Johanna Hoskinson’s extended family is the Eugene Family YMCA.
Johanna grew up swimming, doing gymnastics and watching her mom teach aerobics classes at the Y. As teenagers, her sister and brother trained and worked as Y lifeguards.
It was natural then that Johanna turned to the Y for her children’s preschool, swim lessons, sports clinics and summer camp.
But it was through major life crises that the Y delivered the support, compassion and acceptance that Johanna needed.
“The Y has always been amazing at helping me and my family,” she says.
When her nephew, 5 at the time, lost his ability to walk due to illness, Johanna was unsure the Y could care for him in the Friends preschool room. He was in a wheelchair and often fatigued.
“They were accommodating of his condition and accepting of him,” she says. “At the Y, with the swimming and desire to play with other kids, he soon started walking again.”
When her cousin moved to Eugene from Honduras, the single dad needed affordable childcare for his two young children. His 19-hour-a-day work schedule is grueling, but he and Johanna are grateful for the Y’s safe, enriching environment for Sophia and David.
Johanna felt the same way when her daughter Melania needed skin-graft surgery after an accident in which she was burned. The Y’s Rainbow Room preschool teachers tended to the surgery site and took care to ensure that Melania wore the appropriate garments for swimming and other activities.
“The Y has always been a part of my family,” she says.
The Y was there for her when she divorced and shortly afterwards when she was diagnosed with cancer and needed a bilateral mastectomy.
“Through my divorce and cancer treatment, the Y provided financial assistance so that I could keep my kids in childcare, swimming and sports. The Y teachers patiently guided Melania and Eliseo if they were acting out because of the divorce,” she says.
Johanna now feels more stable than she has in years but she says she wouldn’t have survived without the Y through her difficult life experiences. She regularly tells other people to seek help and support at the Y. “It’s a place that will be there for you,” she tells them.
“The patience of the people at the Y is phenomenal,” she says. “There are so many different kinds of people at the Y and everyone is welcome no matter where they are at.”