For A Better Us

October 28, 2016

SEEDifferently: Sweet Potato Black Bean Chili

Through our  SEEDifferently initiativewe hope to inspire communities to grow their own food and see the untapped potential in all spaces. You can use tomatoes and cilantro grown at home to prepare this healthy fall meal!

Serves 4 | Prep and cook time: 40 min.

Ingredients

  • 1 tbsp + 2 tsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 medium-large sweet potato, peeled and diced
  • 1 large onion, diced
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 tbsp chili powder
  • 4 tsp ground cumin
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 2 1/2 cups water
  • 2-15 oz. cans black beans, rinsed
  • 1-14 oz. can diced tomatoes
  • 4 tsp lime juice
  • 1/2 cup chopped fresh cilantro

Preparation

  • Heat oil in pan over medium-high heat.
  • Add sweet potato and onion. Cook, stirring often until onion begins to soften; about 4 minutes.
  • Add garlic, chili powder, cumin and salt. Stir constantly for 30 seconds.
  • Add water and bring to a simmer.
  • Cover, reduce heat to maintain a summer and cook until the sweet potato is tender; 10-12 minutes.
  • Add beans, tomatoes and lime juice; increase to high heat and return to a simmer, stirring often.
  • Reduce heat and simmer until slightly reduced; about 5 minutes.
  • Remove from heat and stir in cilantro.

Nutrition
Calories: 307
Fat: 8g
Carbohydrate: 51g
Protein: 12g
Cholesterol: 0g
Added sugar: 0g
Fiber: 14g
Sodium: 494mg

Photo and recipe courtesy: www.eatingwell.com

Tips: Cover and refrigerate up to 3 days; freeze for up to 3 months; Consider using tomatoes and cilantro grown at home to freshen up the meal. Learn more about growing your own food through the SEEDifferently initiative. Contact Sara Glenn by email at sglenn@firstcoastymca.org.

Through our  SEEDifferently™ initiative, we hope to inspire communities to grow their own food and see the untapped potential in all spaces. You can use tomatoes and cilantro grown at home to prepare this healthy fall meal! Serves 4 | Prep and cook time: 40 min. Ingredients 1 tbsp + 2 tsp extra…


October 20, 2016

NEWS4JAX: Hundreds of children to receive life-saving swim lessons

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – Community groups raised funds to provide free swim lessons to more than 250 local students at the new Winston Family YMCA.

Water is everywhere in Jacksonville and it can be unsafe for children who don’t know how to swim. Of the 18 people who drowned in Jacksonville this year 5 were kids under 14.

It is a generational problem where parents themselves can not swim and skills or new training is not passed on to their children. Not having access to lessons or financial restraints are barriers to acquiring water skills.

The Y’s Safety Around Water curriculum teaches children how to swim to the surface and reach a pool edge. The goal is to teach children how to get out safely and respond to unexpected water situations.

Read More

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – Community groups raised funds to provide free swim lessons to more than 250 local students at the new Winston Family YMCA. Water is everywhere in Jacksonville and it can be unsafe for children who don’t know how to swim. Of the 18 people who drowned in Jacksonville this…


October 13, 2016

How You Can Help with Hurricane Matthew Relief

The United Way of Northeast FloridaSt. Johns County United WayThe Community Foundation for Northeast Florida, and Jewish Federation of Jacksonville have joined forces to help those impacted by Hurricane Matthew and any future natural disasters in Northeast Florida. The Jessie Ball duPont Fund committed $250,000 to seed this effort and is matching donations up to another $250,000. 

Here’s How You Can Help: bit.ly/flfirstcoastrelief.

Jacksonville Mayor Lenny Curry announced the creation of the fund on Monday. Curry said “there are a lot of people in this city that are hurting right now, there are people in this city that struggle to make it every single day and now they have significant financial burden on them. The First Coast Relief Fund will help get those individuals throughout Northeast Florida who need assistance to get back on their feet,” Curry added. “A hundred percent of all gifts will go to relief effort and any unspent funds will be used to seed a permanent disaster relief fund for Northeast Florida.”

