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Philanthropy Friday: YMCA of Central OH Downtown

 columbus imPRessions Philanthropy Friday: YMCA of Central OH Downtown
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The YMCA is one of the largest and most respected human service organizations in the world. The YMCA of Central Ohio is a mission-driven association, committed to providing programs to serve the whole community while working to build a healthy spirit, mind and body for all.

Since its beginnings in 1855 the YMCA has been dedicated to serve the whole community through programs expressing Judeo-Christian principles that build a healthy spirit, mind and body.

Some key dates in the YMCA Central Ohio history include:
• 1855 The original Columbus Young Men’s Christian Association was founded, holding its first meetings at the downtown Columbus First Presbyterian Church.
• 1902 YMCA Schools established, later spun off to form Franklin University.
• 1905 YMCA Law School established, later spun off as Capital University Law School.
• 1924 Central (Downtown 40 West Long) YMCA—oldest existing branch in the central Ohio association.
• 1997 Central (Downtown) YMCA—major renovation; placed on National Historic Registry.
• 2010 Central (Downtown) YMCA – Efitness technology incorporated into Wellness Center. Gave back almost $90,000 to the Downtown community.

Services at the Downtown YMCA Branch

The YMCA of Central Ohio’s values of caring, honesty, respect and responsibility are intertwined throughout its programs and services. It’s through these various programs that the YMCA of Central Ohio develops community collaborations and partnerships that effectively strengthen the total health of individuals and families. The Downtown Branch specifically offers a wide variety of programs such as:

• Aerobic studio
• Indoor jogging/walking track
• Y-Cycling
• Studio
Yoga/pilates Studio
• Efitness – an easy and productive way to track your wellness goals.
• Cardio Plex theater room where members can check out their favorite workout DVD
Swimming & Aquatics
• Indoor lap pool complete with Water Polo tournaments
• Basketball courts (2)
• Racquetball courts (4)
• Squash courts
• Volleyball courts
• Boxing Bags
Strength Equipment
• Free weights
• Plate loaded
Selectorized (Cybex, etc.)
• Olympic weightlifting area
Cardiovascular Equipment
• Treadmills
• Stationary bikes
• Elliptical trainers
• Steam rooms
• Saunas
• Whirlpool hot tub
Special Facilities
• Nursery/babysitting
• Conference Rooms
• Pool Rentals
• Indoor golf driving room

People Helping People Campaign

Through the People Helping People Scholarship Program, the gap between community services and reaching the individuals and families who need it most is filled. Each day, the YMCA opens its doors to all in the community, never turning anyone away from service based on an ability to pay. The Downtown Branch reaches into the community by providing scholarship needs to their youth and families. Online donations are accepted here, or come into the Downtown Branch and drop off your donation. A donation of just $50 will support a child through their youth sports program.

There are many others ways to help the YMCA of Central Ohio Downtown Branch:
• Volunteer opportunities at the YMCA – visit their website for an online volunteer application
• Mid Ohio Food Bank Baskets – call Sue Darby (224-1137 ext 270) if interested in helping assemble.
• Blanket Donations for the Homeless (just drop it off at the branch)

In the spirit of the holiday giving season I asked the YMCA of Central Ohio to share a touching holiday memory. The story that they shared truly displays how the magic of a special season can change someone’s life.

“On a cold night last Christmas season a member gave us $350 to help a person in need find warmth that evening. That $350 actually covered a month’s worth of rent at the YMCA. One of our Case Managers located a 55-year-old man huddled under a bridge. That evening we were able to give him a good warm meal and a place to stay. He did stay with us that month and many months thereafter. During his time with us he was able to find odd jobs and this past year studied and passed his GED. Currently, he has a full time job in maintenance at one of our local businesses. It’s amazing how one member’s generosity touched a man’s life forever.”

For more information on the YMCA of Central visit www.ymcacolumbus.org. You can also follow them on Twitter or like them on Facebook.

Philanthropy Friday is a feature article by Michele Savoldi that will highlight a Columbus area non-profit organization every other week. For more nonprofit information follow Michele on Twitter at @cbusimpressions and @inkindconnect.

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