FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

More People Turn to the YMCA Than Ever Before

Strong local community presence and critical social programming draws 21 million to the nation's YMCAs

CHICAGO, IL, August 4, 2008—YMCA of the USA today announced that 21 million people—almost half of them children—are currently being served by the nation’s 2,686 YMCAs. Over the past five years, membership has increased by 2 million people nationwide—700,000 in the last year alone. This growth has resulted in the largest membership in the organization’s 157-year history in the United States. Today’s YMCAs collectively are one of the country’s largest not-for-profit community service organizations, supporting Americans at every stage of life.

“We know that our communities are facing critical issues, such as adult and childhood obesity, insufficient family support and lack of affordable child care. YMCA programs address these profound needs, and our growth speaks to the great work YMCAs across the country do every day to improve the lives of kids, families and people in need,” said Neil Nicoll, President and CEO of YMCA of the USA. “While we are pleased with the numbers, we’re even prouder of what they represent: real, positive outcomes in people’s lives. We are honored that so many people look to the YMCA as an essential part of their well-being.”

YMCAs are deeply rooted in thousands of communities across the country, meeting some of the nation’s most pressing needs: nurturing and affordable child care for low- and middle-income children; drug-prevention and anti-gang programs for disadvantaged and at-risk youth; support for families of military service members; and programs that promote healthy spirit, mind and body.

As the nation’s largest not-for-profit provider of child care, the YMCA serves more than 500,000 children at nearly 10,000 sites across the country. It also offers financial assistance to 20 percent of children in its child care programs. With more than 1,500 YMCAs serving communities where the median family income is below the U.S. average, financial assistance—made possible annually by more than $1.6 billion in public and private support and YMCA members—opens all YMCA programs to those in need.

YMCAs depend heavily on the generosity and support of more than a half million volunteers and more than 20,000 national and local partnerships. Top community collaborators for YMCAs include schools, government agencies, churches, hospitals, youth agencies, and parks and recreation departments.

“We deeply value the commitment and support that we receive from our volunteers, partners and donors," said Nicoll. “Only with their support are YMCAs able to meet the unique needs of the communities we serve.”

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Methodology/Full Results
YMCA of the USA’s annual statistics were tallied from the responses of more than 900 YMCA associations to a survey about programs and operations during 2007. The responses were collected in the first quarter of 2008. Additional YMCA statistics can be found online at www.ymca.net; click on “About the YMCA.”  For a complete summary of the data, please contact Mamie Moore at Mamie.Moore@ymca.net.

About YMCA of the USA
YMCA of the USA is the national resource office for the nation’s 2,686 YMCAs, which serve 21 million people each year, including nearly 10 million children ages 17 and under. YMCAs respond to critical social needs by drawing on their collective strength as one of America’s largest not-for-profit community service organizations. Through a variety of programs and services focused on the holistic development of children and youth, family strengthening, and health and well-being for all, YMCAs unite men, women and children of all ages, faiths, backgrounds, abilities and income levels. From urban areas to small towns, YMCAs have proudly served America’s communities for nearly 160 years by building healthy spirit, mind and body for all. Visit www.ymca.net to find your local YMCA.

Contact:
Mamie Moore
YMCA of the USA
312-419-8325
Mamie.Moore@YMCA.net

Monday, August 4, 20081

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The YMCA is a nonprofit organization whose mission is to put Christian principles into practice through programs that build healthy spirit, mind and body for all.