Why the Y: The Porto Family

Your donation to YMCA Buffalo Niagara makes a difference in the lives of children and families right here in Western New York.

“The YMCA was the first community we found when we moved across the country to Western New York.”

-Jaclyn Porto

Flavio and Jaclyn Porto are never in one place for long, which is usually the case for military families. When Flavio received orders to go to the Niagara Falls Air Reserve Station, Jaclyn immediately started to search for a community where their boys could continue to grow and learn. That’s when the Portos found the YMCA.

“We are a military family. Flavio works long hours and travels for work, and I stay home with our boys. We are also both taking online classes. When we move to new locations, it’s critical that we establish a good, positive community for and around our family. The YMCA was the first community we found when we moved across the country to Western New York,” says Jaclyn.

The Y has impacted the Porto family in more ways than one. Not only is the Y a great place for them to work on their fitness goals and learn about healthy living, it’s also a place for their children to feel a sense of belonging. “The child watch center has been our saving grace,” says Jaclyn. “Our children have met friends and they always look forward to seeing the staff. Our kids do not warm up to strangers easily, but the staff has always been warm, patient, and kind to our family. Our children are always excited to go play and see their friends. We are so thankful for the environment and care the YMCA has provided our family.”

The Porto family fully supports the Y’s mission to be a place for all. Thanks to the generosity of community donors, the Y can stay affordable and accessible. Funds raised from the YMCA’s Annual Campaign, Turkey Trot, and Golf Classic are allocated to children and families in need, ensuring that no one is ever turned away for an inability to pay. “We are also very thankful for the Y’s initiative to help get youth involved in sports and after school activities, whether their family can afford it or not. Having worked with children and having kids of our own, we are extremely passionate about helping our nation’s youth achieve the best future possible. We are so proud to be part of an organization that helps so many in such a healthy, fun, and significant way,” says Jaclyn.

The Portos encourage other families to give the Y a try. “Everyone we have met at the YMCA is so kind, and the community is always very welcoming and fun! Whether you go to the classes, do your own workout, or just sit in the lobby with a cup of coffee, people will stop to say hello and get to know you. They will chat with your kids and make them feel important. If you’re unsure about joining, give it a try, and you will surely have a similar experience.”

To learn more about our youth development programs or to donate, click here.

The Y. For a better us.

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