History

 

The Y is committed to strengthening community because we are the community. Together with you, your family and your neighbors, our movement strengthens America’s towns and cities through promoting three things: youth development, healthy living and social responsibility. As an organization, we’ve done it for 160 years, and we’re determined to keep doing it.

When a dozen young working men founded the YMCA of London in 1844, their focus was on satisfying the spiritual needs of young men like themselves. They worked to bring their peers into a safe place where they could reject the vices of the street and develop in spirit. The Y has changed greatly since those early days and now has a presence in 10,000 neighborhoods across the nation. Through our programs, the Y helps people of all ages and from all walks of life to learn, grow and thrive.

Basketball, volleyball, racquetball and Father’s Day all started at the Y. We pioneered the USO, the Peace Corps and things like pre-school, camping and group swimming lessons. Our programs, services and initiatives get kids off the street, help send disadvantaged teens to college, provide shelter for the homeless and care for the elderly, prepare people for employment, welcome and embrace newcomers, and help foster a nationwide service ethic. 

Deeply rooted in our local community, our movement is made up of people of all ages, faiths and abilities, all working side-by-side to ensure that everyone, regardless of gender, income or background, has the opportunity to live life to its fullest. We value caring, honesty, respect and responsibility, and everything we do stems from this.

Shared values hold families and communities together. And character development must be a responsibility shared by the whole community. If we work together to live out our values every day, and pass them on to our children, we can go a long way toward solving some of our society’s most pressing problems. Please join us in accepting this challenge to make our community and our world a better place – a place where everyone can succeed.