Dear Y Community,
2023 was a year of change and growth for the Capital District YMCA. While still dealing with the aftermath of COVID, we set our sites on bringing back and expanding services to more communities through our four pillars: Racial Inequity, Youth Development, Health Disparities, and Social Responsibility. The part we play in helping build better futures for our communities is a source of pride and purpose for our employees, board, councils, members, and community partners.
We fully reopened our Troy and Schenectady branches. We launched our first Colonie branch, a new boutique-style facility, Evolution, that offers small high-intensity and recovery classes. We opened a new wellness facility in Albany, bringing our presence in the city to over a dozen sites including childcare, our Healthy Living Center, and our offices in the Blake Annex. Our branches brought back life-changing programs including LIVESTRONG® at the YMCA and new neuromotor wellness programs.
We kicked off the relaunch of our Black and Latino Achievers program in September with Lt. Governor Antonio Delgado, alumni, supporters, and students at the Capital Center. Working with school districts including Albany, Rensselaer, Amsterdam, and more, our Achievers went to summits and field trips (including Yale) for the first time since 2020. We continued our commitment to childcare by providing over $1M in scholarships for day care, after-school care, and camp.
As inflation continues to rise, more families are struggling to make ends meet. Working with community partners including Hannaford and the Salvation Army, we provided hundreds of families experiencing food insecurity with healthy meals and snacks. This year, we set a record for our Basket Brigade program; over 1,500 families received a full Thanksgiving dinner to enjoy in their homes. We launched a new coat program, organizing over 150 brand new winter coats, boots, gloves, and hats for students in Albany.
Today, we write in gratitude: proud of our accomplishments, confident in our strategy, and, frankly, inspired by our extraordinary employees.
It is a privilege and honor to lead this organization. We invite you to read our Annual Report to learn how we are using creativity, compassion, and commitment to the Capital Region to keep our mission strong.
CEO and President, CDYMCA
Chair, CDYMCA Board of Directors
The Youth and Government program serves to educate and enhance the development of middle school and high school age students across the country. Teens are provided the opportunities to use their thoughts, voice, and actions to grow and contribute as productive members of society. Through this process we hope to build socially responsible, civic-minded citizens with strong academic and social interpersonal skills that further theirs, and our future. The program has inspired many young people to enter politics and allied fields such as law and service to others.
For the first time in four years, the Annual Youth and Government State Conference was held at the New York State Capitol. Lt. Governor Antoino Delgado kicked off the weekend with an inspiring speech and Congressman Paul Tonko introduced over 500 students to the Legislative Chambers. Several local students from Averill Park and Coxsackie were selected to represent New York State at the National Youth and Government Summit in North Carolina.
In 2013, our YMCA partnered with the LIVESTRONG® Foundation to help cancer survivors begin the journey toward recovery. With this program, we provide adult cancer survivors with a safe, supportive environment where they can participate in physical and social activities that focus on strengthening the whole person.
While COVID put a pause on our programming, we brought back LIVESTRONG® at the YMCA at three branches. Over 30 participants met twice a week to reduce fatigue, boost selfesteem, and improve muscle strength and physical endurance following cancer treatment. We worked to create a community of support beyond the physical walls of the Y as our participants navigate life as cancer survivors.
845 Commons provides several services to its tenants, including case management, referrals for medical and behavioral health treatment, employment training and placement, and life skills development. Our residents help contribute to our Y community by preparing food for our youth and staff at the Lally Early Learning Center.
At Mont Pleasant Commons, we work to advocate for a healthy mind, body, and spirit, by providing bi-weekly SilverSneakers® programs, a monthly Monday Matinee Movie, Bingo, and a coffee hour every Friday afternoon. In the spring, we provided garden plots for our residents to plant vegetables and/or flowers.
The CDYMCA works closely with the Refugee Welcome Center and the U.S. Committee for Refugees and Immigrants to provide programming to refugees
and immigrants in our community including yoga, swim classes, wellness programming, and camp. We have partnerships with Sage College and the Refugee & Immigrant Support Services of Emmaus, Inc. to provide more services across the Capital Region.
In the fall of 2022, we launched a soccer program at Bleecker Stadium in Albany for refugee and immigrant children to help learn English, in addition to team- building and communication skills. We worked closely with the Salvation Army to identify refugee families who were experiencing food insecurity and worked with our volunteers for weekly food drop- offs for these families. We hosted weekly ESL classes at our Healthy Living Center for immigrants from around the world, including Korea, Congo, and Syria.