April 15,2020
Greetings from all of us at your YMCA in Greenfield!

We hope and pray that this note finds you and your family well and staying safe.

This era of Covid-19 is certainly fraught with uncertainty. Many of us are living with a sense of confusion and maybe even fear. Covid-19 has changed our daily lives and has disrupted our familiar routines. We are being forced to interact with family, friends, and colleagues in a very different way.

We are all left questioning when our “normal” lives will return. To top it all off, these are also times when we can feel pummeled by a national news cycle that resembles a never-ending onslaught of more bad news.

So, we hope this email will offer a sense of hope and a ray of sunshine, taking your mind off the confusion with which we all are wrestling. Mindfulness can change our attitudes and our health. Let’s focus on all the good that have not lost.

Share a smile! First of all, did you know that tomorrow, April 16 is National High Five Day ? While most of us do not have 6-foot long arms, we are betting that a “virtual” high five will bring a smile to everyone you pass by. So, for at least a day, let’s practice some silliness and share lots of socially distanced high fives!

Have ( and be the ) faith in your community. Never underestimate human potential for compassion. If we use this as a foundation, we will all get through this together! Below are some awesome examples of our county’s capacity for compassion and empathy:
  • One local church, Blessed Sacrament, is holding weekly grocery distributions at Beacon Field for anyone who is in need of food.

  • Local school districts are providing free meals for all children every day of the week

  • KFC (Mohawk Trail location) provided food to frontline workers at The Arbors.

  • Local crafters are donating their time, fabric, and knowledge to help make masks for friends, family, and those they don’t even know.

  • Have you noticed all the stuffed bears and animals around? One local group, Greenfield Teddy Bear Group, has made the scavenger hunt a fun one. Homes and businesses throughout Franklin County are displaying their ‘bears’ in their windows and yards. The next time you drive around or go for a walk, take notice of all those stuffed animals hanging out, yearning to put a smile on your face.

  • What about the positive sidewalk messages? Have you seen those around? Our neighbors tell us that they love seeing the daily messages crafted by our children in living color right on our driveways and side walks. The messages are fun to create…and making people smile makes it all worthwhile!

  • In addition to our growing online presence (virtual workouts, bedtime stories…), your YMCA has more than 20 volunteers calling our most vulnerable members, checking in on them, having a conversation and just seeing how they are doing. A simple check in phone call or reassuring words can go a long way for a lonely senior or a frightened child.
Focus on positive news. If you are looking for a website that tracks the the spread of Covid-19 by some dashboard, be sure to check out one that also highlights statistics of people who have recovered. Johns Hopkins University has one that many consider the best: https://coronavirus.jhu.edu/data/new-cases

Stop and smell the flowers. It is now April and the warm weather and sunny days are ahead. All around our hills and valleys, our trees have been budding and our flowers are beginning to bloom. Slow down, take a solitary walk, and enjoy this annual awesome ritual of spring!

Find gratitude. We have so many things and so many fellow Franklin County friends and neighbors to be thankful for. If you find yourself on the front lines of this pandemic, THANK YOU! Please know that all of us at your YMCA appreciate you and your selfless efforts on behalf of all of us. We are rooting for you and your colleagues every minute of every day!

We also want to thank our awesome YMCA staff who have helped us pivot our focus during the last several weeks. Our building might be closed, but our Y colleagues have not slowed down in the least. They have truly gone above and beyond all expectations, providing support of our Y community and for our greater Franklin County community.

We miss you very much. After all, YOU are our reason for being. We promise that we will be together again soon.

And finally, always remember -
a wave and a smile work wonders…even from six feet away!
YMCA in Greenfield | 413 773 3646 | your-y.org