The YMCA, have been providing child care to America s children for more than a generation. They are, collectively, the largest providers of child care in the nation, serving nearly 15 million men, women and children with programs designed to foster the four core values of caring, honesty, respect and responsibility. The YMCA was founded in London, England, in 1844 by George Williams along with other men. Their goal was to help young men like themselves find God. The first members were evangelical Protestants who prayed and studied the Bible as an alternative to vice. The first U.S. YMCA started in Boston in 1851, the work of Thomas Sullivan, a retired sea captain who was a lay missionary. Ys spread fast and soon were serving boys and older men as well as young men. Although 5,145 women worked in YMCA military canteens in World War I, it wasn't until after World War II that women and girls were admitted to full membership and participation in the U.S. YMCAs. More recently, the YMCA of the USA has collaborated with The Search Institute, a Minneapolis-based nonprofit research organization. Search has developed a framework for describing positive youth development through several developmental assets -- things that young people
(ages 12 to 18) need to grow up healthy. Search show that these developmental assets are the building blocks that help young people make positive, healthy choices as they grow from children to teenagers to adults.
To put Christian principles into practice through programs that build
healthy spirit, mind and body for all.
All of the programs nurture spirit, mind and body and incorporate the values of caring, honesty, respect and responsibility, based on the teachings of our Judeo-Christian heritage. These are indispensable qualities if children are to thrive and become healthy in spirit, mind and body, long a central theme of the YMCA movement.
The YMCAs, believe that millions of young people are in jeopardy because they lack necessary developmental "assets" -- assets that they believe are the prerequisites for healthy, happy, successful and productive lives. Every parent faces a decision in which all must turn attention to our children urgently, lest they continue to be afflicted by the combined and interrelated "deficits" of poverty, domestic violence, and -lack of adequate education.