The United Way of Northeast Florida has also partnered with the American Red Cross Northeast Florida Chapter and HandsOn Jacksonville to provide information on the most critical volunteer needs. Please visit HandsOn Jacksonville’s website for the most updated information.

Some helpful tips for interested volunteers:

  1. It’s important for your safety and those around you to engage in safe volunteer opportunities and never arrive on a scene without proper training by an official disaster response organization.
  2. Please register your volunteer interest with local agencies.
  3. Please refrain from bringing donations such as clothing, food or supplies unless requested.

The United Way of Northeast Florida, St. Johns County United Way, The Community Foundation for Northeast Florida, and Jewish Federation of Jacksonville have joined forces to help those impacted by Hurricane Matthew and any future natural disasters in Northeast Florida. The Jessie Ball duPont Fund committed $250,000 to seed this effort and is matching donations up…


October 3, 2016

Watch this POWERFUL 1-minute look through the eyes of a child

All kids have potential. From one child’s point of view, see the true impact of our words.

The Y nurtures the potential of every child and teen by supporting their unique youth development journey through holistic programming. From cradle to career, the Y provides all youth with the tools and resources they need to succeed in life. Click here to learn more about our Before and Afterschool Care and Early Learning programs.

The Y.™ For a better us.™

All kids have potential. From one child’s point of view, see the true impact of our words. The Y nurtures the potential of every child and teen by supporting their unique youth development journey through holistic programming. From cradle to career, the Y provides all youth with the tools and…


September 30, 2016

SEEDifferently: Spinach Berry Salad

We know how difficult it can be to stick to eating healthy, but we want to make things a little easier by giving you this simple, easy-to-prepare recipe for Spinach Berry Salad. It’s a summertime favorite that can be enjoyed year round!

Spinach Berry Salad

Serves 4 | Prep time: 10 min.

Ingredients

  • 4 packed cups torn fresh spinach
  • 1 cup sliced fresh strawberries
  • 1 cup fresh, or frozen, blueberries
  • 1 small sweet onion, sliced
  • 1/4 cup chopped pecans, toasted

Salad dressing:

  • 2 tablespoons white wine vinegar, or cider vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons honey
  • 2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
  • 1 teaspoon curry powder (can be omitted)
  • 1/8 teaspoon pepper

Preparation

  • In a large salad bowl, toss together spinach, strawberries, blueberries, onion and pecans.
  • In a jar with a tight-fitting lid, combine dressing ingredients. Shake well. Pour over salad and toss to coat. Serve immediately.

 

Nutrition
Calories: 158
Fat: 5g
Carbohydrate: 25g
Protein: 4g

 

For more information on the SEEDifferently initiative, contact Sara Glenn by email at sglenn@firstcoastymca.org.

We know how difficult it can be to stick to eating healthy, but we want to make things a little easier by giving you this simple, easy-to-prepare recipe for Spinach Berry Salad. It’s a summertime favorite that can be enjoyed year round! Spinach Berry Salad Serves 4 | Prep time:…


September 16, 2016

Olympic Spirit Strong for Ponte Vedra YMCA Swim Team

Submitted by: Jennifer Ryan / Executive Director, Ponte Vedra YMCA

Members of the Ponte Vedra YMCA’s Flyers Swim Team recently gathered to celebrate a very successful 2015/2016 year with an award ceremony, and kicked off the new season with an Olympic-themed party. More than 40 swimmers enjoyed treats and fun with their teammates. The Flyers team has grown dramatically in the past two years under the coaching of Jennifer Salles-Cunha. So many swimmers wanted to join that an intermediate division was added in the Fall of 2015 under new coach Monique Salles-Cunha.

At the award ceremony, Coach Jen and Coach Monique presented their swimmers with Bronze, Silver and Gold medals. Bronze medals went to swimmers that participated in USA Swimming Competitions, Silver was given to those swimmers who competed in individual events at a championship meet, and Gold medals were awarded to the top two swimmers in each age group:

10 and younger Tristan Lewers and Ryland Zuniga
11-14 Jason Hepfer and Reilly McCabe
15 and older Jesse Hagy and Lilly McCabe

 

The Coaches also welcomed several new swimmers to the team. With the presentation of the medals, the coaches took a moment to acknowledge their accomplishments as well as their potential for the new season.

