Ymca Omaha Council Bluffs Metro Area
Rating: 1 stars 1 review
Issues: Children & Youth, Human Services, Sports
Location: 430 S 20th St Omaha NE 68102 USA
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.
Organization: Each YMCA is a charitable nonprofit, qualifying under Section 501(c)(3) of the U.S. Tax Code. Each is independent. YMCAs are required by the national constitution to pay annual dues, to refrain from discrimination and to support the YMCA mission. All other decisions are local choices, including programs offered, staffing and style of operation. The national office, called the YMCA of the USA, is in Chicago, with Field offices in California, Pennsylvania, Georgia, Ohio, Indiana, Minnesota and Texas. It is staffed by 241 employees. Its purpose is to serve member associations.
International: YMCAs are at work in more than 120 countries around the world, serving more than 30 million people. Some 230 local US Ys maintain more than 370 relationships with Ys in other countries, operate international programs and contribute to YMCA work worldwide through the YMCA World Service campaign. Like other national YMCA movements, the YMCA of the USA is a member of the World Alliance of YMCAs, headquartered in Geneva, Switzerland.
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 draperya 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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I have been donating to charities for most of my adult life. Not life changing amounts, but a good support level. I have donated to the strong kids campaign for many recent years, but I found out this year some disturbing information. I guess I never looked at it this way before, but this campaign and how it's run in Omaha seems very fishy. They get general citizens like me to donate to them, so that they can "provide" a membership to someone of less means. On the surface that appears charitable. However, when you look closer, aren't they really just getting more memberships paid by people other than the person using it? This would be the equivalent of a clothing manufacturer saying that they will provide clothes to the needy as long as I pay for them at the full cost. Shouldn't the YMCA be donating something? I know the easy answer is that they are a non profit, but the reality is that their management is very highly paid for this area and nearly 10% of each donation goes right to management expenses, not to mention the extra expenses that are associated with the membership. Shouldn't we be giving to charities that provide basic life needs. Last time I checked, a family membership to a gym was not a basic life need. I admit they had me fooled for a while with the name, but more money is spent on family "scholarships" which are nothing more than memberships than any other program. Check out their 990 for yourself. Oh. That's right, they don't break out this major campaign so you can't follow the breadcrumbs. If it were a good program, they wouldn't be afraid to be transparent about how the money is used.
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