Five Reasons to Celebrate YMCA History and How We Still Feel the Impact Today

Five Reasons to Celebrate YMCA History and
How We Still Feel the Impact Today

For 163 years, the YMCA has been more than a place; offering programs and services designed to help support a healthy “spirit, mind and body.” Here are five past notable events and achievements that demonstrate the Y’s commitment to the communities they serve:

1—American Institutions: Celebrations such as Mother’s Day and Father’s Day, and organizations like the USO and the Peace Corps, all have their beginnings in the YMCA.

2Camping Under the Stars: The oldest known summer camp, Camp Dudley, first opened in 1855 and since then countless numbers of boys and girls have learned the skills and wonders of camping through the Y.

3—Inventing New Ways to Play: From James Naismith's invention of basketball while attending YMCA training to instructors creating racquetball and what would eventually become volleyball, the Y has a rich tradition in activities that are played by millions of people around the globe. One Y staffer, Robert J. Roberts, is even credited with inventing the term “body building.”

4—Nobel Laureate: Y leader John R. Mott was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 1946 for the Y's groundbreaking role in raising global awareness and support and for the organization’s humanitarian efforts.

5—Furthering Education: The Y is credited with spearheading the first public libraries, night school for adult education and English as a second language.

Today, the Y serves more than 21 million people annually and offers resources at over 2,700 locations across all 50 states. Here are three ways “community” continues as the Y’s number one cause:
1--Supporting the Potential of Our Kids: The Y helps nearly 9 million children to reach their full potential each year through educational programs such as the Early Learning Readiness (ELR) program, which helps at-risk children enter Kindergarten ready to learn. There are also summer and afterschool learning programs to help young children improve their reading skills. Each program demonstrates the Y’s unwavering commitment to ensuring children are on track for a successful education, especially those in underserved communities. Here is a recent video the Y produced in partnership with the renowned dance troupe Catapult, which spotlights the amazing potential of today's youth:

2—Healthy Living: More than a place to work out, the Y focuses on helping people to live a healthy and full life. The Y staff and volunteers work within communities to create communal gardens, ensure that farmers markets are accessible, provide nutrition counseling, and ensure children have a safe route to school -- and so much more. Here is a video the Y and Catapult recently released on its healthy living initiatives:

3Support For All Our Neighbors: As one of the leading nonprofits in the nation, the Y's social services and food programs help more than 10,000 communities nationwide. From providing food, supplies and counseling when disaster strikes, to establishing recycling and sustainability programs, every effort helps to make a difference. Here is a video collaboration between the Y and Catapult on social responsibility:

For more information on Y programs please visit: http://www.ymca.net/somuchmore/

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