The non-profit YMCA organization operates in many cities and while the assistance programs offered at each location will vary, many of the services provided by the YMCA are focused on helping children and stabilizing families. Some common examples of the programs administered are below. However individuals will need to contact a center near them for more details or specifics.
The YMCA is one of the nation’s leading nonprofit organizations and is strongly committed to strengthening local communities. They focus on providing youth development services, organize healthy living and social responsibility, and run education and job training programs. Locations will often help children as well, by providing low cost day care, meals, and free summer snacks. The Y was created mostly in response to social challenges. Staff and the programs they operate try to help individuals reach their full potential and the non-profit will respond with social services and support. The charity can help people become self-reliant, productive and connected to their local community. Some of the other assistance provided is focused on critical areas, such as community health care, job training, child welfare, and really enhance the quality of life or family services.
Full or partial day child care is available at many YMCA centers across the nation. The programs focus on helping qualified parents and/or guardians by providing the care their children need so that they can go to work or receive the job training they need. The services are usually offered at reduced rates so the child care provided tends to be more affordable then what is offered by other providers.
After school programs are administered. These are focused on addressing health, safety, and the growth of children and students of all ages. The after school programs that are administered by the Y can assist kindergartners through middle schoolers. Clients will be provided a wide variety of programmatic and activity options to help them explore and develop their talents and interests.
Free meals or snacks may be served. When a holiday or summer break begins, or after the school day is done, may children and students struggle with finding their next meal. Many families with children are at risk of going hungry as they depend on the free or low cost breakfasts and lunches that they get during the school day. Studies show that about 30 million children rely on these school meals from the U.S. Department of Agriculture and the National School Lunch Program.
So the YMCA tries to help meet this need during the summer. The YMCA and other charity sites will often serve as feeding sites for USDA Summer Food Service Program. This means that students, teenagers, and students can stop by a site for a free snack or meal during the holiday or summer months. Many of the centers will often hold other activities for the students as well.
Oftentimes the Y will work with other local non-profits or businesses as well. For example, in the past the YMCA has partnered with companies such as Wal-Mart provide millions of snacks and meals to tens of thousands of children and offer thousands of free snacks to kids and teens. Most of the aid is targeted at youth that are between the ages 5-18 and they can generally participate in the program to get their fill of free food and fun. Those that are enrolled can receive healthy, nutritious meals and snacks. The Y will also coordinate a number of recreational and learning activities.
Job employment training and education services are available. This is one of the key factors for both family and individual stability. Having an in demand skill or increased education is a key in the ability to earn an income to support themselves and their family. Some of the YMCA resources include GED preparation, adult literacy and job training. This and more is critical to helping people bridge skills gaps and start on a path towards self-sufficiency and employment.
Not only will the centers usually offer some of their own classes, but they can often provide referrals to other nearby employment and education programs. This can include government administered One Stop Career Centers or resources that are offered directly by employers. The YMCA continues to partner with other non-profits, charities, and government agencies in an effort to help people gain self-sufficiency.
A number of other resources are offered for military members and their families. The YMCA Military Outreach Initiative will provide memberships and respite child care services to qualified military families and personnel. This can, among other things, offer them extra support during a time when loved ones are away from home.
To learn more on YMCA programs are find centers near you, dial 1-800-872-9622.
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