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About the YMCA
Home » About the YMCA
Greetings from the PresidentWelcome to the Lincoln YMCA!
We are an association of people dedicated to enriching lives. After you have had an opportunity to look at us online, come visit us in real life... we welcome the opportunity to get to know you.
The YMCA was formed to provide for the safe and healthy development of young people. We also focus on teen and family membership services, as well as developmental program opportunities, such as youth sports, camping and community service. Our staff integrates the values of caring, honesty, respect and responsibility into all activities and programs.
Many of the programs you see at the Lincoln YMCA would not be possible without our program volunteers such as program instructors, youth coaches, and mentors. These volunteers allow us to expand into areas that otherwise could not be offered. The Lincoln YMCA has a reputation for its dedicated policy volunteers committed to providing the necessary resources to ensure a strong YMCA.
The Lincoln YMCA is well known locally and nationally for delivering premier service and creatively collaborating with other community agencies. As we strive for excellence in this new millennium, we seek opportunities to continue to build strong kids, strong families and strong communities.
See you at the YMCA,
Barbara A. Bettin
Mission StatementsFormal Mission Statement The mission of the Lincoln Young Men's Christian Association is to organize human, financial and material resources to encourage the spiritual, physical, mental and social growth of individuals within a Judeo-Christian atmosphere.
Abbreviated Mission Statement The mission of the YMCA is to put Christian principles into practice through programs that build healthy spirit, mind and body for all.
PublicationsThese publications (below) are PDF files, which may be viewed and printed with free Adobe Reader.
2012 Annual Report (1.9 MB)
Association Overview Booklet (1.1 MB)
YMCA Activate America: Pioneering Healthier Communities and Weigh Cool®The Lincoln YMCA is one of 20 new communities selected to build and develop the Pioneering Healthier Communities project. The project is part of the YMCA Activate America National Initiative, established to help Americans live longer, better, healthier lives by focusing on community-based solutions and collaborations to combat obesity and chronic disease. Pioneering Healthier Communities / Activate Lincoln will collaborate with others to promote healthy eating and active living.
YMCA Character Development
What are the three challenges that Ys must accept to enjoy all possible benefits in recommitment to character development?
Character Development and Asset-Based Approach: During the 1980s and '90s, the ideas of "values clarification" were slowly replaced by ideas of "character." The moral upbringing of children had been considered the sole domain of the family, and enabling the child to discover his or her own ethical system was the goal. But by the mid to late '80s, this was seen as contributing to a morally bankrupt society, in which there is no notion of virtue (or of vice), just different points of view. The ideas of character development and civic virtues became central, with Bennet's The Book of Virtues hitting the best-seller lists and organizations such as Character Counts! being born. "Preach what you practice" became as much a part of the ideal of youth development as "practice what you preach," and "it takes a village" replaced "it's the family's job to develop morals."
The YMCA movement had been involved in character development from the beginning, but in an implicit and practical focus rather than an explicit one. (George Williams stated this perfectly in his response to how he would respond to a young man who said that he had lost his belief in Jesus, by saying that his first act would be to see that the young man had dinner.) The YMCA movement studied the issue and emerged with four "core values"--caring, honesty, respect and responsibility--and promptly began to incorporate these in all programming in an explicit and conscious way.
During the '90s, a tremendous change occurred in the field of youth development. Previously, the focus had been on the "deficit model," in other words, what went wrong with the youth who got into trouble, and how could they be corrected. But the same way that prevention and development of health, rather than just the cure of disease pervaded the medical world, youth workers and academics started to look at what contributes to healthy development and prevents problems--an "assets model." The YMCA of the USA collaborated with The Search Institute on studying this issue in depth and coming up with practical results.
The research showed 30 (later increased to 40) developmental assets that positively correlated with pro-social and healthy behaviors in youth, and negatively correlated with anti-social and unhealthy behaviors. The more assets a youth has, the more likely he or she is to behave well, the less likely to engage in risky behaviors. This not only provided a "road map" for Ys to follow in creating healthy kids, families and communities, but also was an inherent proof of the effectiveness of youth programs.
It also showed a wider focus than had been thought possible. It doesn't matter if a program consists of sports, music, a teen center, mentoring or aerobics, or if it's aimed at reducing teen pregnancy, smoking or crime. If it provides one or more of the developmental assets, it will reduce the overall risk of any kind of negative behavior, and raise the likelihood of positive behavior.
YMCA Community Learning CentersThe Lincoln YMCA supports and is the lead agency for Community Learning Centers (CLCs) located at Elliott Elementary, Lefler Middle, Mickle Middle and Pershing Elementary Schools.
The YMCA CLCs provide a delivery system that uses the local school as the hub of service. These centers provide safe, supervised before and after school programs, weekend and summer enrichment programs, and many other supportive services primarily for youth.
The YMCA CLCs provide support services and opportunities which leads to:
YMCAs at a Glance
HistoryVolunteer founded and volunteer led, the YMCA was established in London, England, in 1844 by George Williams, a draper's shop assistant, to give young men an alternative to life on the streets.
In 1851, Thomas Sullivan, a retired sea captain and lay missionary, started the first U.S. YMCA in Boston. From there, YMCAs spread rapidly across America. Some were started to serve specific groups such as railroad and factory workers, African Americans, Native Americans and recent immigrants. After World War II, woman and girls were admitted to full membership and participation.
TodayYMCAs are collectively the largest not-for-profit community service organization in the U.S. YMCAs are for people of all faiths, races, ages, abilities and incomes -- everyone is welcome. YMCAs are at the heart of community life in America: 42 million families and 72 million households are located within three miles of a YMCA.
2010 U.S. Statistics
Volunteers lead YMCAs and are central to their mission, ensuring each Y meets the unique needs of its community.
Collaboration is critical to YMCAs' efforts to develop and implement effective community-based solutions.
1,712 Ys work with elementary schools.
1,406 Ys work with middle schools.
1,282 Ys work with high schools.
810 Ys work with homeschool programs.
1,282 Ys work with hospitals.
1,515 Ys work with churches.
519 Ys work with juvenile courts.