History of the Ymca Essay

1587 Words Feb 23rd, 2015 7 Pages
What is the YMCA? The Y is made up of all ages from every walk of life working side by side to strengthen communities. The YMCA’s motto is that they work to insure everyone, regardless of gender, income, faith, sexual orientation, or cultural background, has the opportunity to live life to its fullest. They share the values of caring, honesty, respect, and responsibility. In this paper you will learn a lot about the YMCA’s history, its founder, and some of the activities.
George Williams founded the YMCA in 1844. In 1844 twenty-two-year-old George Williams joined 11 friends to organize the first Young Men’s Association (YMCA), a refuge of Bible study and prayer for young men seeking escape from life on the streets. The Y offered something
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In 1861, a conference with President Abraham Lincoln led to the full-scale recruitment of YMCA volunteers. Eventually numbering 5,000, members of the U.S. Christian Commission served as surgeons, nurses and chaplains during the Civil War. The volunteers distributed medical supplies, food and clothing, and taught soldiers to read and write. The first YMCA buildings constructed with gymnasiums opened in 1869. In 1881, Boston YMCA staffer Robert J. Roberts coined the term “body building” and developed exercise classes that anticipated today’s fitness workouts. In 1903, the YMCA created an “industrial” department to work with railroad workers, miners and lumbermen, and to assist immigrants. Today, YMCAs respond to changing demographics through refugee services, welcome centers, adult education classes and more.
In answer to a YMCA campaign “to teach every man and boy in North America” to swim, George Corsan arrived at the Detroit YMCA in 1909 to teach swimming using radical new methods: group swimming lessons and lessons on land as a confidence builder. In Newark, N.J., alone, he taught 800 boys to swim in just four weeks. In 1910, 25 black YMCAs were built in 23 cities as a result of a challenge grant program announced by Sears Roebuck founder Julius Rosenwald. The Ys included clean, safe dorm rooms and eating facilities, which were a boon to black travelers, especially servicemen, in a segregated and discriminatory era. Swimming classes expanded throughout the century to

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