West Cook YMCA

Martha's Farewell Message: May 2014

Published 04.30.14

My interim CEO assignment will end on May 15. Thank you all for welcoming me into your Y family over the past four months. I hope you will extend the same warm welcome to your new CEO, Phillip Jiménez, who starts on May 19. I am confident thatunder Phillip’s leadership, the West Cook YMCA will continue to grow and thrive. 

I leave you with a poem about the YMCA movement. I hope it resonates with you and that you will continue to support the work of the West Cook YMCA because we really are “So Much More”!


A Huge Small Place


I am
a huge small place,
a, whoever you are
you’re welcome here
sort of place,
a shelter, a pantry,
a home away from home,
a home when there is no home,
sort of place.

I am
a beyond words place
a – can’t be pinned down to one thing – place
an inexpressible place,
a place where children
learn to swim
and to count and to grow
in real and
unexpected ways. 

I am
a befitting place,
where languages
mix and swirl,
where spirits strengthen,
bodies stretch
minds sharpen.
A place
where friends are made
and lives are saved. 

I am
in 130 countries,
shaping and shifting
to meet the need.

You will find me
in Honduras, broadcasting hope,
in Armenia, choreographing new steps,
in Houston, making new citizens,
in Israel, singing with mixed voices,
in London, training the trainers,
in Haiti, soothing away hunger,
in Nicaragua, teaching families to farm,
O, and so many other places –
you’ll have to trust me on this. 

I am
the spirit and the mind and the body
in the place where basketball was born
and bigotry died.

I am the Y. 

- Anonymous Poet, 2010

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