History - 2000 to Present

2000 - present

 First Lady Michelle Obama launches the
pillars of her “Let’s Move” campaign
against childhood obesity at the
Alexandria YMCA, a branch of the
YMCA of Metropolitan Washington.
  • On Saturday, June 2, 2001, 1,200 YMCAs hosted 700 YMCA World’s Largest Run™ events from Maine to Hawaii in the country’s first synchronized run/walk across all U.S. time zones. The event celebrated the 150th anniversary of America's YMCAs and highlighted the importance of physical activity for kids and parents. Over 15,000 volunteers and 54,000 youth and adults participated, with proceeds benefiting local YMCA programs.
  • The YMCA responded to several world crises—Sept. 11 (2001), Pacific Rim tsunami (2004), Hurricane Katrina (2005) and the earthquake in Haiti (2010)—through fundraising, rebuilding efforts and programs designed to rekindle hope in the affected communities, particularly among children and young people.
  • In 2002, YMCA of the USA created the National Diversity Initiative to support the YMCA Movement in valuing the diversity of all people within its associations and the communities it serves.
  • In July 2004 before a U.S. Senate hearing, Y-USA launched Activate America and the Healthy Community work, beginning a partnership with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Healthy Communities spread to more than 150 YMCA communities engaging millions of people in making the healthy choice the easy choice.
  • In 2008, with support from Lumina Foundation for Education, YMCAs added College Goal Sunday to their educational programs for youth, which helps low-income, at-risk or non-traditional students with the financial aid process—one of the most significant obstacles to college access and success. 
  • YMCA Healthy Family Home (HFH), a partnership between the YMCA and Eli Lilly and Company, launched in 2008 to inspire families to make healthier lifestyle choices in homes nationwide. From child care to health fairs, staff meetings to sports fields, YMCAs offer easy, creative ways to help families embrace HFH’s three key concepts: play every day to become more active, eat healthy and spend family time together.
  • In 2008, the Armed Services YMCA and YMCA of the USA partnered with the Department of Defense in the YMCA Military Outreach Initiative, which funds memberships and child care services for families facing the hardship of military deployment.
  • Positioning the YMCA as an important partner in preventing chronic disease throughout the nation, Y-USA garners the support of high-ranking government officials. In 2010, First Lady Michelle Obama chose the YMCA as the venue to launch the pillars of her “Let’s Move” campaign against childhood obesity. 
  • Beyond the United States, the YMCA today plays an instrumental role in promoting competition around the world through the Far Eastern Games, Pan American Games and the Inter-Allied Games.
  • In 2010, the Y revitalized its brand and began officially referring to itself by its most familiar name—the Y—for the first time.
  • To address the growing diabetes epidemic, the YMCA’s Diabetes Prevention Program officially begins expansion in 2010. Part of the CDC-led National Diabetes Prevention Program (DPP), the program is part of a new health care delivery system that values prevention efforts offered in a community setting. The first signature program at the Y, DPP helps participants lose weight and increase physical activity with the ultimate goal of preventing new cases of type 2 diabetes.
  • YMCA of the USA makes a commitment in 2011 to the Partnership for a Healthier America (PHA) to help end the childhood obesity epidemic. All YMCA’s will adopt a set of Healthy Eating and Physical Activity (HEPA) standards in all its before and after school programming.
  • To help end childhood hunger during the summer, the Y and the Walmart Foundation serve more than 7 million meals and snacks to 70,000 children when school is out of session, beginning 2011.
  • Togetherhood, the Y’s signature program for social responsibility, makes its debut in 2014. The member-led community service program encourages Y members to find projects to improve their neighborhoods.
  • In 2015, Kevin Washington takes over as the 14th President and CEO of YMCA of the USA, becoming the first African American to hold the position.

Founding   •   1800 - 1860s   •   1870 - 1890s   •   1900 - 1950s   •   1960 - 1990s   •   2000 - present


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The YMCA is a nonprofit organization whose mission is to put Christian principles into practice through programs that build healthy spirit, mind and body for all.