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June 02, 2015

All Families Count

Thank you for being a Y supporter!

For 133 years, the YMCA of San Diego County has been committed to making the greatest possible impact on the lives of all people and on the future health of families in our community. This is our top priority.

We have a 10-year strategic vision – All Families Count – to significantly increase the time families spend together, and specifically, to engage 1 in 10 households in programs that will help children and their families of all backgrounds learn, grow and thrive.

Recently there has been media attention about the Magdalena Ecke Family YMCA in regards to the youth membership category. Below are the facts behind this story, which has not been represented correctly in media reports you may have heard:

  • The YMCA of San Diego County, which consists of Headquarters and 15 operating units/branches is committed to serving more families and youth than ever before. The change in our policy regarding youth memberships enhances this commitment by encouraging families to spend more time together.
  • The youth membership was discontinued by all San Diego County YMCAs, with the exception of the Ecke branch, as of June 2014. Each Y has successfully worked with its community to transition youth members to other membership levels or means of participating.
  • The Ecke branch requested additional time to complete the youth membership transition. Ecke will discontinue offering youth memberships as of June 30, 2015, but will honor youth memberships through their expiration date.
  • It has been the trend of YMCAs across the nation to discontinue the youth membership. Other Ys have eliminated youth membership, due to the inconsistency the name creates – the misconception that it is a standard membership with full access to the facility.
  • Youth membership, which is typically for youth ages 12 and under, was designed to provide program discounts. It was not designed to allow youth access to Y facilities without program registration or for drop-in care.
  • Youth have the option of registering for all programs as a participant, however frequent users can benefit from family memberships.

While these changes have been implemented, it is important to note, that it is the YMCA of San Diego County’s standard that no one is denied membership or access to programs and services at any of our branches due to the inability to pay. We have funds allocated for financial assistance to support this. In the past 11 months (fiscal year ends June 30, 2015), the YMCA of San Diego County has awarded $2,842,000 in direct scholarships.

Unfortunately, it has also been inaccurately reported that funds raised at our branches are being diverted to headquarters. This is absolutely not true.

Not $1 the YMCA of San Diego County raises stays with the YMCA of San Diego County – it all goes to the community. In the current year, $2.5 million has been granted to the local branches with the greatest need. Likewise, all fundraising at branches are restricted funds and stay at the branches. In fact, the YMCA of San Diego County’s contribution to subsidize low-income branches has steadily increased in the last five years from $1.8 million to $2.5 million, a 34% increase.

The YMCA of San Diego County continues to grow thanks to the commitment of our supportive community, dedicated staff and volunteers, and our committed donors. From April 2014 to April 2015 the YMCA of San Diego County has experienced a 14% growth in total membership, and specifically a 22% growth in family memberships. This shows an increase in youth participation more than ever at our local branches. It also further supports our efforts to have families spend more time together.

Our economic impact on San Diego County grows as well. We are one of the largest employers in the county with 5,000 employees at any one time. We have 39 locations and 250 program sites which serve the community. Approximately 15,000 children frequent our Child and Youth Development programs on a daily basis. Our roots are strong and we will continue to do what we do best – serve the community.

The YMCA of San Diego County has a vision to have more families spend time together, learn together, grow together and thrive together. We are doing this and the results show.

We look forward to continuing our All Families Count initiative and welcome any feedback you may have. Please send praises or concerns to AllFamiliesCount@YMCA.org.

Thank you for your continued support of the Y. It is because of you and your commitment that we will move forward and support our communities, families and youth.

All Families Count,

Baron Herdelin-Doherty
President and CEO
YMCA of San Diego County

Filed under Family Life
All opinions expressed here are those of their authors and/or contributors and not of their employer. Any questions or concerns regarding the content found here may be sent to ymca@ymca.org.