Homage to the Randolph YMCA by Carlotta Holton
In the aftermath of the recent storms there has been great outrage over the power outages throughout Morris County. Tempers have risen and many have played the blame game against JCP&L and anyone or thing connected to their misery. There was even a man in another country who threatened violence against the company.
Granted it was no fun dealing without electricity, hygiene issues and generators. Being redirected through streets not familiar to avoid hanging power lines was time consuming. Not knowing when the power would be restored was frustrating. We were tired, hungry, grumpy and angry at being displaced from our everyday routines.
People react in different ways to disasters and the ensuing stress. Some moved in with other relatives, rented a hotel room, or stuck it out piling on extra blankets at night before their fireplaces and eating a steady diet of peanut butter sandwiches. Dining out became a part of the experience as cooking was not available to most of us. There is little doubt this was an experience we do not wish to repeat. (Of course I said this when we were without power for 13 days during Hurrican Sandy).
My late father always taught me to look for the positive and to find something good that came out of such a dreadful event. Besides the commiseration of neighbors sharing in the experience as they went to the store for batteries and water, there was a helping hand out there. Amidst this chaos foisted upon us by Mother Nature, there was a shining light to those who availed themselves of it. I speak of the Randolph YMCA.
Not for the first time, the facility opened its doors to non-members in need of warmth and a hot shower. It may not seem like much to some, but it truly can make a difference. How one feels is how one acts. There is no written law that states the Y must open its doors, but Executive Director Bill Lamia will tell you, "It's part of the sharing experience that is the Y." It's what I call the meaning of being neighborly.
I am a proud member of the YMCA and am daily grateful for its wonderful facilities, classes, opportunities and tremendously kind and talented staff. For this Chester resident, it stands as a symbol of welcome, relief and comfort as we weathered the storms.
Kudos to the Randolph YMCA!