Monday, October 31, 2011

Community Compassion Organization - YMCA

For the third and final community compassion organization I chose the YMCA. I interviewed Crissy Jache from the Lynn YMCA in Massachusetts (my home town). Crissy was very informative and straightforward with what she knew and what she didn’t know.

The YMCA started in London, 1812, when twenty-two-year-old George Williams was troubled by the dangerous street life surrounded by turmoil and despair at the time. In response to this he joined with eleven friends and organized the first Young Men’s Christian Association (YMCA). This was a refuge of Bible study and prayer, for young men seeking to escape from the hard life on the street. The organization was driven to meet the social needs of the community. Several years later Thomas Valentine Sulivan, inspired but the YMCA in England formed the first U.S. YMCA at the Old South Church in Boston.

Crissy also gave some practical insight on how the YMCA as an organization helps people. The Y helps families live a healthy and well-balanced life, through social means, fitness centers, swimming pools, childcare programs, etc. What is cool about the YMCA, which I had not known previous to today, is that the YMCA builds their facilities based on their community’s needs. This means that some buildings will have, say, a fitness center while others will not.

The YMCA is a non-profit organization. It is funded by a variety of different sources, such as: membership dues, fees for programs (i.e. classes and child care), United Way (a company that funds organizations), grants, fundraising etc.

The hiring process consists of many different aspects dependent upon which program at the YMCA a potential employee is interested in. Crissy recommends that people figure out where they feel they would fit better and then go from there. She also believes in the fact that you can train people to do tasks, but there are certain things you can’t teach a person, such as personality, social aptitude, etc. Background checks are ideal in all programs in the Y, because of the family friendly environment. While there are some core, general, interviewing methods, interviews tend to fluctuate based on the area of the YMCA.

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