$1300 provides a month of Y Child Care for a preschooler.
YMCA of Metropolitan Washington
The YMCA of Metropolitan Washington, one of the first YMCAs in the United States, founded in 1852, is one of the largest social service agencies serving residents in Washington, D.C., southern Maryland, and northern Virginia. Our mission is to foster the spiritual, mental, and physical development of individuals, families, and communities according to the ideals of inclusiveness, equality, and mutual respect for all.
The YMCA provides services related to youth development, healthy living, and social responsibility through our 12 branches and program centers in the metropolitan region. In Virginia our health and wellness facilities are YMCA Alexandria, YMCA Arlington, and YMCA Fairfax County Reston, and our youth development program center is YMCA Loudoun County. In Maryland, our health and wellness branches are YMCA Bethesda-Chevy Chase and YMCA Silver Spring, our youth development center YMCA Ayrlawn, our social services center YMCA Youth & Family Services, and our resident camp YMCA Camp Letts. In the District our health and wellness facility is YMCA Anthony Bowen, and our youth development centers are YMCA Calomiris and YMCA Capital View.
In addition, the Y's Community Health Department offers cooking and nutrition classes for youth, adults, seniors, and families as well as diabetes prevention and blood pressure self-management classes. Our Fit & Well Seniors program decreases isolation among seniors in the District and provides them with a wellness-focused outlet for socialization in an exercise environment to help reduce the risk of secondary diseases exacerbated by sedentary lifestyles. In the District and Arlington County, the YMCA DC Youth and Government and YMCA Model General Assembly Programs help teenagers make positive changes in their communities through civic engagement.
In 2019, the year before the COVID-19 pandemic began, more than 1,350,000 men, women, and children in the metropolitan Washington area participated in the YMCA’s programs and services, and the Y distributed more than $2,100,000 in financial assistance to individuals and families who otherwise could not afford to participate in our fee-based programs. In 2020, in the first six months of the COVID pandemic, we distributed over 135,000 pounds of produce and meals to over 13,000 families in communities in the District, Silver Spring, Alexandria, Arlington, and Reston. YMCA Youth and Family Services provided tele-therapy to over 1,800 youth. Fit & Well Seniors made 100 to 300 calls a day to seniors to break their social isolation. Four Ys provided emergency childcare services to essential workers, and three hosted blood drives for the American Red Cross.
The YMCA has a reputation for developing innovative programming to serve children and youth, with a special concern for those at risk. Launched in 2004, PHD (Physical, Healthy and Driven) is a childhood obesity prevention program that paved the way for our youth wellness programming. Designed for children ages 6-14, it combines assessment tools, fun games, exercises, nutrition education, and family involvement to teach children how to be healthy and to inspire a love for it! In 2019, more than 37,000 children participated in PHD.
Thingamajig is a process, a public event, and an awards ceremony. Every summer, since 1994, Thingamajig has begun in the YMCA’s traditional summer day camps where STEM-themed activities open doors to strategic thinking and challenge youth to invent practical solutions to everyday problems. Generally, youth from the Y’s camps bring their inventions on an all-day field trip to the annual Thingamajig Invention Convention in Prince George’s County, where they choose from 75 STEM-related workshops. The convention includes an element of competition among Y camps and publicly recognizes youth inventors and creators for their achievements. The awards ceremony recognizes the best inventions to help youth see themselves as inventors and scientists. In 2019, 4,000 youth attended the Thingamajig Convention. Because of the COVID pandemic, in 2021 and 2020, the convention was held virtually.