It Takes a Village – Social Responsibility and Your YMCA

Heather SabinMission

How do you choose a brand? Do you consider aligning your values with the brands you buy from? Nearly 8-in-10 (79%) Americans say they are more loyal to purpose-driven brands than traditional brands, according to the 2018 Cone/Porter Novelli Purpose Study.

In recent years, there has been a national uptick in socially-minded brands, primarily driven by a new generation of leaders and millennials who prefer to say something when they spend a dollar. I see many Y members walk in with the Love Your Melon hats – in all colors and styles. They’re fashionable, keep you warm on days like today, and your purchase helps the company in its vision to give hats to children fighting cancer in America.

This concept of social responsibility has been core to who the YMCA is since our inception in St. Cloud nearly 50 years ago. Every decision we make and program we offer is seen through the lens of social responsibility and how we can respond to the most critical needs of our local community.  

When you’re a member of the YMCA, you’re connected to a greater purpose. Your membership impacts the people of your community. Your membership dues support social responsibility initiatives like creating stronger families, healthier communities, and a place for everyone.

Here’s a look at the impact your membership fees have in your community:

Scholarship program: We offer scholarships for programs and memberships to ensure every child has access to swim lessons and other youth programs, and adults and families can be active and engaged through Y memberships. No one is ever turned away from the YMCA based on an inability to pay. This gives everyone the opportunity to work towards a healthier body, mind, and spirit.

Nonprofit partnerships: The YMCA partner with nearly 100 local non-profits and offer free or reduced memberships for the people they serve. One of those partnerships is with St. Cloud Public Schools. Students with disabilities use the Y Aquatics Center for adaptive physical education classes each week..

Supervised visits: We believe there is power in healthy families. We work with county resources to provide supervised visits for families navigating difficult times. The Y is a safe space for families to repair and rebuild relationships with each other, which we believe will result in better communities for us all.

Bernick’s Family Fitness Series: Together with Bernick’s and other local businesses, this series of 5ks and 1ks encourage safe, active, fun for the entire family. These energetic events are all about having fun while being active. We love seeing our community together at each event. The next Bernick’s Family Fitness Series event is the Wells Fargo Mississippi Move and Groove 5k on Saturday, May 10th at Lake George. We hope to see you there!

LifeStyle Health: Through our partnership with CentraCare, we brought LifeStyle Health to fill a gap in our communities and build healthier lifestyles. Located in the Y’s lobby, LifeStyle Health provides weight management, nutrition, acupuncture, and other wellness resources.

Chaplain program: You’ll find faith support at the YMCA that you won’t find at any other gym. We offer Bible studies, faith-based financial studies, and fellowship opportunities to bring hope and encouragement to our members, staff, and guests.

This actually is just the beginning. I could keep going. That’s why I love working for the Y and being a member myself.

The heart behind the Y has always been for the communities we serve. The St. Cloud YMCA has a local mission to be the front porch of the community, where everyone is welcome, and everyone finds community.

How are you supporting socially responsible businesses? How are you and your family being socially responsible? Join the YMCA in being a light and love in our communities.