Meeting Community Needs is Timeless
London, England, 1844. George Williams saw a need and the Young Men’s Christian Association (YMCA) was born. At the time, many young men had left their family farms to work in London factories. After work hours, the main activities were in taverns and brothels. George himself spent his time this way and wanted more wholesome recreation for himself and the overall community. His YMCA held Bible studies and prayer meetings. His goal: establish a work of sacrifice and service - a work for young men by young men, improving their environment, giving them victory over their temptations.
It worked. George’s YMCA began offering lectures and classes for young men to receive vocational training.
YMCA Moves Across the Pond
In 1851, sea captain and missionary Thomas V. Sullivan saw a similar need during one of his trips to Boston, Mass. Soon, the United States had its first YMCA.
YMCA in St. Cloud
The Y in St. Cloud was started as a non-facility organization July 23, 1969 offering programs like swim lessons and children's fitness classes in area schools. In 1974 a facility was built at 1530 Northway Dr. in St. Cloud. There have been additions to the facility in 1983, 1994 and 2007. The Y has a rich tradition of being a key contributor in the community for family wellness programming and social services such as our Supervised Visits and Exchange Program for non-custodial parents.
The St. Cloud Area Family Y has wide-based programming that is being developed to support the needs of our changing community. We offer wellness/fitness opportunities for the entire family: free fitness coaching, swim lessons, youth and Masters swim teams, land and water aerobics, personal fitness training, youth sports, camps, yoga, martial arts, racquetball, wallyball and adult basketball and most important to our mission, financial assistance to remain an inclusive organization.
Evolving to Better Serve You
We are evolving our programs to enhance the experience of our members, community participants and our diverse community. We have programs for those families with special needs such as the court-ordered Supervised Vistations & Exchanges, MS Support Group, Circle of Parents Support Group, and Autism Group. We have Birthday Parties and Free Just for Wemen and Girls Nights as well as Men's and Women's scripture reflection for Health and Weight Loss and the Journey Towards Health classes. We offer free memberships to the spouses and families of deployed service personnel serving in the Middle East, as well as a free six-month membership to the returned veteran and their family to help them with re-intergration into the community for all OIF/OEF veterans. We provide arts and crafts, child care therapeutic programs and other related youth activities. In other words, we provide programs and services that address the physical, emotional, intellectual and spiritual health of the individual and entire family including, but not limited to, those listed.