Regional YMCA, Inc. Overview
Programs: To Put Judeo/Christian principles into practice through programs that build healthy spirit, mind and body for all, and to instill the values of caring respect and responsibility of members in our community.
Ys help people develop values and behavior that are consistent with Christian principles. Ys are for people of all faiths, races, abilities, ages and incomes. No one is turned away for inability to pay. YMCAs'' strength is in the people they bring together.
In the average Y, a volunteer board sets policy for its executive, who manages the operation with full-time and part-time staff and volunteer leaders. Ys meet local community needs through organized activities called programs. In its own way, every Y nurtures the healthy development of children and teens; strengthens families; and makes its community a healthier, safer, better place to live.
YMCA programs are tools for building the values of caring, honesty, respect and responsibility. Longtime leaders in community-based health and fitness and aquatics, Ys teach kids to swim, offer exercise classes for people with disabilities and lead adult aerobics. They also offer hundreds of other programs in response to community needs, including camping, child care (the Y movement is the nation''s largest not-for-profit provider), teen clubs, environmental programs, substance abuse prevention, youth sports, family nights, job training, international exchange and many more.
History: The YMCA was founded in London, England, in 1844 by George Williams and about a dozen friends who lived and worked as clerks in a drapery a forerunner of dry-goods and department stores. Their goal was to help young men like themselves find God. The first members were evangelical Protestants who prayed and studied the Bible as an alternative to vice. The Y movement has always been nonsectarian and today accepts those of all faiths at all levels of the organization, despite its unchanging name, the Young Men''s Christian Association.
The first U.S. YMCA started in Boston in 1851, the work of Thomas Sullivan, a retired sea captain who was a lay missionary. Ys spread fast and soon were serving boys and older men as well as young men. Although 5,145 women worked in YMCA military canteens in World War I, it wasn''t until after World War II that women and girls were admitted to full membership and participation in the US YMCAs. Today half of all YMCA members and program members are female, and half are under age 18.
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