Every Year

66,000

children are served in personal development and educational programs at the YMCA of Greater Hartford each year

43,000

adults are served in personal development and educational programs at the YMCA of Greater Hartford each year

25,000

people of all ages improve their health through health and wellness education provided by the YMCA of Greater Hartford

10,000

children participate in day and residential camps each summer making the YMCA of Greater Hartford the largest provider of day and residential camping in the Capital Region

5,000

children participate in our youth sports programs making the YMCA of Greater Hartford the largest provider of noncompetitive, character-building sports programs in the region

2,000

children learn to swim at the YMCA of Greater Hartford every year

1,800

children are served at 40 sites making the YMCA of Greater Hartford the largest provider of quality child care in Connecticut

 

The YMCA of Greater Hartford teaches adults and children to read and write in its Read to Succeed program.

 

The YMCA of Greater Hartford addresses the link between obesity and unhealthy lifestyles now present more often in children

 

 




About Us
History of the YMCA of Greater Hartford / 2008-2013 Strategic Plan / Historic Highlights

About the YMCA of Greater Hartford

The YMCA of Greater Hartford is an association open to all and committed to helping people develop their God-given potential in spirit, mind and body. Our commitment is based on the belief that the purpose of this three-fold development is to live out the values of our Judeo-Christian heritage, including caring, honesty, respect, and responsibility. Our vision is to be the premier provider of high quality values-driven programs. We believe that by teaching core character value of caring, honesty, respect, and responsibility, we can achieve our mission and vision for the people of Greater Hartford.

The YMCA of Greater Hartford consists of 11 branches and two resident camps providing more than 100 programs in Hartford, Tolland and Windham counties.
  • Downtown YMCA in Hartford
  • East Hartford YMCA in East Hartford
  • Farmington Valley YMCA in Granby
  • Glastonbury Family YMCA in Glastonbury
  • Indian Valley Family YMCA in Vernon
  • Tri-Town YMCA in Wethersfield
  • West Hartford YMCA in West Hartford
  • Wheeler Regional Family YMCA in Plainville
  • Wilson-Gray YMCA Youth and Family Center
  • Camp Jewell in Colebrook
  • Camp Woodstock in Woodstock CT

The YMCA of Greater Hartford has a long and proud history of working with our communities. The YMCA has played an important role in the lives of Hartford since its founding in 1852.

Today’s YMCA is made up of The Greater Hartford YMCA and The Hartford County YMCA, which merged in 1972. The merger was led by YMCA professionals, Philip W. Breux and Donald Warrington and dedicated volunteers, the late John Wallace and the late Frederick U. Conard, Jr., which resulted in the YMCA of Metropolitan Hartford, Inc., commonly known as the YMCA of Greater Hartford.

The History of The YMCA of Greater Hartford

The YMCA in Hartford worked with young men drawn to the city looking for employment opportunities. The YMCA struggled in its infancy, but thanks to support from Colonel Charles A. Jewell and General Charles T. Hillyer, it survived, incorporated in 1886, and built its first Hartford facility in 1892.

The Y offered its first structured camping program in 1886 and built the first indoor swimming pool in Hartford in 1892.
Girls and women were accepted as associate members by a vote of the Board of Directors in 1963. The first female members were Mrs. Robert E. Green and her daughter.  Hillyer Institute, later Hillyer College, took shape in the early 1900s. Educational courses had been offered at the Hartford YMCA as early as 1879. Hillyer later became part of what today is the University of Hartford.

In 1918, The Hartford County YMCA began serving children in 12 cities of the then poor rural areas. It provided many needed programs through a network of “YMCAs without walls”. Elmer T. “Pop” Thienes served his entire 31 year career with the County YMCA as its general secretary. The county Y established YMCA Camp Woodstock in 1922.

The late Robert C. Knox, Jr. was a long-time YMCA volunteer, first with the County Y and later with the merged YMCA. To honor his commitment, the Board of Directors established the R.C. Knox, Jr. YMCA Distinguished Leadership Award in 1977. It continues today as the Y’s top volunteer honor.

Today (in 2009) the YMCA of Greater Hartford serves over 109,000 indviudals; including 66,000 children, in personal development and educational programs. The YMCA:
  • is the largest provider of quality child care in Connecticut, serving over 1,800 children at 40 sites.
  • is the largest provider of day and residential camping in the Capital Region with over 10,000 children participating each summer.
  • teaches the holistic values of sport through year-round, non-competitive, character-building youth sports programs with over 5,000 participants anually.
  • improves health of more than 25,000 people of all ages through health and wellness education.
  • addresses the link between obesity and unhealthy lifestyles with cardiovascular disease, stroke, juvenile diabetes, high blood pressure, and cholesterol now present more often in children.
  • provides literacy education services to adults, and in Noth Hartford, children through the Read to Succeed literacy program.
  • teaches more than 2,000 children to swim each year.

The Board of Directors adopted a 5 year Strategic Plan in 2008 with the objective to  to engage more people and to engage them more deeply so that the YMCA has an important, beneficial impact on their lives... The YMCA of Greater Hartford collaborates with over 50 for- and not-for-profit organizations as diverse as its membership - from the Artists' Collective and the Bushnell Park Foundation to the Connecticut Children's Medical Center and St. Francis Hospital. The YMCA is unique in that it is:
  • dedicated to improving the entire person in spirit, mind and body.
  • committed to teaching and encouraging the YMCA core values of caring, honesty, respect and responsibility.
  • serves its members across the lifespan, from infants to those in their 80s and 90s.
Proud of its past, mindful of the future, the YMCA of Greater Hartford looks forward to another 150 years of developing people in spirit, mind and body in the Capital Region.

Historic Highlights of the Branches of the YMCA of Greater Hartford