From Our CEO
A Message From Our President And CEO
The YMCA is a charity like no other. The same movement that helps families of the Virginia Peninsula also serves in 10,000 neighborhoods across our nation. The Y has the presence and partnerships not just to promise but to deliver positive change.
In 2015, we committed to providing support and delivering programs to address some of the most challenging issues facing youth in the areas of Hunger, Health, Learning, Water Safety and Access to Safe Spaces. To help communicate the Y’s response to these complex issues, we used activities like jump rope and hopscotch as metaphors for the many ways the Y helps young people “Hop the Gap.” “Hop the Gap” addresses summer learning loss, provides nutritious meals and educates kids on the importance of activity to reduce childhood obesity. Kids are safely hopping into Y pools after learning to swim and finding the Y as a safe space to just hang out and have fun with their friends.
YMCA Camp Kekoka is one such safe space. This year, with the help of dedicated volunteers and generous donors, our camp underwent a 1.5 million-dollar capital improvement that resulted in a new dining hall and eight new cabins. Residence Camping builds confidence and leaves an everlasting impression on those who attend.
A new YMCA was opened at Fort Monroe this year, reestablishing the oldest YMCA on a military base in our country.
We opened three new hospital therapy centers this year, and we are positioned to open more as we explore additional ways to partner with the hospitals and other health service organizations.
Type 2 Diabetes is one of the most significant health challenges we face in our country today. Our Y launched a new evidence-based prevention program this year. The YMCA Diabetes Prevention Program is based on the National Institutes of Health-led, CDC-supported Diabetes Prevention Program study that showed that losing a moderate amount of weight and increasing physical activity reduces the number of cases of Type 2 Diabetes by 58 percent.
Water safety is an ongoing challenge for youth living in Coastal Virginia. To address water safety, the YMCA endowment fund has committed to providing swim lessons and water safety classes to every second-grader in our service area (over 7,000) by 2020. In 2015, three of our Branches established partnerships with their respective school divisions and 100% of the second graders in those school divisions were offered lessons. 1,046 second-grade students received free swim lessons this year.
In our 120 years of serving the Peninsula, we have been blessed to bring joy to the faces of countless people. It is a unique relationship between Y members, volunteers and staff that continues to be the backbone of the YMCA movement in providing a safe space for all people to connect, and 2015 was an exceptional year for connecting with the many faces of our YMCA.
Robyn Hansen, President 2014 – 2015
Danny L. Carroll, Chief Executive Officer