SSM.Spring 2019

Issue link:

Contents of this Issue


Page 10 of 35

9 Former SSYMCA board chair Mark Dickinson remembers his first meeting with Gorman. "The Y is a huge community asset. I can't imagine the Quincy or Hanover communities without the South Shore YMCA," he said. "There's so much life and public good that comes out of the YMCA. It's wonderful." And thus, there was an almost parental sense of the need to protect the organization. When Gorman attended his first meeting as CEO, Dickinson was interested to see how he would react to the scope of the proposed capital project to create a new Quincy Y. "The 2008 recession had hit us all pretty hard, and we were thinking that we may need to scale back what we were planning. But I'll never forget it. Paul looked at it and said, 'We need to be thinking bigger.'" Bigger included better. To accurately support the South Shore community, the Quincy Y had to mirror the community and its needs. Quincy itself had undergone a major demographics explosion since the early 1980s. By 2013, Quincy was both the "most Irish city in America" and the home of the fastest-growing population of Asian-American families in Massachusetts. The Y had to include people of varying descents, in every way possible, from multilingual teachers in the facility's State Street Early Learning Center to the inclusion of community organizations like Quincy Asian Resources, in discussions on programs that would directly benefit all. The concept of "one door that swings open continually" for the residents of Quincy goes back to the organization's founding documents. Its spirit is encapsulated in the South Shore Y's mission statement, "The better you belongs here." That spirit of inclusiveness and welcoming stretches beyond nationalities to include all. "Every single member of our community should have access to our facilities and programs," says Gorman. "And if they do not have the means, whether that is financially, physically or otherwise, we are prepared to help meet them where they are. All of the support for the South Shore Y helps us to deepen our impact, and to ensure that no one is turned away." Led by Gorman's fundraising strategies, the South Shore YMCA annually raises $3 million to return to all the communities we serve as financial assistance applicable to any Y program or service. Adhering to that vision, Gorman refocused the Y's efforts to meet seven causes head-on. Some are longstanding national YMCA themes, like water safety, social services that meet basic needs and the benefits of summer camp opportunities for kids. Others shine lights on underserved communities. Inclusion programs at the Y welcome individuals with developmental disabilities to explore their passions, from sports to self-expression through the arts.

Articles in this issue

Links on this page

view archives of SouthShoreMagazine - SSM.Spring 2019