  • Highlights from the 2015/2016 Season include:
    Jesse Hagy taking 10th place in the 100 yard Breast Stroke and 7th place in the 50 yard Breast Stroke with a time of 28.55 seconds.
  • Jason Hepfer dominated his age group by placing in the top ten in six events, most notably winning first place in the 100 yard Butterfly with a time of 57.31. Jason also took 2nd in the 50 yard Butterfly, 3rd in the 100 yard Individual Medley, and 3rd in the 200 yard Freestyle.
  • Reilly McCabe excelled in the 50 yard Freestyle and 50 yard Back Stroke, taking 7th and 8th places, respectively.
  • Lilly McCabe was also in the top ten in the 100 yard Breast Stroke with a time of 1:09.59.
  • The Sectionals event was attended by Jesse Hagy participating in three events and Lilly McCabe swimming in five.
  • At the Summer Flags Event, Tristan Lewers did great in the Back Stroke, taking 9th place in the 100 yard and 7th place in the 50 yard, with a time of 38.35.
  • Reilly McCabe shined by getting in the top ten in four events, most notably taking 2nd place in the 50 yard Free Style with a time of 28.23, the same event that she won when she was a ten-year-old.

The new season started in September and the coaches and swimmers of the Flyers Swim Team are anticipating a fun and successful season for 2016/2017. Click here to learn more about YMCA Aquatic Programs.

Submitted by: Jennifer Ryan / Executive Director, Ponte Vedra YMCA Members of the Ponte Vedra YMCA’s Flyers Swim Team recently gathered to celebrate a very successful 2015/2016 year with an award ceremony, and kicked off the new season with an Olympic-themed party. More than 40 swimmers enjoyed treats and fun…


September 14, 2016

CVS Health Announces National Support

CVS Health today announced that it has partnered with the YMCA of theUSA (Y-USA) to help expand two programs that provide critical support to people across the country: the Diabetes Prevention Program and the nationally recognized LIVESTRONG® Foundation at the YMCA program.

 

“At CVS Health, we’re focused on providing resources and services that empower patients to manage their health in more affordable and effective ways,” said Eileen Howard Boone, senior vice president of Corporate Social Responsibility and Philanthropy at CVS Health. “We’re proud to partner with Y-USA to help both cancer survivors and those at risk of diabetes on their path to better health – whether it’s helping them learn healthy eating habits or improving their physical and emotional well-being.”

The YMCA’s Diabetes Prevention Program is a group-based lifestyle intervention for adults at high risk of developing type 2 diabetes. Through a 12-month evidence-based plan, the program has been successful in reducing the number of new cases of diabetes by 58 percent overall and by 71 percent in adults over 60.

LIVESTRONG at the YMCA is a 12-week evidence-based program that focuses on best practices for physical activity and well-being initiatives for cancer survivors. The program empowers adult cancer survivors to improve functional capacity and to increase their quality of life through an organized program of fitness and strength offered in a supportive, small-group setting.

“As a leading community-based organization committed to improving America’s health, our goal is to provide everyone access to initiatives like the YMCA’s Diabetes Prevention Program and the LIVESTRONG at the YMCA program,” said Dr. Matt Longjohn, National Health Officer, Y-USA. “Through the generosity of CVS Health, local YMCAs will be able to provide free access to services for diabetes patients and cancer survivors, who may not otherwise be able to participate in these valuable support programs.”

To read more, click here.

For more information about the First Coast YMCA Diabetes Prevention Program, click here.

CVS Health today announced that it has partnered with the YMCA of theUSA (Y-USA) to help expand two programs that provide critical support to people across the country: the Diabetes Prevention Program and the nationally recognized LIVESTRONG® Foundation at the YMCA program.   “At CVS Health, we’re focused on providing resources…


August 30, 2016

The Wait for Winston is Over!

