For Youth Development; For Healthy Living; For Social Responsibility
Serving Okaloosa County in Northwest Florida, the YMCA of Florida’s Emerald Coast is a nonprofit community service organization dedicated to strengthening the foundation of our community with a focus on youth development, healthy living and social responsibility. The Mission of the YMCA is to put Christian principles into practice through programs that build a healthy spirit, mind, and body for all. Guided by the core values of caring, honesty, respect and responsibility, the Y is an organization of inclusion for all ages, all incomes, and all abilities.
YMCA stands for Young Men’s Christian Association, but don’t misinterpret this to mean that YMCAs are only for “young, Christian men.” From its start more than 150 years ago, when George Williams founded the YMCA as a substitute Bible study and prayer for life on the streets, the YMCA was unusual because it crossed the rigid lines that separated all the different churches and social classes in England in those days. This openness was a trait that would lead YMCAs to recognize their strength is in the people they bring together – Ys are for all people of all faiths, races, ages, abilities and incomes. YMCAs’ financial assistance policies ensure that no one is turned away for reasons of inability to pay.