Improving Health and Well-Being
In communities across the nation, the Y is a leading voice on health and well-being. With a mission centered on balance, the Y brings families closer together, encourages good health and fosters connections through fitness, sports, fun and shared interests.
As a result, hundreds of thousands of youth, adults and families in the Metro Jackson area are receiving the support, guidance, and resources needed to achieve greater health and well-being for the spirit, mind and body.
Feature Y Story: Y Story Ruth Haynes
1. Encourage Healthy Families
As our community’s leading provider of family-based wellness services, the Y is uniquely positioned to help families live healthier lifestyles. From our family-friendly group fitness classes to incorporating physical activity into every one of our youth programs, our Y is committed to making it easier for families in our community to make healthy choices.
2. Break the Income-Obesity Connection
Studies show that individuals and families with the lowest incomes are considerably more likely to be become obese compared to households with higher incomes. Through our Income-based Rate Scale and other forms of financial assistance, the Y is working to help everyone in our community improve their health and well-being regardless of financial circumstances.
3. Assist Targeted Health Populations
Programs such as the YMCA Diabetes Prevention Program, Full Circle and After Breast Cancer all serve to meet the health and wellness needs to individuals and families who most need our help. Our Y is also partnering with area health providers to offer medically-based services including physical therapy, nutrition education and cardiac rehabilitation.
4. Promote Healthier Communities
If the YMCA is going to help our entire community improve their health and well-being, our work can’t begin and end inside our own facilities. That’s why the Y works with community partners and leaders in all levels of government to advocate for public policies and programs that can help everyone in our community stay active and make healthy choices.
Giving Back, Supporting Neighbors
Our Y has been listening to and responding to our communities’ most critical social needs for nearly 150 years. That history has taught us that lasting personal and social change only comes by joining hands to work together and support one another. That’s why we’re committed to fostering a sense of social responsibility in our community by providing opportunities for people to give back, make meaningful connections with one another, and develop the community support and resources needed to meet our region’s most critical needs.
1. Nurturing Supportive Communities
Science is starting to prove what the Y has long known: that when people form positive and mutually supportive relationships with one another, they can accomplish remarkable things for both themselves and their community. From group exercise to teen centers to senior social clubs, the Y seeks to provide opportunities for people of all ages, backgrounds, and incomes to make meaningful connections with one another.
2. Providing Opportunities to Give Back
As a volunteer-led organization, the Y recognizes the mutual benefit that results when people share their time, talent, and financial resources in support of a cause larger than themselves. That’s why we’ve made it a priority to develop new systems to both help the Y engage its current volunteers and encourage others in our community to give back and support their fellow neighbors.
3 . Community Partnerships
Recognizing that we must work together to move our community forward, the Y seeks out relationships with local schools, nonprofits, businesses, churches, and other partners who wish to join hands in our effort to give everyone the opportunity to learn, grow, and thrive.
What We Do For Youth Development
Nurturing Each Child’s Potential
We believe that all kids deserve the opportunity to discover who they are and what they can achieve. That’s why, through the Y, millions of youth—including more than 100,000 in our region—are cultivating the values, skills, and relationships that lead to positive behaviors, better health, and educational achievement.
1. Give Kids a Place to Belong
How a child spends their time away from school and home can be critical to their success. The Y gives youth and teens a safe place to belong while offering quality programs and services that make sure our kids’ learning and growth never stops.
2. Teach Critical Values and Life Skills
The Y connects kids to caring adult role models whose example and leadership demonstrate the critical character values and life skills—from how to get into college to how to be a good citizen—they’ll need to reach their full potential in life.
3. Foster Healthy Habits
Children can only thrive when they are healthy in all areas of life—spirit, mind, and body. That’s why our Y has committed resources to a wide range of youth wellness programs and initiatives–from diabetes prevention to youth sports—designed to keep kids healthy and lower our community’s youth obesity rate.
4. Help Those Most in Need
Whether it’s providing a literacy tutor to close a child’s achievement gap, offerings swim lessons in communities with a higher risk of drowning, or providing a mentor to a teen trying to overcome a past mistake, the Y believes in giving every child the chance to reach their potential, regardless of their socio-economic circumstances.
Every day, the Y works across the Metro Jackson community to support those who need us most. Our programs address important issues like school readiness and chronic diseases while we provide services that improve quality of life for all ages. The Y serves special needs children in our summer camps, provides one of the only wellness programs for individuals with disabilities, and provides assistance to break the cycle of poverty with education and family support services. In 2014, the Y provided $1,086,335 in scholarships and services along with 740,023 hours of Quality Care and Education through the following:
504 preschool and school age children received a nurturing child care environment
1,300 children received summer day camp fun and learning
147 teenagers in the Juvenile Court System received a 2nd chance through the Adolescent Offenders Program
1,086 youth learned water safety and lifesaving skills
3,385 children learned core character traits of caring, respect, responsibility, and honesty through youth sports programs