The Winona Family YMCA will be joining communities, organizations, and YMCAs across the nation in participating in the national Welcoming Week initiative from September 13-22.
With the goal of building bridges between immigrants, refugees, and native-born residents while raising awareness of the benefits of welcoming everyone, Welcoming Week is a national initiative by Welcome America that has impacted hundreds of communities, including Winona. Last year, over 2,000 events happened nationally and more than 80,000 people participated. Locally, Project F.I.N.E. has been instrumental in leading events and rallying the Winona community with enthusiasm to participate.
The Winona Family YMCA will participate in a number of ways, internally and externally. On Friday, September 20, the YMCA will open its doors to welcome in every member of the Winona community free-of-charge. The public can participate in any one of nearly 20 fitness classes, adult sports, and open swim times throughout the day, as well as have full access to the weight room, cardio center, gym, saunas, steam rooms and whirlpools. The public can even use the Y’s Kids Corner child watch, where parents can drop off their little ones in a safe environment while they work out (preregistration is required by 6 p.m. the previous day).
Internally, the YMCA plans to have a cultural potluck, staff training by Project F.I.N.E. on how to work effectively with immigrants and refugees, heritage map where participants can place a sticker to mark the roots of their heritage, and a member appreciation day to thank members for helping create a welcoming community.