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Thoughts from the executive

June 23, 2010

Times like these...

There once was a time I would be quick to talk about how "busy" I might be until reading a daily devotional from the Purpose Driven Life Connection that said something like "if you are busy, then maybe you need to let something go." Rick Warren discussed that if what we do is part of our purpose, then consider your life full and filled with meaning.

Since then I now say things have been very "full" and not the "b" word.

Well, you could probably imagine that serving at the Jackie Robinson Family YMCA keeps me on a full schedule. Then it's times like last week, when my wife lost a sister and I received news that my brother died tragically back home in Detroit that you can only wonder how full is full?

"It's times like these you learn to live again, it's time like these you give and give again, it's time like these you learn to love again." Foo Fighters

So just about the time when you wonder if what you are doing in the game of life is really making a difference, I receive reminders like this message that arrived today that I am spending my heaven doing good on earth every day at the Jackie Robinson Family YMCA:

Coach,

I was 12 years old when I first walked into the Jackie Robinson YMCA. I was nervous to join the Jackie Robinson Monarchs, the 12 and under girls basketball team you coached. Acceptance was not something I had to worry about on the team, or the YMCA. With such a supportive atmosphere, the Jackie Robinson Y quickly became a second home for me. Being a part of the Lady Monarchs opened the door to life changing experiences, lifelong friends, and paved the way for my future basketball career. We journeyed to cities all over California, Connecticut, along with a trip to New York City the summer before 9-11. We even were honored with an official Jackie Robinson YMCA Lady Monarch Day by the San Diego City Council!

After playing for the Monarchs for 2 years, I would eventually take my basketball career to the high school level at Mt. Miguel High School. Then continue to the collegiate level playing my freshman year at UCLA and then transferring to San Diego State for the remaining 2 years. I am honored to look back on my achievements as a basketball player while never forgetting where I started.

Although my experience in playing basketball definitely contributes to my character, it doesn’t last forever. Aside from basketball, the Jackie Robinson YMCA helped me understand the importance of community. As a team, we were involved in many community service activities.

Although I may not be 12 anymore, the memories, lessons, and experiences at the Jackie Robinson YMCA will be instilled in me forever. When I started writing I realized how many things the Y has done for me, that I couldn't begin to list all of the life changing experiences. It would have been impossible for me to get where I came from without the YMCA making such a major impact on my life. I made a promise to myself that whenever I get able, I will do what I can to give back to my community.

On Friday June 25, 2010 at the Lyceum Theatre in downtown San Diego, my production company, Insatiable Productions, will be hosting the Passion 4 Fashion Runway Show and a portion of the proceeds will be donated to the Join a Team Not a Gang Youth Sports Program at the Jackie Robinson YMCA. Though t is important to me to first recognize a problem in the community, it is even more important to make the effort to assist in changing it. I remember being that 12 year old girl walking into the Jackie Robinson YMCA and having dreams to become something great. Now that the family at Jackie Robinson has helped me and will continue to help me become great, it is my turn to help the next child reach their dreams.

Monarchs Forever!

Jerica Williams
[email protected]
(619) 993-0601


I hope you will support Jerica's efforts to give back to the Jackie Robinson Family YMCA on Friday night. You can also contribute online in her name at DONATE. By doing so, you will be letting Jerica know her Y story is right on time!

Follow Michael Brunker at http://twitter.com/michaelbrunker

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