North Suburban YMCA Partners with Covenant Living to Reduce Isolation for Seniors

  • Aaron Lei,10 and his brother Brayden, 12, participate in the "Brighten Someone's Day" Community Outreach program by making uplifting cards for isolated Seniors in Covenant Village.North Suburban YMCA

    Aaron Lei,10 and his brother Brayden, 12, participate in the "Brighten Someone's Day" Community Outreach program by making uplifting cards for isolated Seniors in Covenant Village.North Suburban YMCA

Updated 3/26/2020 8:21 AM

The North Suburban YMCA has joined forces with long time community partner Covenant Living to launch the "Brighten Someone's Day" outreach program, designed to bring joy to senior residents struggling with isolation. During the shelter-in-place order, residents have been unable to visit with their families as well as other residents, and are now restricted to their apartments.

The "Brighten Someone's Day" program is open to anyone in the community who would like to share an uplifting picture, card, story, or video with Covenant Living residents. The Y has worked to make sure these messages will be delivered virtually to Covenant Living. For residents ordering groceries through Sunset Foods, delivery staff will place a "Brighten Someone's Day" note, drawing, or message directly inside the resident's grocery bag.


"We feel very fortunate that we have had a long partnership with the North Suburban YMCA," commented Hilde Sager, Executive Director of Covenant Living. "Knowing we have support from them and the community is a great source of connection during these challenging times for our residents."

Both Meadowbrook Elementary School in Northbrook and the Field School in Wheeling are actively participating in the program by asking children, their parents, and anyone interested to contribute to "Brighten Someone's Day" program.

To ensure the process is completely contact-free, all artwork and messages will be uploaded to the Y's website. To participate in this Community Outreach program, visit and click on the "Brighten Someone's Day" link. Participants will be linked to a form where they can upload their messages or artwork.

"Even though the Y is physically closed, we feel it is important to continue to spread joy and connections, one inspirational message at a time," stated Kim Nyren, Director of Community Investment at the NSYMCA. "We also hope these efforts will encourage other people in the community to get involved so we can reach even more seniors and other isolated residents in our community."

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The NSYMCA recommends four unique ways the community can participate in the "Brighten Someone's Day" program.

• Write a letter or a poem of encouragement or joy.

• Paint or draw a colorful uplifting picture

• Record a 30-45 second video to say hello, tell a joke, or show off a particular talent.

• Paint or draw a colorful picture on poster board. They will be mounted, staked, and placed in front of the residence windows.

The NSYMCA is also is bringing the community together through a variety of virtual programming for Covenant Living and the community at large. These initiative include:

• NSYMCA VIRTUAL FITNESS -- The Y has local instructors as well as national YMCA videos to keep the members healthy. Facebook live classes are also offered for an interactive experience. The classes currently available are - Cardio & HIIT, Cardio & Strength, Strength, Barre, Bootcamp, Mind & Body (Yoga), Adult, Tai Chi & Youth. Members are encouraged to check the website for daily updates.


• NSYMCA Community Boards --Community members can interact, get ideas, ask for help, have virtual fun or ask a question: Current Boards are:

o Brighten Someone's Day -- A forum to ask for help, and a place to share ideas to stay connected

o NSYMCA Community -- Membership or specific Y questions

o Adult Programming --Includes Brain games, the NSYMCA social club, Caregivers support group and other senior programming

o Health & Wellness -- Tips, workouts, questions answered

o Performing Arts -- Keeps the kids dancing

o Visual Arts -- Check in for art plans, virtual classes and artist ideas for everyone

o Special Olympics -- Stay in touch with the Special Olympics team

o Youth Development -- Offers activities, questions, websites and fun for kids

o Smartlab -- S.T.E.A.M (Science, Technology, Engineering, Art, Maintenance) programming

o Camp -- Summer Camp updates

o CEO- YMCA updates from the CEO

• Senior Activities

o Brain games -- Tuesdays at 1pm & Fridays at 9:15am

o NSYMCA Social Club -- The Community can join for camaraderie and a meal if participants want to eat along with the meeting; Lunch Thursday 3/19 at 11:45am; Dinner Monday 3/30 at 5:30pm

o Caregivers Support Group -- Fridays at 10:30am

o Adult Education Seminars

• Community Check-In form -- Residents can sign up to receive a call or make a call to someone who is feeling isolated.

• Sunset Foods Delivery Messages- The Y is working with Sunset Foods to include inspirational notes & art made by Y families and local schools to include in their deliveries.

• NSYMCA - Community Fitness Challenges -- Encourages members to work out to reach 30,000 minutes of exercise. People can track through the Y app, Facebook, email or the Wellness Community boards.

To be a part of Brighten Someone's Day. For more information visit or contact Kim Nyren at

About the North Suburban YMCA

The North Suburban YMCA services Northbrook and 14 surrounding communities with programs and tools that help its residents become healthier, more connected, and confident, ensuring that everyone, regardless of age, income, or background, has the opportunity to learn, grow, and thrive. The NSYMCA focuses on Youth Development, Healthy Living, and Social Responsibility and is a charitable organization, inclusive and welcoming to all in our community. Learn more at

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