YMCAs in the United States
YMCA in the United States, like in many other countries is a community of men, women and children that have come together with a shared commitment to nurture the potential of kids and to promote healthy living. The community also believes in inculcating a sense of social responsibility among all members. YMCA stands for Young Men's Christian Association and nowadays also referred to as "the Y".
Like most social organizations, YMCA is a non-profit organization. It brings people together and connects people from various backgrounds and ages to come together in order to meet the needs of the community. While YMCA is an organization that you can find in many countries across the globe, the specific goals and missions are based on the needs of the community that it is located in.
In the United States, YMCA has more than 2600 offices where they are present. These offices employ about 20,000 full time employees and there are 500,000 volunteers in about 10,000 communities. It has brought together 9 million youngsters and 12 million adults across these communities.
YMCA focuses on various kinds of activities. The areas that are covered under youth development include child care, education and leadership, sports activities and camping. The healthy living aspects that are covered in YMCA include family time, health, wellbeing and wellness, sports and recreation and other group interests. Areas that are covered under social responsibility are summer food program, social services, global services, volunteerism and advocacy too.
YMCA in United States has helped many communities in numerous ways. While in some places the focus has been on educating the youth, there are other places and communities where they have played an important role in helping parents manage young children when they are away at work. Sports like basketball, swimming, baseball and more have also gained a lot from the Y. Camping has also been a regular activity at the YMCA meeting, with camps organized annually for various age groups.
YMCA considers itself as a worldwide Christian ecumenical organization that brings men, women and children together in order to help relevant social causes. It seeks to provide genuine help to those in need and aims at creating an environment of peace, justice and reconciliation. The idea is to allow each and every human being to lead a healthier and fuller life. The members of YMCA are asked to focus on specific challenges that are prioritized based on the context and the Kampala Principles.
The members of the organizations believe in empowering young people to take on some responsibility so that they can do something to move towards a more equitable society. The rights of women and children are promoted at all times. While the organization was developed based on Christian principles, the organization encourages dialogue ad cooperation between various religions, cultural identities and faiths. In keeping with this objective YMCA of United States aims to work in such a manner that they can work in solidarity with the poor, uprooted, oppressed and dispossessed people. Adequate emphasis is also given to religious and ethnic minorities.
YMCA looks towards protecting the great world that God has created in all ways that it can. But the organization also believes in enhancing the natural potential that people in the community have. For this, various programs have been created in order to help young people come forward. Not only are there youth development programs but classes that can help them excel in the field that they feel is their forte.
With the vast network that YMCA has across various countries in the world, this is an organization that has made an positive impact in the United States as well as in many other countries. While the specific programs may be based on the need of the community, the fact that each of the communities has been impacted positively is one common aspect across all YMCA's.
With a presence across 10,000 neighborhoods, YMCA in the United States is a leading non-profit organization. YMCA was founded in 1844 to help young men who migrated to the city of London from rural areas to find a job. While there were many men's associations, YMCA brought young men together to meet social needs of the community. The United States YMCA was formed by Boston sea captain Thomas Valentine Sullivan who saw a need to create a 'home away from home' for sailors and merchants. This was done on December 1851 at the Old South Church in Boston.
The first YMCA for the black people was founded in 1853 by Anthony Bowen. Since then the US YMCA has always ensured that immigrants were welcomed in the country and helped them in adapting to the place. In 1856, an English second language class started to be held for German immigrants at Cincinnati. Chicago's Farwell Hall was the first YMCA dormitory that was created in 1867. Such accommodations grew from 55,000 in 1922 to 100,000 in 1940. Some of the most well-known people have been known to stay here in their early days in U.S.
In 1875 the first YMCA to help the large Chinese population was created and in 1971, a Japanese YMCA was built in the country. In 1885, camping was introduced to YMCA, something that has become a key part of the organization in the area of youth development. There were also a large number of programs that were created to provide youth with vocational training. Evening classes were started at Boston in 1893. And by 1950 YMCA was operating in about 20 colleges.
Ever since there have been various campaigns that YMCA has taken up depending on the need of the period and the community. There was a campaign to teach every man and boy in America to swim. YMCA also played a critical role in World War I and II.
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