YMCA of Greater New York Partners with Jay Williams for “What’s Your Y” Video Series

08 December 2020

Video Series to Explore the Importance of the YMCA

To coincide with Giving Tuesday last week and the overall generosity movement surrounding the upcoming holidays, the YMCA of Greater New York announced today a partnership with entrepreneur, ESPN host, and YMCA alumnus Jay Williams for a video series exploring the crucial impact and influence the Y has provided to hundreds of thousands New Yorkers.

The video series, produced by NBC Universal, will explore in depth what the YMCA means to its communities and the individuals who live, work, socialize and play in those communities, and will feature YMCA alumnus Jay Williams, the former professional basketball player. The video series will also include interviews with Ryan La Barrie, 16, from the Flatbush and North Brooklyn YMCAs, and Shannya Campbell, 14, from the West Side YMCA, who will discuss the Y’s role in their lives and how the organization has helped young people like themselves to learn, grow and thrive.

Due to the pandemic, the YMCA of Greater New York has lost more than 50 percent of its annual revenue. But despite these losses, they have increased programming to aid those in need. Today, the organization is asking for help in order to continue taking care of local communities and lift those who need the Y the most. The YMCA set a goal to raise $5 million to provide vital services across the five boroughs to New York City’s most vulnerable people. Thanks to a Board Matching Challenge, all gifts will be matched up to $250,000 from now until December 31.

“Not only has it been a tough year for the Y, but it has been extremely difficult for the entire city of New York,” said Sharon Greenberger, President & CEO of the YMCA of Greater New York. “We couldn't be more excited to partner with a Y alum and someone as thoughtful as Jay Williams to shed light on what the Y means to its communities. We’re looking for help from all New Yorkers to allow us to help more teens, like Ryan and Shannya, find their passion and purpose.”

“The Y means everything to me and I wouldn’t be the man I am today without their nurturing environment,” said Jay Williams. “That’s why it’s my honor to partner with the YMCA of Greater New York to not only raise awareness about the importance of the Y, but also the stability that it can provide to millions of kids and their families, just like it did for me.”

Viewers can watch the first video of the three-part series HERE, which includes a fascinating conversation with Ryan La Barrie on how the Y has inspired him to make change in his community, with following episodes going live in the coming days. Additionally, Sharon Greenberger and Jay Williams also conducted an Instagram Live last week to discuss the partnership, what the Y means to them, why the Y needs support, and what viewers can expect from the video series.

For more information and to donate to the YMCA of Greater New York, please visit www.ymcanyc.org or follow us on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram at @ymcanyc.


About the YMCA of Greater New York

The YMCA of Greater New York is here for all New Yorkers — to empower youth, improve health, and strengthen community. Founded in 1852, today the Y serves a diverse population of more than half a million New Yorkers who learn, grow, and thrive through programs and services at our 24 branches. Community is the cornerstone of the Y. Together, we connect active, engaged New Yorkers to build stronger communities. Follow us on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram at @ymcanyc.