The YMCA or Young Men’s Christian Association has been a gathering place offering full facilities to socialize, play basketball, swim or participate in the sport or activity of choice. Young men and old have taken a room at the Y for one night or one month as they were passing through town, looking for a job or simply needed an inexpensive place to stay.
The Young Men’s Christian Association was founded on June 6, 1844 in London, England. The motto is: "Empowering young people." The goal is to put Christian Principals in place “by developing a healthy, spirit, mind and body.”
From this single location, the Y has grown to a worldwide organization—headquartered in Geneva, Switzerland—made up of local and national organizations in voluntary association. The Y boasts over 45 million members worldwide. There are 125 national federations in the World Alliance of YMCAs.
The Y, from the day it was founded has had “Muscular Christianity” as one of its primary tenets. Muscular Christianity simply stresses the need for good health, physical strength and vigorous masculinity to live an activist Christian life.
Over the years the Y has taught boys the art of self-defense as well as the art of playing and working together as a team. It has contributed to the strength of their bodies the growth of their Christian Spirit, especially at those times when no one else stepped forward to do so.
The plaque on the entrance to the Y states “Blessed Shall You Be When You Come In and Blessed Shall You Be When You Go Out” Deuteronomy 28:6