December 9 - The First YMCA in North America is Established

On this day in 1851, the first YMCA in North America was established in Montreal, Quebec. Today, YMCA's are all over the world, with their headquarters being in Geneva, Switzerland. In Canada, there are 45 YMCA's and 8 YMCA-YWCA's, combining to serve 1.8 million people in Canada in over 250 communities.

YMCA stands for "Young Mens Christian Association", however today the YMCA is open and provides community services to everyone. YMCA's offer health and fitness programs for all ages, child care, volunteer and leadership opportunities, as well as summer day camps. The organization operates differently in each country as it tailors to the community's needs. In North America, the YMCA is often times perceived as a sports and recreation facility.

The National YMCA Federation in Canada expresses its statement of purpose as being "dedicated to the growth of all persons in spirit, mind and body and a sense of responsibility to each other and the global community."





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