HISTORY OF THE Y
The YMCA was founded in London, England in 1844 by George Williams and some friends. Their goal was to help young men like themselves find God. The first members were evangelical Protestants who prayed and studied the Bible as an alternative to vice.
The first U.S. YMCA was started in Boston in 1851 by Thomas Sullivan, a retired sea captain and lay missionary. YMCAs spread rapidly across America, opening their doors to boys and men of all ages. Some YMCAs were started to serve specific groups such as railroad and factory workers, as well as African Americans, Native Americans and recent immigrants. After World War II, women and girls were admitted. Today, half of all YMCA members are female, and half are under age 18.
Here in Darke County, the YMCA was founded in 1965. It was originally located at 212 E. Main Street in Greenville. In 1971, the Greenville facility located at 301 Wagner Avenue was opened. Renovations have been made over the years, including the addition of the Dorothy Coppock Hole Child Care Center in 1992 and the GTI Youth Gym in 1994. In 1998, the YMCA of Darke County opened a facility in Versailles.
Welcome to the YMCA of Darke County! The Y is a powerful association of men, women and children joined together by a shared commitment of nurturing the potential of kids, promoting healthy living and fostering a sense of social responsibility. We believe that lasting personal and social change can only come about when we work together to invest in our kids, our health and our neighbors. That’s why, at the Y, strengthening the foundation of our community is our cause. Every day we work side-by-side with our neighbors to make sure everyone, regardless of age, income or background, has the opportunity to learn, grown and thrive.
Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Policy
The YMCA of Darke County, as a global active citizen, and in keeping with the longtime philosophy of the YMCA mission, has adopted a Diversity and Inclusion Policy that drives our efforts and calls for access and engagement of all in the community regardless of race, ethnicity, gender identity, national origin, faith, age, income levels, sexual orientation, immigration status, or any protected status.
What is Diversity and Inclusion?
Diversity: The presence of differences that make each person unique and that can be used to differentiate groups and people from one another.
Inclusion: The full engagement and development of all Y stakeholders (staff, participants, members, policy volunteers, program volunteers, partners, communities, vendors, etc.).
Equity: Equity is the guarantee of fair treatment, access, opportunity, and advancement for all, while striving to identify and eliminate barriers that have prevented full participation of some groups; it acknowledges historically underserved and underrepresented populations, and that fairness regarding these unbalanced conditions is needed to assist equality in the provision of effective opportunities to all groups.
The Y is made up of people of all ages and from every walk of life working side by side to strengthen communities. Together we work to ensure everyone, regardless of gender, income, faith, sexual orientation or cultural background has the opportunity to live life to its fullest. We share the values of caring, honesty, respect and responsibility—everything we do stems from it.
At the YMCA of Darke County, no one is turned away due to inability to pay program or membership fees. The Y maintains a scholarship program for youth, adults and families who demonstrate financial need.
Special people have special needs and the Y is a good place for those in need to develop physically and socially, and learn to lead healthy lives. Groups such as Wayne Industries, Special Olympics, Big Brothers Big Sisters and Michael’s Home are able to enjoy the YMCA of Darke County every year.
The Child Development Center in Greenville services nearly 100 children from Darke County. From as young as six weeks old through fourth grade, the Y provides full-time day care in a setting that is safe, secure and offers children a warm and loving environment in which to grow. With help from the United Way, the Y is able to provide families in need with quality child care that is close to home. We have part-time care available for children in the Infant Room through Day Care II.
The Y facilities are used by youth athletics throughout the county, such as baseball clinics, and tennis and swim teams. The Y also welcomes classes, grades and entire schools for field trips or student rewards. It’s a great treat for the schools and a great way share the YMCA values with kids.
The purpose of the YMCA of Darke County is to help individuals develop a stronger spirit, mind, and body. In an effort to help our members, program participants, and childcare families accomplish this goal we ask that all tobacco products be disposed of properly before approaching the Y building entrances as a courtesy to individuals who do not smoke.