May News: Being Safe Around Water Saves Lives

water safety

The weather's warming up, and soon children will be tempted to cool off in the water. During National Water Safety Month, the YMCA  encourages parents and caregivers to play an active role in promoting water safety. Here are five tips to ensure a safe and enjoyable swimming experience for all:

1. Never swim alone or without a water watcher. When children are swimming, make sure they are actively supervised at all times. Teach your children that they should only swim in locations where a lifeguard is on duty, or where a responsible adult agrees to watch the children in the water without distractions.

2. Supervise your children whenever they’re in or near water. Whether it’s bath time or taking a dip in a pool or lake, make sure your children are within arm’s reach at all times.

3. Don’t engage in breath holding activities. Children should not hold their breath for a prolonged amount of time while swimming. It can cause drowning and has several other severe physical side effects.

4. Wear a life jacket: Inexperienced or non-swimmers should wear a Coast Guard-approved life jacket.

5. Don’t jump in the water to save a friend who is struggling in deep water. If a child finds someone in deep water unexpectedly, their natural reaction may be to jump in to help. Even if a child is a great swimmer, a panicked person may overpower the rescuer and pull them underwater. The Y’s Safety Around Water and SPLASH program teaches the “reach, throw, don’t go” concept of using a long object to reach a struggling swimmer and pull them to safety. This technique enables children to help without compromising their own safety.


membership promo

New members pay the day in May 

All of us are ready to rebuild our health this spring, and the Y is ready to welcome new members with great savings!

The sooner someone joins in May, the more they save. People who join today will get a full month of membership for just $1 (with no joining fee). On May 5 they'll pay $5 for the month, and so on, through May 15.

Membership comes with access to in-person classes, virtual workouts, pools, program discounts and more across the Y’s seven convenient locations. Financial assistance is available for membership and programs thanks to donor support.

Current members can also save all year round. If you refer a friend to the Y and they join, you'll both get $10 off your monthly membership for the next three months! Members can have one active referral at a time, up to four per year, for a maximum annual savings of $120.

Your donations help the Y serve all

This month we're kicking off our annual giving campaign, which supports hunger relief, water safety classes, LIVESTRONG at the Y cancer support, and much more, including scholarships for members like Anne and José Cortes.

José has multiple brain injuries due to a misdiagnosed brain tumor. His wife, Anne, is his caregiver. José recently completed private swim lessons at the Asheville Y, and Anne says he now feels confident and free in the water. 

Our association is fortunate to have generous supporters who fund vital community impact work like this. Our culture of philanthropy was recently recognized by the North American YMCA Development Organization, which gave our Y the NAYDO Eagle Award for excellence in fundraising.

We are grateful to our donors for helping us strengthen community. The needs are greater than ever. Please click here to give or make a pledge today.

drop in childcare

Center hours continue to expand in May

Welcome to all of our new members and welcome back to all of our returning friends! We're excited to expand hours at several facilities this month:

  • Asheville Y now opens at 5:30 a.m. Monday-Friday and closes at 7 p.m. on Friday.
  • Reuter Family Y now opens at 5:30 a.m. Monday-Friday, and closes at 6 p.m. on Friday and Saturday
  • Corpening Memorial Y now closes at 8 p.m. Monday-Thursday and 6 p.m. on Friday.
  • Ferguson Family Y is now open 6 a.m.-8 p.m. Monday-Thursday; 6 a.m.-1 p.m. on Friday; and Sundays from 10 a.m.-2 p.m.
  • Woodfin Y is now open 7 a.m.-8 p.m. Monday-Thursday and 7 a.m.-1 p.m. on Friday.

Check all center hours on our locations page. See you soon at the Y!



The Y has a camp for your child this summer 

We are excited and ready to take care of your child at one of our full-day or half-day camps this summer! Registration opens today for our half-day camps including Camp Kiddos, Basketball Camp, Flag Football Camp, and more! Learn more and sign up here. We still have spots available for our full-day summer day camps, but sign up today before space fills up! Financial assistance is available for all of our camp options. 

To protect the health and safety of children, staff, and families, the Y has implemented additional safety measures in accordance with public health guidance.

YMCA careers

Hiring future leaders today

Working with the Y changes lives – including your own! Whether you’re looking for a summer job or a want to take the next step in your career development, the Y is a great place to work.

We’re now hiring a variety of full-time, part-time, and seasonal positions, including:

  • Chief Financial Officer
  • Child Nutrition Coordinator
  • Summer Driver
  • Lifeguards and Swim Instructors
  • Youth Mentor
  • Membership Engagement Representative
  • Group Exercise Instructor

Jobs at YMCA Camp Watia

  • Boys Village Cabin Counselor
  • Lifeguard Counselor
  • Kitchen Assistant
  • Facility Assistant

Full-time roles come with outstanding benefits, including medical, dental, and vision insurance; group life insurance and long-term disability paid by the Y; short-term disability, term life insurance and dependent life insurance available for purchase; generous paid time off; retirement plan with current employer contribution of 12% of salary (subject to minimum requirements); free YMCA membership; and discounts on programs such as afterschool childcare and summer camp.

Click here to see all job openings at the YMCA of WNC. Join us today!



Keeping our community healthy 

Our association recently collaborated with the Mexican Consulate, A-B Tech, Buncombe County Health and Human Services, and other partners to offer services in Asheville to more than 500 co-nationals. At the consular events more than 800 documents were issued and close to 400 COVID-19 vaccines were administered.


community health

Learn to manage or prevent diabetes at the Y

SB, pictured here, is an enthusiastic participant in the Diabetes Prevention Program (DPP) at the Y. Here's what she has to say about the experience:

"The DPP program has helped me lower my A1c, lose more than 5% of my body weight, and improve my overall health by eating well and making incremental wellness changes. The impact has been noticeable from the first month of participation, and each subsequent month’s classes give suggestions to boost my progress. With nutritional information, I have been able to reduce my portion sizes (especially for rice, pasta, and meat!), decrease sugar and fats in my daily meals, eliminate non-nutritional drinks (Diet Cokes, sweet iced tea, etc…), and increase the amount of fruits and vegetables I eat daily. I highly recommend the DPP program to anyone who wants to make healthy changes in their lives and is not quite sure how to begin."

Registration is now open for several virtual and in-person community health programs, including diabetes prevention and management, arthritis pain relief, cancer survivorship support, and falls prevention. Some classes are available in Spanish. Learn more here.

drop in childcare

Standing together to stop Asian hate

Since 1992, the month of May has been celebrated as Asian and Pacific Islander Heritage Month. The first Japanese immigrants to the U.S. arrived on May 7, 1843, and the transcontinental railroad –  predominantly built by Chinese immigrants – was completed on May 10, 1869.

The term “Asian and Pacific Islander” includes all people of Asian, Asian American or Pacific Islander ancestry who trace their origins to the countries, states, and/or the diasporic communities of these geographic regions.

The YMCA of WNC stands with our nation's Asian and Pacific Islander community to #stopasianhate.


Know your W's: Wear, wash and wait