Another Year of YMCA Spirit and Connection 

Last updated: December 14, 2023, at 1:45 p.m. PT

Originally published: December 14, 2023, at 12:03 p.m. PT

"To our YMCA Community. Season's Greetings. In community & gratitude, Loria Yeadon" atop a graphic of a stamped envelope with presents, cocoa, a snowflake, and a reindeer stamp

Season's Greetings

Dear Y Family, 

We hope your winter is filled with warmth, laughter, and joy. Each and every one of you is an integral part of our vibrant and diverse community. This year, we are particularly grateful for our abundance, and we are proud to be a welcoming place of belonging for all where there is an abundance of community spirit and connection.  

That very Y spirit and Y connection have led us through another year of transformative change for all community. With the support of our incredible staff, volunteers, and donors, we have demonstrated time and time again that we can accomplish anything together, and in 2023, we achieved so much, especially for those who need us most.  


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Healthy Living

Navigating Whole Person Health 

Spirit, mind, and body – holistic health, or Whole Person Health - is at the heart of the Y's mission. Our community did a lot of crucial heart work this year. Our Whole Person Health Navigator team has put together community health fairs and workshops for our communities that need us most. Our Y Social Impact Center has provided counseling, behavioral services, and crisis outreach support to our families and community members. More than 90,000 individuals have joined us at their local Ys to swim, dance, and hit the gym, the court, the trail, and the field. 

Active Older Adults Building Community 

Notably, we heard stories from our Active Older Adults this year that have warmed our hearts with their commitment and connection to community and each other. From volunteering to create Pride decorations, starting multilingual walking groups, and celebrating birthdays, they have set the bar high for community caring for community at the Y. 


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Youth Development

New Wins for Youth Sports 

This year has been filled with baskets, touchdowns, and goals, including a massive win for soccer fans as we join 18 YMCAs nationwide and the U.S. Soccer Foundation on the Road to 2026: Making an Impact in Local Communities. The goal of the campaign is to increase access to soccer to improve health and wellness outcomes for at least one million youth through 2026.

Safety Around Water 

Learning to swim at the Y is a core memory for so many families. That's why we are so proud of the new Swim Seattle collaboration with the City of Seattle and local community partners. Swim Seattle's mission is that no child is left behind when it comes to learning lifesaving water safety skills. Through this initiative, we have already taught more than 350 children throughout King County to swim this year!


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Camp Experiences for All

In our passion for outdoor leadership, camping, and inclusive camp experiences, we're on an exhilarating journey. Our camps — Camp Orkila and Camp Colman — stand as testaments to our commitment to expanding access to the great outdoors. This expansion includes Mineral Lake, our first overnight camp in more than a century. The recent progress on our rezone application gets us one giant step closer to our goal and affirms our belief in this location as an unparalleled haven for all youth and families. At Camp Orkila, we're thrilled to announce that revamped facilities are in process, introducing ADA-accessible bathrooms and a new wing to ensure a safe and welcoming space for all. We are so thankful for the M. J. Murdock Charitable Trust's generous support, ensuring inclusivity for every youth at Camp Orkila. On top of that great news, the Robinson Family Foundation's support fuels plans for a groundbreaking outdoor education space poised to serve thousands more at Camp Orkila.  

Finally, Commissioner Hilary Franz's advocacy to secure millions in the 2024 legislative budget for the Camp Colman Restoration Project will help propel us forward on this remarkable journey to continue serving youth at Camp Colman for another 100 years.  


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Social Responsibility

Y Social Impact Center 

Homelessness continues to be one of the biggest social issues facing our community. At the Y, we continue to be the largest provider of transitional housing and shelter and comprehensive wraparound services for youth and young adults in King County. Each night, we house more than 450 young people experiencing homelessness.


Volunteers have given back this year in so many ways; they have prepped meals, cleaned, planted, and served their community for countless hours. Our volunteers have seen the critical needs in our community and have stepped up to provide crucial services and aid to address them with two signature events, including Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Day of Service and Welcoming Week. Plus, we partnered with corporate partners and community organizations to continue vital food programs, from backpack meal programs to free and fresh produce markets and pantries.


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700+ Guests at Changemakers

Our 2023 Changemakers luncheon was a huge success. We connected, celebrated, and reflected on the meaningful stories and impact we continue to make in the lives of others. We honored Maggie Walker with our A.K. Guy Award for Extraordinary Volunteerism and Megan Rapinoe with our Charles V. and Lazelle Johnson Excellence in Social Justice Award. We all left that day feeling wholeheartedly fulfilled. We hope to see you all again on September 25, 2024. 


While this list highlights only some of our successes this year, we honor all of the incredible work our community - our members, board members, donors, volunteers, and staff - have done this year. Thank you for contributing to the abundance of Y spirit and Y connection in our Y community. Season's greetings to you and your family, and Happy New Year! 

In community & gratitude, 

Loria Yeadon  

President & CEO 

YMCA of Greater Seattle 


Category: Holidays