Special to Iredell Free News

The YMCA of Northwest North Carolina will implement a chaplaincy program this year, which will create a place for members to speak with someone in a safe, nurturing space.

This program was under consideration prior to the COVID-19 pandemic. But with the toll the pandemic has placed on so many people’s mental and spiritual health, the need is even greater now.

“Our mission here at the Y states that this is a place for all people to reach their God-given potential in spirit, mind and body. This chaplaincy program ensures that we can focus even more so on the spirit and mind,” said Stan Law, president and CEO of the YMCA of NWNC.

“There is a great need for a program like this in our communities, and the Y is thrilled to offer it to those who need it,” said Luke Harris, operations director of the Davie Family YMCA, and coordinator of the Chaplaincy Program

The chaplaincy program is composed of volunteers, who will be available at posted times at various Y branches.

This program is open to all people, regardless of their faith or background.

“This program is not here to replace religious worship or professional mental health services, but it is here for those who are seeking a person willing to listen. And hopefully, someone who can help refer them to other outside services when appropriate,” said Law.

“What we don’t want to do is alienate people or make anyone feel as though you have to believe or feel a certain way to benefit from this program. What we want to do is create a space in our Ys where people can feel respected and listened to by compassionate members of their community,” said Luke Harris.

LEARN MORE

The Y is currently seeking volunteers to join its chaplaincy program to help launch the program in the near future. If you or someone you know are interested in learning more or finding ways to support the chaplaincy program, contact Luke Harris at l.harris@ymcanwnc.org.

The YMCA of Northwest North Carolina is a nonprofit 501(c)(3). The association is based in Winston-Salem and has 14 branches located in seven counties — Alexander, Davie, Iredell, Forsyth, Stokes, Wilkes and Yadkin. 

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