More Than a Membership

The Y is far more than just a gym. Throughout history, the Y has adapted to the needs of the community. Learn more about how you can help us adapt to address the fallout of the pandemic as we #ReBuildTogether.

For more than 175 years, the Y has led through times of change. Together with volunteers and donors, the Y has pivoted services to meet the needs of an ever-evolving community.

Throughout History

During the Civil War, Y volunteers distributed medical supplies, food, and clothing and taught soldiers to write. Committed to making higher-education accessible to working class families, the Y offered night classes beginning in 1893, operating 20 colleges in cities across the U.S. by 1950.During WWI, the Y operated canteens and provided recreation and religious services across the U.S. and France.

In WWII, the Y operated secretly inside U.S. Internment Camps holding Japanese Americans, organizing clubs and activities for children. Family programming became heightened when baby boomers needed a place where their entire family would be welcome. Now as those same boomers become older, the Y has increased services for seniors.

Who We Are

What’s amazing about this sampling of services is that fitness classes and swimming pools were never mentioned. While the Y has fitness centers and pools, it’s not who the Y is at its core.

The Y is and has always been a cause rooted in strengthening the community. Together with volunteers, this cause is delivered through programs that build a healthy spirit, mind, and body for all. Sometimes this takes place in a fitness class. Sometimes it’s through the mentoring of a high school sophomore striving to become a first-generation college student.

When someone becomes a member of the Y, they may think they are just joining a gym—but they are not 100% correct. While yes, they may gain access to a fitness center or swimming pools, they actually become a member of a community dedicated to strengthening the fabric of their local region.
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How You Help

Through program fees, membership dues, and donations, the Y can deliver its mission to put Christian principles into practice to build a healthy spirit, mind, and body for all. Joining the Y is just one step someone can make to become an active participant in community growth. Beyond this, putting that membership into action through volunteerism and engagement is the catalyst for communal development.

Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, the Y has asked its cause-driven members to #StayWithUs. Along with donations and volunteer service, those membership dues are providing childcare for essential employees, giving hope to seniors, providing academic support to kids away from classrooms, and feeding neighbors.

Moving Forward

As we brace for reopening our doors to the public, these pandemic services won’t stop. In fact, they have been going on for decades behind the scenes, fueled by members, donors, and volunteers. You are invited to join us as we #ReBuildTogether.

YMCA of Greater Cincinnati