YMCA volunteers are a force for good in local communities and beyond. With tens of thousands of dedicated and passionate volunteers across the nation, we are able to positively impact lives in significant and lasting ways.


Volunteer at the Y

Across the U.S., more than 230,000 people volunteer at the Y. That’s thousands of neighbors, business leaders, parents, teens, community advocates and individuals who want to give back. Y volunteers give people of all ages—from all walks of life—the resources and support they need to be healthy, confident, connected and secure. Our volunteers are critical to implementing everything that happens at the Y and in their communities. 

Volunteerism by the Numbers

  • 233,000 Volunteers

    Today, in the U.S. alone, the Y has nearly 233,000 volunteers.

  • 36,500

    36,500 volunteers help influence policy and strategy at their Y.

  • 11 Friends

    More than 175 years ago, George Williams founded the YMCA when he invited 11 friends to come together and volunteer to address their community’s most pressing needs.

Reaching Our Goals with Volunteers

Volunteers are essential to fulfilling the Y's purpose to strengthen communities. Our members, program participants and neighbors all want the same thing: safe, inclusive, connected communities where everyone can thrive. Volunteers at the Y make a personal commitment to this vision by welcoming people of all backgrounds and dimensions of diversity.

Volunteers Are One of Our Greatest Assets

The skills, ideas and passion that our volunteers offer are invaluable. Volunteers help the Y innovate and evolve to provide relevant responses to our communities’ changing needs. Their work is truly essential.

Types of Volunteer Opportunities

Our volunteers are involved in nearly every aspect of the Ys services and operations. They strengthen our leadership by serving on our boards; they help us fundraise by leading our annual and capital campaigns; and they transform lives each day by serving as youth coaches, mentors, class instructors and leaders in our Y facilities and in the community.

Volunteer Stories

Our volunteers do so much for their communities and as it turns out, volunteering benefits them as well. See what giving back to the Y means to them.

Watch more Y stories

  • Volunteering: It's a Big Part of My Life.

    What’s Bob’s favorite role of all time? Grandpa. From substitute grandparent at Grandparents Day, to volunteering twice a week at the YMCA of Buffalo Niagara School-Age Childcare Program, Bob is committed to making each child feel special. In turn, his time volunteering with them has brightened his life. This is his Y. His camera. His story.

  • Board Service: I Do it Because it's Important.

    Minelly first became involved with the Flushing YMCA as a teen. As an adult, she felt called to give back to the organization that changed her life, so she joined the board of directors. Now she is helping the Y change lives in her community through her service. This is her Y. Her camera. Her story.

  • Volunteering: Everyone Needs Someone’s Help.

    From coaching youth basketball and giving tours of the Ocean Community YMCA every Sunday, to serving on the board of directors, Mel demonstrates what a true volunteer and community advocate looks like. See why the Y considers itself lucky to have him. This is his Y. His camera. His story.

  • Volunteering: I Give Back Because Taking Isn't Enough.

    Singer. Songwriter. Family YMCA at Tarrytown Volunteer. That's who Maya is. Enough said. This is her Y. Her camera. Her story.

    Maya and Ginger are singing “Clouds” by A Firm Handshake at 1:24​.

  • Volunteering: I Know I'm in the Right Place.

    Being a volunteer soccer coach at YMCA of Northwest North Carolina has given Amy a sense of where she belongs in the world, especially when she's making the kids feel like winners. This is her Y. Her camera. Her story.


Search for the Y closest to you and visit their website to learn how to get involved today.


Get Involved

Volunteering is only one of the many ways to get involved with your local Y.

  • Work at the Y

    The Y offers job opportunities that allow you to turn your passion for strengthening community into a career.

  • Become a Member

    Joining the Y offers you direct access to a community like no other. Every Y has opportunities for individuals and families to learn, grow and play.