The mission of the YMCA is “To put Christian principles into practice through programs that build healthy spirit, mind and body for all.” Here at the Summerville YMCA we are for Youth Development, for Healthy Living and for Social Responsibility. We are dedicated to making an impact on the health and common good of our community.
The Young Men’s Christian Association was founded in London, England in 1844 at the end of the Industrial Revolution. George Williams organized the first YMCA to substitute Bible study and prayer in response to the unhealthy social conditions arising during that time. The same year the Y made its way to North America where it would lead eventually to including in YMCAs all men, women and children, regardless of race, religion or nationality. In 1966, 150 women in the Summerville community founded the Young Women’s Christian Association (YWCA) to establish adult programs promoting Christian values. As the Y’s profile in the community grew, so did its scope of vision. In 1973, Jean Gantt and the Y organized the Y’s first annual Flowertown Festival. In undertaking this significant town event, the Y had grown beyond offering adults-only programs to include the entire Summerville community. To more accurately reflect the organization’s growing diversity, the YWCO voted to become a YMCA in 1976.
While our primary clients tend to be adults and seniors, the YMCA offers something for everyone! For teens and adults, we offer a variety of fitness classes at all different levels of difficulty as well as child care full of fun activities for kids! Kids also have the opportunity to explore their many interests through over 44 Summer Camps. Among these, the Y offers Community Health Programs such as The YMCA’s Diabetes Prevention Program, Moving For Better Balance, LIVESTRONG for cancer survivors and many more. We strive to provide services that will impact the entire community!
What excites me most about the work of the YMCA is the role we play in reaching out to the diverse population in the community. We want to develop a healthier community for all different types of people from different backgrounds and age groups. We achieve this through the several programs we offer including the variety of fitness class, summer camps and community health evidence-based programs we offer.
The YMCA has several events coming up including the launch of several of our evidence based health interventions including the LIVESTRONG at the YMCA Program (starting 8/21), the Moving For Better Balance Program (9/11), the YMCA’s Diabetes Prevention Program (9/4), EnhanceFitness (9/4) and Blood Pressure Self-Monitoring (8/29). We also have a Youth Triathlon available for kids ages 7-14 that will be taking place on 8/18.
The goals of Healthy Tri-County and the YMCA align well with each other. Both organizations strive to improve the health and well-being of the community. It is said that “individually we are one drop, but together we are an ocean.” I think this quote perfectly sums up the work we are doing together through Healthy Tri-County and the collective impact we can achieve.