The West Suburban YMCA released a video, “Y Good News,” on May 8 to reinforce resilience and hope in Newton residents during COVID-19, inspired by Newton-local John Krasinski’s weekly web series, “Some Good News.”
In the “Y Good News” video, Jack Fucci, CEO and President of the West Suburban Y, highlights the importance of Newton residents sticking together during times of hardship and feelings of hopelessness. Krasinski’s ties to the West Suburban Y go back many years to when he was a summer camp counselor there in the ’90s.
Fucci said they created “Y Good News” in an effort to change the way people are able to stay connected during the pandemic, as well as online updates and classes.
“It is time to shift the conversation to more positive topics so that residents can feel good about what is to come,” he said.
Fucci grew up in Watertown, and said his mother motivated him to give back to his community, which is what inspired him to start a career helping people achieve their goals through relationship and community building.
Fucci said he tries to create an inclusive and accepting environment at the Y and hopes people from all backgrounds can find a home within the community.
Louisa Sylvia, a Newton resident and psychologist at Mass General Hospital, said her family has been a part of the West Suburban Y community for three years. Sylvia said “Y Good News” is a really great addition to the Newton community, especially in helping people remain positive during the pandemic.
Sylvia said she and her family have built strong ties within the West Suburban Y community.
“The Y is a wonderful way to bring all people together,” she said. “It’s a place that keeps my children engaged and active.”
Fucci asked Dana Hanson, director of Community Engagement and Inclusion in the mayor’s office, to speak in the video about initiatives residents have created in COVID times.
“Newtonians are passionate about solidarity, and Jack Fucci has done a great job transforming the idea of inclusion in uncertain times,” Hanson said in an interview.
Newton Neighbors Helping Neighbors — a Facebook group — is another “really great way” locals are staying in touch and making organic connections with people in their communities, Hanson said. He also pointed to Newton Together, a community effort to show unity.
Now, nearly a month after the “Y Good News” video was posted, times have changed quickly — again. In the wake of the death of George Floyd, Hanson said she hopes the Y will be able to create another video "that speaks to the acceptance and inclusion of BIPOC voices”.
Fucci said the West Suburban Y will be able to produce “at least one more YGN that highlights the positive aspects of kids who are accomplishing great things in the community.”
Sylvia said her family looks forward to upcoming programming.
“The Y is a place that values community, not competition,” she said. “Y Good News does a great job of showing that.”.
View the “Y Good News” video here.
Namu Sampath can be reached at email@example.com.