Belonging Begins With Us During Welcoming Week

Diverse group of people taking a selfie together

Asheville, N.C., Sept. 14, 2021 – The YMCA of Western North Carolina is joining Welcoming America, other YMCAs, and organizations nationwide to celebrate immigrants’ contributions to communities and bring together all residents in a spirit of unity.

Each year, Welcoming Week elevates the growing movement of communities that fully embrace new Americans and their contributions to the social fabric of the country. The event is an opportunity for neighbors—both immigrants and U.S.-born residents—to get to know one another and celebrate what unites people as a community.

“We’d like our community to remember that belonging begins with us,” said Paul Vest, president and CEO of the YMCA of WNC. “Whether it’s starting a new job, moving to a new neighborhood, or starting a new school, we’ve all had moments where we felt like we didn’t belong. It’s a universal feeling that we all can relate to—but for people who move to this country experiencing language barriers, cultural differences and more, feeling excluded can take years to overcome. We all have the power to help others feel they belong; each of us can help others, regardless of their background, feel like they are seen, embraced, welcomed and included in our community.”=

Free Welcoming Week events
During Welcoming Week, the Y will host several free events that are open to the public, including:

  • Thursday, Sept. 16, 4:30-7 p.m. Family Field Night at the Hendersonville Family YMCA’s outdoor studio space. features fun and games, including a hula hoop class at 5:30 p.m.
  • Thursday, Sept. 16, 5:30 p.m. All ages are welcome to join a Family Salsa Dance outdoors at the Woodfin YMCA.
  • Thursday, Sept. 16, 5:30-7:30 p.m. Family Game Night at the Reuter Family YMCA’s outdoor studio begins with a family-friendly yoga class at 5:30 p.m., followed by board games from around the world.

Connect with community
Welcoming Week runs through Sept. 19 at YMCAs around the country. It coincides with a special membership promotion at the YMCA of Western North Carolina. Through Sept. 20, new members pay no joining fees. 

Y members benefit from programs that build healthy spirit, mind, and body. They get unlimited access to seven Ys in Buncombe, Henderson, and McDowell counties. as well as participating Ys nationwide. Local Ys feature six pools, hundreds of in-person and virtual group exercise classes, sports like basketball and pickle ball, and social groups to build connection. 

Household members can take advantage of free drop-in childcare while they work out, and all members get substantial savings on swim lesson, youth sports, and other programs. Financial assistance is available.

For more information or to win a chance for a free month of Y membership, please click here.