Embracing Diversity in Health and Life

Children and Teens at the YMCA

The world is rich with color. Foods, flowers, and even people come in all shades, each one unique and beautiful. And diversity among people isn’t limited to just skin tone; it includes individual exceptionalities, socio-economic backgrounds, religions, political views and more. These wide ranges are what makes the world fascinating and YMCA of the Suncoast takes pride in celebrating and welcoming every unique story. Here are steps you can take to enjoy the diversity in our community.

Explore Health: A wonderful way to explore diversity is through activities that promote health, because everyone wants and deserves to be healthy. For example, join an exercise class or take an ethnic cooking class to improve your well-being and connect with others from different backgrounds.

Share Life: Meeting people of different ages and from all walks of life is exciting, but truly getting to know and help them can boost your spirit. During January’s National Mentoring month, consider volunteering to mentor a teen. This may be an opportunity to change a life—not only the teen’s, but also your own as you guide them to appreciate others and become their own person.   

Celebrate Differences: Individuals with special needs have wonderful gifts and a desire to share them. Yet, they are often isolated and disconnected from their community. That’s why it’s important to find a program that links them to others (like our MASH program) with and without special needs. These opportunities help them cultivate their unique abilities in a healthy, supportive way, while also allowing others to recognize and appreciate their gifts.

Reach Out: A wonderful way to affect someone’s life positively is to volunteer with an organization that strengthens our community. There are dozens of ways to get involved. For example, you might volunteer time with youth, juvenile offenders or victims of domestic violence. Or offer your clerical and management services to help an organization reach more people effectively and affordably. Volunteering is an exceptional way to expand your horizons and learn from people from different backgrounds.  The more you do, the more you’ll discover how similar we all really are.

Contact your local YMCA of the Suncoast branch to learn about volunteer activities in your area.