On June 8, people around the world will celebrate the YMCA’s historic 175th anniversary by volunteering 175 minutes of service to their communities.

Steve Garland

A good example of volunteerism in our community is Steve Garland. Steve is a Sequoia Y member, retired attorney, patent paralegal and Redwood City resident. In his retirement he informally advises people on intellectual property questions. His wife, Elizabeth Jackson (AJ), has volunteered at the Y for years. AJ convinced Steve to volunteer several years ago with our Safety Around Water program.

His active and consistent involvement as one of our volunteers in the pool during SPLASH Safety Around Water has been key to the ongoing success of the program. This last year, he began volunteering as a coach’s assistant for our winter youth basketball league. His love of mentoring children can be seen outside the Y where he tutors ESL second graders at John Gill Elementary and Hawes Elementary. In addition, he also volunteers for the San Mateo County Historical Society at the Woodside Store and the County Historical Museum downtown as a docent assistant.

Because he has seen the impact that the Y can make in a child’s life, Steve has also been a volunteer team captain for our annual campaign during the last two years. While nervous about the responsibilities the first year, he stepped up his game this year and his team was able to surpass their fundraising goal (the most over goal of all our teams – yes he’s very competitive – even in fundraising).

Steve was also one of our first members to try out Pickleball when it was introduced at Sequoia YMCA almost 3 years ago. He has helped grow the volunteer-led activity from a twice-weekly sport with 4 people showing up to play, to a five-day a week activity with a waiting list to get on the courts. He has actively coached both the adults and youth wanting to learn the rules.

Steve says “Volunteering at the Y and in my community lets me pay forward some of the many blessings I have in my life. I’ll continue to do it for as long as I’m able!” 

Volunteering offers the chance to give something back to the community or make a difference to the people around them. Ask our welcome desk to find out more about how you might be able to volunteer at the Y.