Grace Do Earns YMCA Spotlight

YMCA of Montclair, located on Park Street, has been serving the Montclair community for over a century. For the past 120 years, the YMCA has provided Montclair with endless services, in the form of Youth Development, Healthy Living and Social Responsibility. But this service would not have been possible without the dedication of the YMCA staff, who work hard everyday to make the YMCA the best it can be.

Grace Do pumps up with a friend in a studio
Photo Courtesy of Grace Do

Grace Do deserves a round of applause.

Grace Do, the Development Associate at the YMCA, is one of those employees.

As a Development Associate, Grace Do is responsible for managing the YMCA’s annual fund, the Strong Community Campaign and planning the 1891 Community Gala that the YMCA will hold on November 23.

Do is a fresh face at the YMCA, having been at there for only three months. However, this is not Do’s first run with the YMCA. Do has had experience with the YMCA before, working at the Wyckoff Y in After Care.

Prior to coming to the YMCA, Do was manager of The Laurel in Maplewood, N.J. (she recommends the butter lettuce salad, which she believes to be the most delicious thing in the world).

“When I was transitioning out of my last job, I decided early on that I wanted to work for a company or organization that contributed to a community, whether it be locally or on a global scale,” shared Do. “I also knew I wanted to do work that helped people. I was determined to find a job where I could also learn a lot.”

Grace Do didn’t realize the YMCA was what she was looking for until a friend suggested she apply for a position there.

“During the interview process, I really got the sense that it would be a great place to work, so when they offered me the job it was a no brainer!” said Do.

Due to the fact that her job revolves around projects, a typical daily schedule isn’t the norm for Do. Instead, she’s either at her desk or running around, taking care of numerous things at once.

“We plan different events throughout the year and my schedule will vary widely during those times,” explained Do. “We just ended the member-giving portion of our Strong Community Campaign. For the campaign, we held volunteer trainings, a fitness party, a swim challenge and had a big celebration at the end of it all. It’s a little quieter right now, so you’ll most likely find me at my desk. But during the campaign, I was always on the move.”

Despite the fact that her job can be hectic at times, Grace Do doesn’t mind the hard work.

“I love working at the Y. Every single day is different and interesting,” explained Do. “There are so many nice people from different backgrounds with incredible stories. And how many people can say they have a gym and two pools at their office?”

Do is a big fan of the YMCA’s most recent event: Send a Kid to Camp Phonathon.

During the phonathon, YMCA camp counselors volunteered their time and called over 2,000 community members to ask them for their help sending kids who cannot afford the cost to YMCA summer camps. Ultimately the event raised over $12,000 for camp scholarships.

The YMCA hosts nine different summer camps every year, which Do thinks are amazing programs. Grace Do also recently visited the YMCA’s Camp at the Lake in West Milford and was so impressed at everything it offers to its campers.

“They have so many activities that kids would not otherwise ever experience: archery, fishing, boating. I am so proud to be able to help kids experience summer camp. I only wish I could go!” said Do.

Grace Do believes the YMCA will be part of the Montclair community for many more years. In Do’s opinion, the YMCA’s ability to accept everyone, and create a place where every single person belongs, makes it utterly irreplaceable.

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