A Message to the Community

Last updated: August 21, 2017, at 12:54 a.m. PT

Originally published: April 20, 2017, at 10:50 a.m. PT

2016 was a historic year for the YMCA of Greater Seattle, making great strides towards our 2020 vision to better serve 300,000 people in King and south Snohomish counties. The completion of the Sammamish Community Y, in partnership with the City of Sammamish, and the expansion of the West Seattle Y grew our collective reach to more than 250,000 people. Of those 250,000 people, nearly 35 percent received financial assistance and scholarships, made possible through philanthropic gifts and grants, to ensure income is never a barrier to feel welcome at the Y.

Together, we are making a significant impact on the issues that matter most to the communities we serve.

To help welcome and support our changing community, two New American Welcome Centers opened at the Northshore and Matt Griffin YMCAs, serving more than 800 immigrants and refugees to help communities welcome their new residents and celebrate emerging cultures.

As food insecurity becomes more prevalent in our area, our summer meals programs served a record-breaking 193,000 meals to children and families in communities of need across the region.

Our partnership with Youth Villages led to a groundbreaking YVlifeset program which launched last year to support young people aging out of the foster care system. And for all young people struggling with personal challenges, our innovative Accelerator Branch served 10,000 youth with a full spectrum of social services including mental health, drug and alcohol treatment, employment assistance, violence prevention, housing, and life skills—helping us to better serve young people looking to become independent and reach their full potential.

Finally, as we continue to help youth develop to their full potential, camping services helped 20,000 children and teenagers #optoutside in 2016 through our summer camps, environmental education, and expedition programs, including our Boys Outdoor Leadership Development (BOLD) and Girls Outdoor Leadership Development (GOLD) programs. And we continue to be our region’s largest provider of afterschool programs, out of school enrichment, and summer day camp, serving 140,000 youth last year—a 23 percent increase from 2015.

Our success in 2016 would not have been possible without the dedicated efforts of our staff, volunteers, donors, and partners, to whom we owe our deepest thanks. With their continued support, we look forward to continued progress in achieving our mission:

“Building a community where all people, especially the young, are encouraged to develop their fullest potential in spirit, mind, and body.”

Robert B. Gilbertson, President & CEO     Tom Hull, Board Chair