When Lauren Wright and her family moved to the Papillion area two years ago, their only local connection was her husband’s cousin. As a stay-at-home mother of two, she wanted to meet people and make friends, but wasn’t sure where to begin.

She met many people through her church, but it wasn’t until she joined the Sarpy Community YMCA in Papillion that she truly began to feel the giving, friendly pulse of her new home.

“I always say it’s the Sarpy YMCA community that really welcomed us to town on a large scale.”

Wright and her family relocated from Utah in May 2017 for husband Matt’s joint medical residency between Offutt Air Force Base and the University of Nebraska Medical Center.

“We’ve felt very welcome at our church, and then we started seeing people from church at the YMCA and that created even stronger relationships.”

Wright, who welcomed third-child Lily into the family that includes Landon, 5, and Mia, 3, in January 2018, began taking a body pump class a few times a week but quickly became more engaged.

It wasn’t long after joining that Wright learned of opportunities to teach classes herself. Now, she teaches body pump classes two times a week as well as one aqua interval and one ultimate strength cardio (USC) class – and more when she’s needed and available.

“Teaching the classes proved to be another great way to meet people, getting to know their names and build some relationships,” she says.

While she’s working out and teaching classes, her kids attend the Y Childwatch, and Landon is a student in the Sarpy Community YMCA’s preschool.

“I love the Y’s Childwatch ... They (the kids) love it, too, because there are so many activities for them.”

The kids also enjoy swimming in the pool and running around the gym with their mom. Landon played organized soccer last fall and intends to get more involved this summer and fall now that he’s older. Mia was too young last year, but Wright says she thinks she might sign her up for soccer this year.

They participated in the Easter egg design contest this year (and won) and last fall they helped with the YMCA’s Trunk or Treat event.

And the whole family enjoys Parents’ Night Out. The kids get free rein of the YMCA, watching movies, playing games and enjoying snacks while mom and dad get time to themselves.

While her family’s stay in the Omaha area is temporary – Matt’s residency is complete in a year and then, as a military doctor, he will be transferred – Wright says she will always have the YMCA community to call home no matter where they land.

“I know we’ll stay active within the Y because our experience at the Sarpy Community YMCA has been so positive. As soon as we move to our new town and get settled in our new house, we’ll start searching for our next YMCA home.”

Find out more about upcoming programming at a Y near you, and see how you can make the Y your home away from home.

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