About YMCA Columbia
The YMCA of Columbia was one of the first fifty Ys in the United States. Since our beginning in 1854, the emphasis has been on creating a community where individuals can come together in a spirit of common fellowship. In the mid-to-late 1800s, the Columbia YMCA was the support system for thousands of Columbia residents, providing affordable housing, Bible studies, a strong Christian mission, and recreational activities.
Throughout the 1900s, the Y continued to adapt through both peacetime and wartime to provide emotional support, a sense of community, and health and well-being for all. From serving Columbia residents during the great depression, to encouraging healthy lifestyles during the latter half of the century, the Columbia Y’s impact continued unabated, despite a rapidly-changing social environment.
Into the 21st century, the YMCA of Columbia continues to adapt to make a major impact on the many social challenges facing our community, our state and the nation. From the tens of thousands of children who have been impacted by quality childcare, camps and afterschool programs, to the countless adults whose lives have been strengthened through healthier lifestyles, the Y’s contribution to the community continues.
Throughout our nearly 170 years of existence, we have stayed true to our mission: To put Christian principles into practice through programs that build healthy spirit, mind and body for all. Our five core values: Caring, Honesty, Respect, Responsibility, and Faith continue to thrive in our programs today.
Volunteers at the Y
The generosity of others is at the core of our existence. When you volunteer at the Y, you take an active role in bringing about meaningful, enduring change in your own community. As a volunteer, you’ll be working with other caring, committed people who want to make a difference.
- Lead our Board of Directors and committees
- Raise funds to ensure the Y is accessible to all members of the community
- Coach our sports teams
- Motivate and support youth in building the character strengths, skills and relationships that lead to positive behaviors, better health, smart life choices and the pursuit of higher education and goals
- Extend a hand to help adults who want to do more, become more or live healthier
- Advocate for the Y’s efforts to influence policies and initiatives that positively impact societal issues of importance to our community and our nation.
- Participate in opportunities to give back and support others
How do I apply?
YMCA program volunteers undergo an interview and training process similar to that of paid staff. This helps you find the best fit for your skills while also ensuring the safety of our members, staff and other volunteers. Contact [email protected] or 803.748.9622 ext. 113 to learn more.
Focused on creating lasting personal and social change for our community.
The YMCA of Columbia is governed by our Association Board of Directors that consists of volunteers from the local Midlands Community. Each YMCA branch has its own Advisory Council that sets policy for the branch’s Executive Director.
Activating People for Good
At the YMCA of Columbia we pride ourselves on being an integral part of the community. We strive to share our resources with community members and other agencies and organizations who can benefit from collaborations with the Y.
Volunteering can improve personal well-being, build relationships, and provide an outlet to discover purpose.
Research shows that volunteers experience wellness benefits including lower depression, improved mood and self-esteem, less stress, better heart health and lower mortality rates.
Community-building efforts take different forms at every branch and every year we work with groups such as Hannah House, Orangeburg County, local school districts, the Connie Maxwell House, the Justin Pepper Foundation, Good Works and many other charitable organizations through our Togetherhood Program.
Togetherhood leverages the Y’s charitable mission to unlock people’s potential to improve lives and create a more connected society.
Bringing diverse people together to tackle social issues creates more cohesive communities. A culture of volunteerism can also yield social benefits such as lower unemployment, greater income equality, and youth that are more likely to stay in school and avoid risky behaviors.
Contact your local branch to learn more about the various outreach initiatives throughout the year.