Headquartered in Woodbridge, Virginia, we provide hands-on, innovative, specialized programs and support services to military service members and their families with a particular focus on junior-enlisted men and women — the individuals on the front lines of defending our nation. Programs are offered at no or low cost and require no dues or membership fees.
The beginning of YMCA service in the military setting usually is associated with the year 1861, when 5,000 dedicated YMCA volunteers took to the battlefields of the Civil War alongside America’s uniformed young men. It was the year that Abraham Lincoln commended YMCA for the “benevolent undertaking for the benefit of the soldiers.” The tradition of “following the flag” has continued in every war and conflict in which the United States has been involved.
Today, the Armed Services YMCA continues to be a national member association of the YMCA of the USA exclusively focused on military families. The Armed Services YMCA operates more than 200 program centers nationwide. In coordination with the Department of Defense and installation commands, we work closely to identify gaps in programs and services. To ensure the needs of our troops and their families are met, the Armed Services YMCA has strong partnerships and works collaboratively with other non-profits such as the YMCA, Operation Homefront, and the USO.
At its 34 branches and affiliates, supporting 59 of our largest military installations, Armed Services YMCA offers unique essential programs such as childcare, hospital assistance, spouse support services, food services, deployment, support, emergency support, computer training classes, counseling, wounded warrior support, wounded family support, health and wellness services, and holiday programs that are tailored to the specific needs of the military community on the local level.
The Armed Services YMCA has only about 500 employees, while relying on more than 10,000 volunteers to deliver 112,000 volunteer hours, saving the organization more than $2.5 million while being able to offer our free or low-cost programs and services to service members and their families at about 1 million points of service. By operating out of free donated spaces and keeping staff costs low, we are able to focus on programs and services.
Please consider making a donation or volunteering today to help us in our mission of Strengthening Our Military Family. The need has never been greater, and with your contribution, we will be able to serve more military families together.