July 30 2015 


Recently with family and friends I have realized that my intelligent conversations about current affairs is lacking. I want to blame this on my work schedule but I have always been busy and knew more about what

was going on throughout our nation and worldwide when I was younger.

To combat this shortfall I am now listening to our local KCII Radio and Iowa Public Radio when I drive to our Wellman and Kalona sites. Today I listened to a conversation about the demise of Baltimore and speculations of why riots have occurred in this city. Some blamed it on unemployment, some blamed it on too many liquor stores within a block. One conversation was about the demise of family opportunities and the availability of activities for families. As I listened to this conversation I would hope that the YMCA would be present in this community; and I'm sure they do. 


 But as I was driving, it made me think about what the YMCA is doing for Washington County and if we are doing the right things.



Throughout the conversation about Baltimore I thought about Washington County Iowa and what the YMCA provides. What may be different is that we ALL provide a feeling of togetherness and family. We all help each other, support each other and provide opportunities for friendship.


I have certainly seen this throughout the Washington County Fair that just ended this past week. I helped at the Y's Men's Food Booth, Kiwanis Food Booth and took tickets for the Washington Rotary Club. Giving back made me feel that I was helping a bigger cause. What the Washington County Fair does for the community is amazing! It brings young people to a place to feel confident through 4-H, be responsible to feed and care for animals but, more     importantly it is a fun time for kids to dress up in their fancy 4-H clothes and show the importance of farming and Iowa. 4-H and county fairs are proud moments!


My experience as an adult volunteer has been very gratifying. Volunteering for an organization and the people who are leaders within that organization is very     rewarding. I worked alongside     Lori & Bob Bauer in the Y's Men's food booth, Shawn Ellingson in the Kiwanis Food Booth and took tickets with the   support of my Rotary club member John Moenck. What these folks do and the countless volunteer hours is amazing. I was sure exhausted after the week of my hours but to have a feeling of giving back to a wonderful community is well worth it.


MANY THANKS to everyone for making our community GREAT!



Becky Harkema

Our Mission

To put Christian principles into practice through programs that build healthy spirit, mind and body for all.


Our Cause

At the Y, strengthening community is our cause. We believe that lasting personal and social change can only come about when we all work together to invest in our kids, our health and our neighbors. That's why we focus our work in three areas: youth development, healthy living and social responsibility.