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Armed Services YMCA San Diego

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Nonprofit Overview

Causes: Human Services, Young Mens or Womens Associations

Mission: The Mission of the San Diego Armed Services YMCA is to enhance the lives of military personnel and their family members in spirit, mind, and body by providing programs to strengthen them and that are relevant to the unique challenges of military life. All programs are free for military families and include confidential in-home counseling, family bonding, patient recreation, and youth development programs.

Geographic areas served: San Diego

Community Stories

26 Stories from Volunteers, Donors & Supporters

2

Board Member

Rating: 5

I have been a member of the Board of Management for over 30 years. During that time I have had an opportunity to work closely with the staff and volunteers of the San Diego Armed Services YMCA. They are hard-working, thoughtful, compassionate people. I have been especially honored to work on the Christmas You Missed program which recreates Christmas on July 25th for those service members and their families who were not able to spend the previous Christmas together because the service member was on a deployment. It is a heartwarming celebration to let these families know that the San Diego community appreciates the sacrifices our military members make on behalf of their country. I support the San Diego ASYMCA as a volunteer and a financial contributor.

Previous Stories
2

Board Member

Rating: 5

Over 30 years ago a good friend and mentor told me about the work he was doing with the San Diego Armed Services YMCA. Since I was working with for an organization that provided financial assistance and counseling for Navy and Marine Corps families, the SDASYMCA was a perfect fit because they also provide direct services and programs to young military families. I quickly became aware of how caring the staff was at helping these families cope with the stresses of separation from their military member because of extended and multiple deployments. As a volunteer and Board member, I have seen first hand how ASYMCA programs help families with in-home counseling by trained counselors, help with gift cards for food and gas, respite child care, car seats, cribs, and diapers. They help families learn problem-solving skills and improve their marriage and parenting skills. I've been involved in other programs like Christmas You Missed that recreates Christmas Day every June 25th for families separated by deployment on the previous December 25th. Operation Hero builds self-esteem in young children faced with relocation to new schools and neighborhoods as well as coping with the absence of a parent. Operation Kid Comfort provides a personalized family quilt to every child in the family with favorite pictures of the military parent. All of these programs are free of charge. For over 30 years I've watched Executive Directors and staff members retire and move on, but the caring and exceptional skill with which the staff meets the needs of this special group of Americans never changes. It just gets better. My friend and mentor died over a year ago and the Paul Hartley Outreach Complex was named after him. I will continue on as a volunteer dedicated to making life easier for military families.

1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I have been leading meditation via The Meditation Initiative at the Navy Medical Center for almost 2 years. I am so honored to volunteer for the San Diego Armed Services YMCA.

1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

As a volunteer for San Diego Armed Services YMCA, I see the benefits of this wonderful organization. In my duties as a volunteer, I bring magazines, puzzle books, etc. to patients in the wards of the Navy Medical Center. I am thanked numerous times during my visits for what I do and am told how great it is that the hospital has this service right in its building. Even the simplest thing like giving someone a word search puzzle book and a pencil brings a smile to the patient's face and in turn, to mine. I am so glad I became a volunteer with San Diego Armed Services YMCA!

7

Client Served

Rating: 5

I love the ASYMCA. They provide an opertunity for my daughter and I to particiate as a family with the comunity while my husband is deloyed. I have just moved to San Diego in December and do not know what I would do with out the programs and events offered by the ASYMCA. We have attended excellent programs such as mom and tots as well as craft and conversations. We have been choosen to attend events such as the valentines party for family of deployed service members and the easter estravaganza.

9

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I volunteer leading meditation for the Health and Wellness Center at the US Navy Medical Center. I work with clinical staff, people with Diabetes and others who choose to join the meditation classes. Working wth this organization has been an amazing experience! I hope to work with the Wounded Warriors soon and so grateful to be of service.

9

Client Served

Rating: 5

The San Diego Armed Services YMCA is a God-send to military families! They always have free events going on at numerous housing locations and offer a lot of assistance to families. They have free food drives in my housing and always have a great turnout! Great organization!!

10

Volunteer

Rating: 5

We have had the pleasure of working with the San Diego Armed Services YMCA on several of our events and their events. They have been wonderful to work with in all aspects of event planning. The programs they have are inspirational to so many and really make a difference in the community. We look forward to working with them on future events.

4 mpiasecki31

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Volunteering at the Armed Services YMCA at Balboa has been such a rewarding experience for me. Not only does the ASYMCA have many different volunteering opportunities and events, but the staff is also so friendly and helpful. Because of them, we (the volunteers) are able to reach out and help so many patients and their families.

4

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

I measure the effectiveness of a non profit organization like the ASYMCA of San Diego by the direct influence my small and inconsequential contribution directly makes on those for whom they are intended. I can attest directly that each of those military members and or their dependents who has interacted with Paul Steffen's and or one of his super staff members would agree 150%. And from what I understand it does not stop there, the assistance and acts of kindness that go on behind the scenes from military hospitals to private counceling services reinvents the term giving back.....and who but those who defend and protect our country needs or appreciates it more?

