives.  My daughter started at the Hightstown Y when she was just a few months old and my son started when he was three months old.  They both have moved through all the classrooms and are now enrolled in the Before and After Care program (my daughter) and the Kindergarten Enrichment program (my son).  We have found that all the teachers are knowledgeable, friendly and caring.  Most of them have been there for at least ten years, if not longer.  Now, if that isn’t a sign of a great place to work, we don’t know what is.  If the teachers enjoy being there, then it is no wonder the positive attitude rubs off on my children.  My children are well-rounded and know how to handle themselves in social settings.  In the classes they follow curriculum, but within that they teach the kids how to resolve problems in safe ways.  I am so proud of my kids, but I realize that who they are is thanks to the wonderful staff at the Hightstown-East Windsor YMCA.  Thank you!–Beth and Ian Nagle

My experience at the Freehold Y has been very positive in all aspects.  The facility is clean and bright and welcoming every time I attend.  The personnel are cheery and helpful.  The aquatic program is wonderful, as are the instructors.  Everyone in the gym is helpful and the equipment is in good condition.  My latest experience is taking a Senior Yoga Class this session.  The Yoga Class is focused and the instructor is so professional and knowledgeable about Yoga.  All in all, I am so pleased that I have a membership at Freehold and look forward to attending as much as possible!–Linda Bilotti