The Ann Arbor YMCA is a charitable association of men, women and children joined by a shared commitment to nurturing the potential of children and teens, promoting healthy living, and supporting our neighbors. Each day, we work to ensure that everyone, regardless of age, income or background, has the chance to learn, grow and thrive. The Ann Arbor YMCA’s mission is to put our core values of caring, honesty, respect and responsibility into action through facilities and programs that build healthy spirit, mind and body for all. We are an association made up of people from every walk of life, working side by side to strengthen communities. Together we strive to ensure that everyone, regardless of age, race, gender, gender identity, gender expression, income, faith, sexual orientation or cultural background has the opportunity to live life to its fullest.
Through the generous contributions of our donors, the YMCA is able to provide financial scholarships that enable all members of the community to enjoy YMCA programs. Please let us know if we may serve you or your family in this way. Stop by the membership desk, call 734-996-9622, or download the Open Arms financial assistance application on this site.
Youth Development at the ANN ARBOR YMCA
Here at the Ann Arbor Y it is our goal to go about the work of Youth Development intentionally and in every aspect of our organization. It is the job of every staff member and volunteer to help young people grow. In order to do that, we have adopted the 40 Developmental Assets as our frame work. The Developmental Assets, developed by the Search Institute, are 40 common sense, positive experiences and qualities that help influence choices young people make and help them become caring, responsible, successful adults. Please click on the highlighted link to learn how the assets are used to help our staff and programs make the biggest possible impact on the youth we serve.
DID YOU KNOW THAT…
- Starting in 2009, the YMCA expanded our reach into our neighboring community of Ypsilanti, where the Y helps children, adults and seniors get active. The Y provides after school sports leagues, physical activity classes and summer camp in different sites across Ypsilanti. In 2019, we launched a new physical activity program, Y on the Fly, bringing a mobile activity van and Y staff to locations in both Ypsilanti and Pinckney throughout the year.
- The Youth Volunteer Corps engages youth in service learning projects that are challenging, rewarding and educational to serve the needs of the community and promote a lifetime ethic of service. During the YVC’s history at the Ann Arbor YMCA (over 20 years!), more than 1,800 youth have collaborated with over 100 non-profit agencies to provide over 100,000 hours of service to the Washtenaw County community.
- Each summer hundreds of elementary school children participate in Safety Around Water (SAW) our free learn-to-swim program. This program is provided at the Ann Arbor YMCA and at Ypsilanti apartment complex pools, so that youth who are unable to access the building are still provided the basic skills of water safety (a critical need in unguarded residential pools).
- Each year over 100 volunteers raise funds through our Annual Campaign. Annual Campaign donations provide scholarships and funding that make it possible for children and teens to take part in life-enriching programs that their families could not otherwise afford. A link to give online may be found here: www.annarborymca.org/give
A BRIEF HISTORY OF THE ANN ARBOR YMCA
- The first Ann Arbor YMCA was established in 1858 by students at the University of Michigan. It was the second YMCA in the state of Michigan, after the Detroit YMCA.
- The new Ann Arbor YMCA building at 110 North Fourth Avenue was completed in 1904.
- Thomas Birkett’s property on Silver Lake in Dexter was initially deeded to the YMCA in 1914 as an all boys’ residence camp. Today it is the site of Camp Birkett, our summer day camp for girls and boys.
- In 1956, the YMCA and YWCA merged to become what is now known as the Ann Arbor YMCA. The men and women of the Ann Arbor YMCA raised funds to build a new facility at 350 South Fifth Avenue.
- In 1968 Camp Al-Gon-Quian, on the shores of Burt Lake, was purchased from Herbert Twining. This camp provides life-changing experiences for over 1,000 boys and girls each summer.
- The YMCA’s full-day childcare program for 2 ½ year olds to kindergartners was opened in early 1987.
- In 1991, the City of Ann Arbor-YMCA residence facility was expanded to provide occupancy from 37 to 100 single rooms for men and women.
- In 1997, the Board of Directors recognized the need for the Ann Arbor YMCA to expand and to better meet the needs of people in our community. In 2000, the YMCA began the process of acquiring a site upon which to build a new facility, and in 2002, the YMCA purchased 400 West Washington in downtown Ann Arbor.
- On April 1, 2005, the new Ann Arbor YMCA facility at 400 West Washington Street officially opened.
- As of 2018: each year the Ann Arbor YMCA serves over 27,000 people, over a third of whom are under age 18.