Mission: To put christian principles into practice through programs that build a healthy, spirit, mind and body for all.
Programs: Healthy livingthe ymca focuses on healthy living by advocating health and well-being from the inside out - the spirit, mind and body. The ymca provides about 16,000 people with recreational and fitness programs that include individual and group exercise, swimming, sports and age-specific recreations. In 2014, we provided $497,664 in financial assistance for membership, wellness and aquatics programs to overcome economic barriers to participation. As a part of this, we provide affordable memberships to women in recovery from our local rescue mission. This is particularly important as our nation struggles with an obesity crisis, families struggle with work/life balance and individuals search for personal fulfillment. We offer complimentary fitness orientations and health assessments to help members set goals to improve their health. In coordination with the ymca of the usa's activate america initiative, all ymca programs promote the long-term health benefits of good diet and regular exercise to combat obesity. We bring families together, offer support, recreational and social networks that build relationships and strengthen bonds. Our programs are accessible, affordable and open to all faiths, backgrounds, abilities and income levels. Our y splash program, in coordination with local schools, is held at both our kirk and salem family ymcas giving second graders the opportunity to learn water safety and participate in swim instruction. Last year, over 1,000 second graders took part in the program, gaining self-esteem and responsibility in the water. At the program's conclusion, each child is tested for ability to save his or her own life in deep water; those who cannot pass are provided with free swim lessons until he or she can pass the test. This program has been, and continues to be, successful as students year after year look forward to participating in developing skills for life. Our swim team continues the learning from y splash with competitive meets where good sportsmanship is upheld over winning at all cost. In 2014 over 250 individuals participated in this important program.
youth developmentthe ymca is a leader in nurturing the potential of every child and teen. Each day, the ymca helps young people deepen positive values, their commitment to service and their motivation to learn. Our ymca youth outreach programs serve more than 4,000 boys and girls from preschool through high school each year. Many of these youth come from low-income neighborhoods and households unable to pay regular membership fees, so ymca programs are offered at reduced fees or at no cost. In 2014, over $12,000 was provided to needy families for their children to participate in programs. These programs include tutoring for academic achievement, structured recreation and sports, and mentoring that stresses the character values of caring, honesty, respect and responsibility. Community leaders, involved in area churches too, provide mentoring through youth sports programs. Opportunities for education against aids/hiv and gang prevention/intervention are also shared through "teachable" moments. Youth and teen leaders clubs help to grow leaders for the next generation. For the youth interested in government, our model general assembly program includes a trip to the virginia general assembly legislature session with a presentation of their own proposal for new, or changes to, laws.
social responsibilityour ymca provides a variety of programs to develop educational, social and leadership skills, and we partner with other community organizations such as roanoke city, botetourt county and salem city schools to identify and respond to community needs. In 2014, working parents and parents furthering their education on a full-time basis were awarded over $320,000 in financial assistance for their children to attend magic place. Our ymca program, too good for drugs, is an example of how our ymca develops social responsibility that strengthens our community and builds the foundation for future generations to thrive. For the last six years, ymca magic place has partnered with blue ridge behavioral healthcare to provide substance abuse prevention education through the too good for drugs program. About 250 children in grades kindergarten through 5th grade have participated in and completed a series of 10 sessions. The ymca magic place is the largest provider of school-age child care in the roanoke valley. Sixteen schools are served in roanoke city, salem city and botetourt county with about 700 preschool and elementary-age children through weekday, afterschool care and summer camp programs that stress academic success, structured recreation and mentoring. Most important, the ymca magic place program enables parents to have a feeling of confidence that their child is being well cared for.