By Beth Reese Cravey

James H. Winston, a Jacksonville civic leader, real estate developer and philanthropist, has been a YMCA devotee for 50 years.

The Y, he said, was “what we used to call gym and swim.”

But Friday he helped cut the ribbon to open the YMCA of Florida’s First Coast’s new flagship branch bearing his family name, which offers far more than a gym and a pool. The $21 million, 72,000-square-foot Riverside showplace will have programming for youth development, healthy living and social responsibility and be a hub for the area Y’s efforts to reduce chronic illnesses such as cancer, stroke, heart disease and diabetes, in a partnership with Baptist Health, Brooks Rehabilitation and Florida Blue.

“It’s going to have everything you can think of,” said Winston, 82, who has served the First Coast Y in various leadership roles, including chairman of the corporate board. “It’s probably not duplicated anywhere in the U.S. It is an honor to share my family name with this fabulous facility.”

To continue reading, click here.

By Beth Reese Cravey James H. Winston, a Jacksonville civic leader, real estate developer and philanthropist, has been a YMCA devotee for 50 years. The Y, he said, was “what we used to call gym and swim.” But Friday he helped cut the ribbon to open the YMCA of Florida’s…


August 23, 2016

Lets Move! Outside Engages Youth in Over 50 Cities!

By David Jayo, Senior Adviser to Interior Secretary Sally Jewell 

In 51 cities across the country from Anchorage to San Juan, young people are charting their own paths in America’s great outdoors. They are cleaning beaches in San Diego, planting gardens in Houston, paddling rivers in Minneapolis and dissecting invasive lionfish in Miami.

Through the Department of the Interior’s Partnership with the YMCA of the USA, American Express, local governments and hundreds of nonprofit organizations, Let’s Move! Outside is getting millions of kids to play, learn, serve and work outdoors. Through hard work, strong partners, leadership and vision, we have not only met our ambitious goals – we have exceeded many of them.

To Read More, Click Here.

By David Jayo, Senior Adviser to Interior Secretary Sally Jewell  In 51 cities across the country from Anchorage to San Juan, young people are charting their own paths in America’s great outdoors. They are cleaning beaches in San Diego, planting gardens in Houston, paddling rivers in Minneapolis and dissecting invasive lionfish in…


August 22, 2016

Thingamajig 2016

Cheers rang out in the halls of Edward Waters College, as 700 YMCA campers from across the First Coast sat awaiting the start of Thingamajig. First Coast YMCA puts on the Thingamijig convention in hopes of educating youth aged 7-15 about STEM (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics) through a hands on approach.

This year’s second annual Thingamajig was sponsored by Vystar and featured activity booths from Florida Public Archaeology Network, JEA, Mathnasium, Johnson Teens, VyStar, Claim It App, Baptist Health, Safe Kids Coalition, Wolfson Children’s Hospital, Chick fil A of Mandarin, Firehouse Subs, Sratchwerks, Enviroscapes by AmeriCorp, SeeDifferently, Edward Waters College, Florida IT Network, and UNF School of Computing, Engineering, and Robotics.

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Children spent the day in 16 hands on workshops, and they participated in challenges that allowed them to build marble roller coasters, create their own inventions and even launch off their own bottle rockets.

Although a great opportunity for summer fun, these activities also help to open the doors to strategic thinking, creative expression and great careers. At the Y, young people have numerous opportunities to learn, play and be inspired through STEM. Thingamajig is just one example of how we’re opening children’s eyes to the wonders of science, and how we’ve worked to make a difference in the lives of the children of our community this summer.

To view more photos of Thingamajig fun, click here.

Cheers rang out in the halls of Edward Waters College, as 700 YMCA campers from across the First Coast sat awaiting the start of Thingamajig. First Coast YMCA puts on the Thingamijig convention in hopes of educating youth aged 7-15 about STEM (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics) through a hands…


Mission Statement: To put Christian principles into practice through programs that build healthy spirit, mind and body for all.