Saddletowne YMCA Adult Volunteer: Kim Greyson

Why Volunteer?

From the time I was 14 I’ve always volunteered for something. My grandfather once told me that helping people was something I should do since I would have people helping me throughout my life, either as a sports coach, a mentor in various jobs or just being there to show me the way when I was involved in some activity.

I love volunteering because I am curious, I want to get to learn more out of life, and I like to help people and share my knowledge. I have been a coach for numerous sports – gymnastics, volleyball and badminton were the major ones. I was a volunteer for the 1988 Olympics – a dancer for the Opening Ceremonies.  I was a cooperating teacher for student teachers and a mentor for first year teachers. I volunteered for the Calgary Blues Festival – for set up and tear down, and for security. The one thing I have loved the most to volunteer was for international conventions and festivals for the world of science fiction and fantasy. I was runner up in 2008 for the Canadian Aurora award for fan organization. Right now I am volunteer coordinator for When Words Collide – A Festival for Readers and Writers. With me volunteering, I can say thank you to those many men and women who helped shape me into the person I am today.

Why the YMCA?

I first got involved with the YMCA when I was in my early twenties. I was a girls’ gymnastic coach at the downtown Y and I did summer camp for gymnastics too. I’ve always enjoyed the atmosphere and the friendliness of the YMCA. I spent 19 years at the Crowfoot YMCA and during that time I used the Y facility for rehab on my double back surgery and my two hip replacement surgeries. The staff at the Crowfoot Y were very helpful with my recoveries.  When I moved back into the city and started going to the Saddletowne YMCA, I felt it was important to give back to the Y for all the kindnesses I received. And I was retired from teaching.

My Favorite Thing about the YMCA

I was a teacher for 34 years and I taught Grades 1 to 12.  I taught Grades 5 – 9 for 15 years and I loved the high energy of the students. My last 13 years I taught Grades 9 – 12 high school English. The thing about the YMCA I like the most is the interaction with the students and adults who come to the Y, the staff and the other volunteers. I didn’t know I’d miss the interaction with people when I retired.  The YMCA gives me the chance to spend time with people and to be helpful with the people I meet. I like to make people smile. Because that makes me smile too.

My YMCA Story

The YMCA has been a part of my life, off and on, since I was in my early twenties. All my experiences with the YMCA over the years have been positive and the Y has helped me tremendously when I did rehab for my various surgeries. I’ve had the opportunity to meet and interact with many amazing people who have touched my life. One example was while in the Crowfoot Plus I was talking about getting my wife a nice bottle of wine for an anniversary gift, and the next day a guy I was working out with brought me a very nice bottle of wine. He was a representative for various wineries and he gave me the bottle at no charge. People like him, who go to the Y to workout, to train, to stay healthy, play no games and are very genuine. And that is the most important aspect of the YMCA. The Y attracts many good people who are giving and caring. The people at the Saddletowne YMCA are like the guy who brought me the bottle of wine. I love the kindness they show others. I love how everyone makes me feel welcome and are willing to help me learn about the expectations of a volunteer at the YMCA.  There is no other place in the world, I’d rather be than spending time and volunteering my time on a yearly basis than the YMCA.