Commentary: Help fill people's bucketsWhen Ellie, 5, bounced her way into the house after school last week, mom Kris Ruehl had to hold back a chuckle as Ellie announced “everyone has a bucket on their heads AND (picture hands on her hips and a huge smile) you can either be a Bucket Filler or a Bucket Dipper!”
By: Elaine O'Keefe, The Republican Eagle
When Ellie, 5, bounced her way into the house after school last week, mom Kris Ruehl had to hold back a chuckle as Ellie announced “everyone has a bucket on their heads AND (picture hands on her hips and a huge smile) you can either be a Bucket Filler or a Bucket Dipper!”
Ruehl likes the focus Ms. Kelley takes with the kids. So does the Y.
The Y has taught the values of caring, honesty, respect and responsibility to their members for years. The Y has recently renewed its focus on three areas: youth development, healthy living and social responsibility.
As Ellie’s story goes, Bucket Fillers are those people in our lives that fill our buckets with kindness.
Phil McNairy and Melanie Velasco serve as volunteer co-chairs of the Y’s Inclusion/Cause Driven Committee, which is leading the Y in an effort to make sure all are welcome at the Y. Bucket filling at its best. According to McNairy, “at the Y we are our brother’s keeper.”
Inclusion/Cause Driven isn’t the only new committee at the Y. In fact, most of the Y leadership has been reorganized to better align around the three focus areas.
The changes began with a strategic planning process in 2011, led by 36 policy volunteers donating countless hours to ensure that the Red Wing Family Y lives its cause and remains a sustainable community organization.
“Mike Melstad, executive director, believes “Y’s succeed because of strong volunteers like these Y leaders”.
In February new board members were installed and orientated on the new board and staff structures. McNairy and Velasco are joined by their peers on the board who chair or sit on committees such as Healthy Living, Camp Pepin, Marketing & Communications and more.
The Y is also successful because of strong program volunteers.
Jess Hanson has volunteered on the Y’s Annual Campaign, in marketing new programs and more. Hanson says “anyone and everyone can make a difference in our community, no matter how small the job or little the time.”
Y volunteers work alongside Y staff building the capacity of the community while developing skills that add quality content to a resume.
Hanson says she volunteers because “it feels good to help.”
Check out the many volunteer opportunities at the Y on their websitehttp://www.redwingymca.org/ or inquire at the Y and become a Bucket Filler.