INVESTING IN OUR COMMUNITY
As a leading nonprofit throughout the country, the Y has the ability to move communities forward, and that’s what we do here in Centre County. We work every day to address community needs and ensure that all are welcome and no one is turned away due to an inability to pay. In 10,000 neighborhoods across the nation, the Y creates lasting change and strengthens communities. Here are some examples of YMCA of Centre County’s services back to the community:
- 1 in 4 members are given access to the Y through our Open Doors Financial Assistance Program
- 7,780 Centre County community members have received Stewards of Children training to help prevent child abuse.
- During the pandemic, the Y continued to safely offer Early Learning, Summer Camp, and School Age Child Care programs. When local schools temporarily had to utilize remote learning, the Y branches provided full-day child care where kids had their own space to participate in school in a safe, caring, and supportive environment. This enabled parents to have peace of mind and continue working to provide for their families.
- 1,808 kids from 8 school districts received food for the weekend through the Backpack Program, helping to ensure food security when not in school.
- 340,000 meals were provided throughout the pandemic (2020) through the Free Summer Lunch Program and many other additional food distributions. The Y continues to provide frequent food distributions in various communities throughout the county.
OPPORTUNITIES FOR ALL TO LEARN, GROW, THRIVE
Children and Teens
Collectively in Centre County, the Y serves 1 in 5 kids and teens, providing a wide range of activities to nurture their full potential, including teen clubs, sports, summer camps, afterschool programs, and community service projects.
Our YMCAs provide quality, affordable childcare for working families regardless of their income level.
The Y provides a variety of opportunities for children, families, and seniors to receive food at no cost, including the Backpack Weekend Food Program, Free Summer Lunch, Fresh Express, Food Distribution, and more.
Programs including fitness classes and Silver Sneakers® ensure that older adults have every opportunity to connect with one another and engage in meaningful activities at the Y.
Everyone Is Welcome
We provide activities open to everyone in our community including free health fairs/screenings, physical activity programs, and family events. Additionally, no one is denied membership due to inability to pay.
Keeping Children Safe
The YMCA of Centre County is a lead organization in providing Stewards of Children, a training program which teaches adults to prevent, recognize, and react responsibly to child sexual abuse. Over 7,700 adults in Centre County have been trained in this program.
VOLUNTEER ENGAGEMENT AND COLLABORATIONS
YMCAs are locally driven by an ongoing assessment of community needs and controlled by a local board of community volunteers.
The Y recognizes the importance of working together to create lasting social and personal change. We partner with and support collaborations with schools, government agencies, businesses, and other charitable nonprofit organizations.
INVESTING IN OUR KIDS, OUR HEALTH AND OUR NEIGHBORS
The YMCA is committed to strengthening the community through youth development, healthy living, and social responsibility. Here are just a few examples.
Nurturing the potential of every child and teen
At the Y, children learn, grow and thrive each and every day: “As a grandparent of a kindergarten student, I am grateful for the excellent before and after school programs that the Y provides. I have been delighted to find an active, positive, and nurturing environment. The teachers manage well-organized sports, crafts, and play activities. More importantly to me, they make every effort to instill in the students personal responsibility and respect for each other… Thank you for providing our community with a wonderful place for our children to thrive.”
Improving the community’s health and well-being
The Y fosters connections with friends and families by providing a variety of activities and programs and is committed to helping all members of the community maintain a healthy lifestyle in mind, spirit, and body: “With the help of the Y’s Open Doors program, our family has had an eventful year. Our vacation included experienced swimmers, thanks to Y swim lessons. Our children gained an immense amount of confidence, courage, and strength, and we have been able to become healthier adults through our Y involvement. We adults even ran our first 5K with the Y this year! We look forward to continuing to grow as a family within the Y community.”
The Backpack Program, provides food for children to take home on the weekends. This program ensures that children, particularly those who typically get a free or reduced price lunch at school, have something to eat when not at school. One day, as a Backpack Program volunteer was walking into one of the schools, a parent came up to her, gave her a hug with tears in her eyes, and thanked her for the program. She told the volunteer that it is a huge relief to not worry about having enough food for her children on the weekend since her family is struggling financially. The Y is committed to doing all that it can to give back and support families and the community.