4

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I am a retired Naval Officer and currently a 10 year veteran of the SDPD. I have spent more than 30 years volunteering with organizations all over the world such as Special Olympics (SD, Washington state, Guam), Children's Hospital, RidesandSmiles, various school parternships, overseas orphanage repairs and the SD Blood Bank.

4

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I am amazed how many thousands of people the San Diego Armed Services YMCA serve with such a tiny staff and overhead. I, too, volunteer, mostly with the C-5 Medevac casualty reception team. Having spent a couple of times in military hospitals during my U. S. Army enlistment, I am thrilled to help the AS YMCA make our current military's experience much better than mine. They are a crucial and vital element in the overall operational effectiveness and moral of military forces.

1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I volunteer at the Armed Forces YMCA to help all the troops. I am a Navy reserve and I want to give back to all those who served alongside me. I also am going into the medical field and the Armed Forces YMCA helped to find a clinic for me so I could volunteer there. I am not sure what I am going to specialize in, but they helped me to get started in finding out what I want to specialize in. I can't say enough about what they have done for me and countless others. I created the database that records what is given to troops that come in and I am astounded by how much they give back to the troops. Everything they can do or give they will if they can. The personnel who work at the Armed Forces YMCA are very nice and extremely helpful. I don't know what else I can say, but I hope the Armed Forces YMCA makes National Goal. I'm glad I could volunteer with the Armed Forces YMCA and make a difference even though I left the Navy.

7

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I was enraged about the Iraq War and felt helpless. The ASYMCA at NMCSD gave me a chance to apply my experience to needed tasks that enabled me to rechannel my rage into actively helping pick up the pieces. I helped organize volunteers to meet every incoming combat injured and help their families cope with uncertainty. I wrote and keep up-to-date the information brochure that each family receives. I conduct a writing workshop out of whlch have come three pieces to be published in a national magazine. My life would be in tatters without the ASYMCA. It turned rage into help.

4

Volunteer

Rating: 5

The armed forces YMCA has provided me with an opportunity to give back through participation in their pet therapy program at Balboa Naval Medical Center. Bringing my therapy dog weekly to the hospital not only gives staff and patients a lift but it allows me as a recently retired veteran to still feel a part of the care team. When an individual retires there is often a feeling of loss which the AFYMCA has helped aleviate

7

Volunteer

Rating: 5

The old adage of the more you give the more you receive really rings true regarding my experience with San Diego Armed Services YMCA USA and their Christmas toy donation event. On my birthday in December, my wife and I volunteered. We worked extremely hard and put in many hours, but afterward we felt so vibrant and joyful. What a great gift it was to help others enjoy Christmas and the holiday season. The smiles on everyone's faces helped make this one of my most enjoyable and memorable birthdays ever. Thank you ASYMCA for all that you do and for allowing me to participate in such a necessary and generous event. Your staff and managers were courteous, organized, welcoming and attentive. I'll definitely be back!

8

Volunteer

Rating: 5

As a regular weekly volunteer with the San Diego ASYMCA, my experience has been second to none. I have thoroughly enjoyed all of my volunteer experiences with ASYMCA and it has allowed me to learn new tasks, activities, and given me a great outlet to interact with the many fine men and women and their families who serve our country. Not only do I find the work fulfilling and fun, but I also have learned so much about the military, how things are run, and many great personal stories from soliders. It has been and continues to be an honor to volunteer for the San Diego ASYMCA.

4

Volunteer

Rating: 5

There are quite a few rewarding volunteer opportunities available . . . I regularly help out in the administrative office and make myself available for whatever else needs to be done at any moment . . . helping to organize the many contributions received from generous donors, walking through the hospital wards with other volunteers to visit with patients, offering books, videos and blankets, escorting volunteers handing out cookies and other homemade treats to patients during the holidays, wrapping gifts in preparation for holiday parties for active duty families and helping to serve lunch at the monthly town hall meeting for amputees and other service men and women undegoing rehabilation.

4

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I have volunteered in the C5 program and for other activities at Balboa Naval Medical Center in San Diego for the past three years. Working with wounded soldiers and their families has been one of the greatest privileges of my life made possible by the ASYMA in partnership with their staff, military support staff, and my fellow volunteers. My one regret is that I recently moved out of California and there is no ASYMCA branch or similar organization where I now live. So I still seek opportunities to volunteer in San Diego.

10

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I love volunteering at the ASYMCA! I appreciate the opportunity to help support military men and women working hard to serve our country. I receive thank yous and lots of appreciation from families for the services offered every time I volunteer. The programs are well organized and focused on meeting the needs of the families they help. The people working at the ASYMCA are really nice and work hard to add and expand to what they offer. Volunteering at the ASYMCA is a great way for me to contribute to my community and have a fun, rewarding experience!

4

Volunteer

Rating: 5

We're all lucky to have such a dedicated group of people servicing our armed forces community in San Diego. Nobody deserves our respect and assistance more and the ASYMCA deserves our support.