YMCA Branch Name

For Youth Development
For Healthy Living
For Social Development

FOR SOCIAL RESPONSIBILITY

YMCA Military Families Program

Last year approximately 1500 soldiers in Nebraska were deployed oversees. According to recent census data, 6 in 10 troops deployed are married and nearly half of these families have children.

Loosing a loved one for such a long period of time is a hardship no family should have to endure. That's why the Kearney YMCA offers a free membership to the families of deployed soldiers.

We welcome these families with open arms to our community where mothers can find support and the children can build friendships that last a lifetime.  We are proud to help our troops in any way we can!

Without the Strong Families Campaign, this program would not be possible. Your donations directly fund these memberships and give military families a place where they can come to unwind. Please consider supporting our cause and remember that every gift is important no matter how big or small. Thank you for supporting the Y and strengthening our community!

Did you know...
*Eighty percent of military spouses are wives under the age of 35

*The wives of deployed soldiers are more likely to seek mental health services than other military wives

*The longer a deployment lasts, the more likely spouses of deployed soldiers are to report mental health problems including depression, anxiety, and sleep disorder.

*Children of deployed soldiers are more likely to have difficulties in school and at home

* Since 2001, over 2 million children have experienced the deployment of one or both of their parents

*A positive environment built on caring relationships among community members has been shown to impact not only academic performance but also positively influence emotions and behaviors of students affected by deployment



A CULTURE OF

ACCEPTANCE AND

TOLERANCE
KRISTIN LARSON, ARC OF BUFFALO COUNTY


"The ARC Buffalo County is very pleased that we're able to partner with the Kearney Family YMCA. Over the last few years, we've been able to really enrich our programming by partnering with the Y" says Kristin Larsen, Executive Co-director of the Arc of Buffalo County.  "There's just a culture of acceptance and tolerance at the Y that has really made this a unique community for families who have children with disabilities."


At the Y, we believe everyone should have a chance to succeed and belong. Arc night at the Y is really something special. "Every Friday for the last three or four years, we've [the Arc] been coming in free of charge with the folks with developmental disabilities, typically teenagers that just want a place to hang out or practice their volleyball skills and go swimming.  That wouldn't have been possible without the YMCA's role in providing a place to feel accepted."

The Adaptive Easter Egg hunt is another great event the Y hosts. "The Kearney

Family YMCA opens up their indoor gym so that we can have an indoor Easter egg hunt.  That's a huge service that the Kearney Y is offering to those families! I'm very pleased with the acceptance, and the culture of inclusion at the Y that

you don't necessarily see everywhere.  I think it makes a big difference in our community that we're not aware of. You can really see these [families with disabilities] come in and they feel like, "Oh this is really a great place, there's a culture of acceptance here. I want to return."


RECOGNIZING
 
PEOPLE

AS PEOPLE
DEB SCHAUER, SPECIAL OLYMPIC COUCH

The Y has been invaluable to Special Olympics. We wanted to start a volleyball program and we had no place at all to practice, so we approached the Y and they said, "Oh sure! Practice here!" Next thing we knew, the Y said "Wow, we would love to help in any way possible! What can we do to help you?" Before long we were swimming there, and then flag football got started, so we were practicing flag football at the Y. Without the Y, we wouldn't be able to practice.

The Y has opened their doors to folks with disabilities, and I think that's totally awesome because so many people think 'Oh, they don't belong', not necessarily in the community, but doing athletic things. [Most people] don't know how to involve them. The really cool think about the Y, is that they have graciously opened their arms and embraced folks with disabilities.


The nice thing is that I see so many of our athletes walking into the building and they are recognized. Everybody's saying 'hi' and they're saying their names, and so they're recognizing them as people, and not just someone with a disability. That is in itself pretty awesome. To [the athletes], that matters. And it IS important."

The Y is committed to providing programs that build a healthy spirit, mind and body for all. We make every effort to ensure that no one is turned away due to inability to pay. Click to read more about our financial assistance.