Volunteering is an act that is part of our daily lives, formally or informally. In other words, regardless of whether or not we decide to register in a place to volunteer, we are always volunteers, and even when we help someone to cross the street.

According to Wikipedia, “Volunteering is a voluntary act of an individual or group freely giving time and labor for community service”


    1. Volunteering your experience helps build your experience
    2. It brings fun into your life
    3. Helps you strengthen ties with your community
    4. Improve your self-esteem and generosity


At the Y, we have opportunities for everyone to share their time, dedication and expertise while serving their community. A volunteer’s time and talent can go a long way to help a child, mentor a teen or being a sports coach.

We believe that our volunteers change and impact the lives of those around them. That's why today we bring you an interview we did with our coach Andrew Aho who has been a 1st-2nd Grade Rec Basketball Coach for two seasons at Ross Farnsworth East Valley Family YMCA.


Coach Aho is a recent resident of Arizona. He comes from Southwest Washington, but he is originally from New Mexico where he spent a lot of time in sports programs, especially Olympics and kid camps. In addition, he grew up playing sports at the Y in his hometown in Mexico.

He got involved at the Valley of the Sun YMCA when he signed up his 6 year old to play basketball. “When we signed up my kid there was no coach available. They needed a coach and I volunteered happily. I wanted to make everybody have a wonderful experience, not only my kid, but also the other kids in the team.” Since he has been a coach, he has been training the kids not only to competing, but also to teach them that it is important to have fun while doing it.

Coaching has not only helped him get close to his son, but also has impacted his life. “For me coaching is the most rewarding thing I can give back to the community. It is a return of investment that other people invested to me. It shapes me to who I am.” In addition, he says: “it beats my soul to help other kids to enjoy when they are playing.”

For the last two seasons, coach Aho has been seeing how the kids come together. At the beginning they could not remember each other’s names but now they have been attending each other’s birthday parties and being involved in each other’s lives. “To me that means more, whether we win or lose a game. You are expanding your community by doing something that is fun and enjoyable.”

Volunteering has so many benefits, but one of the best benefits is to be able to see the impact you have in other people's lives. Coach Aho has seen that by him volunteering as a coach has seen not only his own kids growing and having fun while playing, but also making other kids feel safe and becoming more confident in each season, “The fact that parents can come to me at the end of the game and feel safe to tell that that was their kids favorite season so far or when they tell me that they can see their kids confidence improving that’s where the fulfilling comes in.”


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