The Impact of Volunteer Coaches: Empowering Youth Through Sports at YMCA

The Impact of Volunteer Coaches:
Empowering Youth Through Sports at YMCA

Did you know that every year, the YMCA of Greater Toledo’s Youth Sports program introduces over 4,5000 children to the world of sports and teamwork? It’s an incredible opportunity to shape young lives and foster a love for physical activity that lasts a lifetime. But to continue making this impact, we need your help.

Volunteer coaches play a crucial role in our program, providing more than just instruction on the field. They create a safe and supportive environment where children can learn and grow, instilling values like teamwork, sportsmanship, and perseverance along the way. By dedicating just a few hours each week, volunteer coaches have the power to make a significant difference in a child’s life.

Becoming a coach at the YMCA means becoming part of a larger family—a community united by a shared mission to empower youth and strengthen communities. While prior coaching experience is helpful, what truly matters is a willingness to serve as a mentor and role model for young athletes.

Our volunteer coaches receive training, equipment, and resources to ensure they feel confident and prepared to lead their teams. Whether you’re a seasoned athlete or someone who simply wants to give back, there’s a place for you in our Youth Sports program.

If you’re interested in making a positive impact in your community and empowering the next generation of athletes and leaders, consider becoming a volunteer coach at the YMCA. Visit the Member Service Desk at your local branch or contact the Sports Coordinator to learn more about how you can get involved.

Together, we can make a difference—one child at a time. Join us in building a healthier, stronger community through the power of sports and mentorship.


Toledo,OH – The YMCA of Greater Toledo, has been awarded Praesidium Accreditation® by Praesidium, the leader in abuse risk management. Praesidium Accreditation® is a prestigious honor that publicly demonstrates the organization has worked to achieve the highest industry standards in abuse prevention.

To achieve Accreditation, the YMCA underwent a rigorous process to implement Praesidium’s Accreditation Standards focusing on eight primary operational areas within their business: policies, screening and selection, training, monitoring and supervision, consumer participation, internal feedback systems, responding, and administrative practices. Praesidium then verified the YMCA’s successful implementation of these standards. The YMCA will be accredited for three years, and during this time will commit to uphold fundamental organizational values and stringent safety practices that demonstrate their commitment to protecting those in their care from abuse.

Praesidium Accreditation® provides solid proof of sound risk management practices and the honor distinguishes the YMCA from others in their industry. “We are pleased to send the message that we will not compromise the safety of those in our care—for any reason,” said Brad Toft, YMCA of Greater Toledo, President/CEO. “As an entire organization, we are dedicated and committed to proactively keeping those in our care safe from abuse.”

The YMCA embodies inclusivity, uniting individuals of all genders and ages through a collective dedication to empowering children, advocating for wellness, and cultivating a community-minded ethos. For further information, please visit 


About the YMCA of Greater Toledo

The YMCA of Greater Toledo embodies inclusivity, uniting individuals of all genders and ages through a collective dedication to empowering children, advocating for wellness, and cultivating a community-minded ethos.  For further information, please visit

Y Achievers is tailored for individuals aged 14-18. It emphasizes high school completion, career readiness, and preparing youth for post-high school life. The program includes homework help, leadership training, career exploration, college/trades preparation, community service projects, work readiness, and life skills development.

About Praesidium

Praesidium specializes in preventing sexual abuse in organizations that serve youth and vulnerable adults. Over a period in excess of 30 years, the company has reviewed over 4,000 cases of abuse within organizations to determine the root causes of sexual abuse within organizational settings. Praesidium employs more than 50 staff, including licensed social workers, lawyers, health care researchers, and other experts. The company has served over 5,000 clients with a broad range of products and services to aid organizations in preventing abuse, including online and instructor–led trainings, organizational risk assessments, model policies, and background checks. Having trained more than one million people online and hundreds of thousands in person, Praesidium is the largest and most comprehensive sexual abuse risk management firm globally. 

Press Release: West Toledo YMCA Teen Achievers to Host YMCA of Metropolitan Detroit Teen Achievers during UT ‘Rockets Get Involved Tour’

Toledo, OH – The West Toledo YMCA Teen Achievers will host an event on March 27th, welcoming the YMCA of Metropolitan Detroit Teen Achievers at The University of Toledo for a day of fun, learning, and mentorship.  

The YMCA Teen Achiever program aims to support teenagers in meeting higher academic and career goals, nurturing their minds, character, work ethic, and emphasizing the value of education.  

Currently, the YMCA of Greater Toledo has 40 teens participating in the Teen Achievers program.  In 2023, the program included 11 seniors, all of whom successfully graduated from high school.  

The YMCA of Metropolitan Detroit has 15 teenagers currently participating in their YMCA Teen Achievers program.  Following their engagement in the Rockets Get Involved Tour, these teens will embark on additional college tours across Ohio.  

The Rockets Get Involved Tour is guided by members of the historically Black Delta Sigma Theta Sorority and other University of Toledo student organizations.  During the March 27th event, participants will discuss the various involvement opportunities available at the University of Toledo.  

The West Toledo YMCA will open its doors to these Teen Achiever participants at 2pm on March 27th.  Teens can engage in open swim and basketball.  They will then gather to officially launch the Rockets Get Involved Tour, followed by a social and networking session.  

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About the YMCA of Greater Toledo Teen Achievers 

Y Achievers is tailored for individuals aged 14-18. It emphasizes high school completion, career readiness, and preparing youth for post-high school life. The program includes homework help, leadership training, career exploration, college/trades preparation, community service projects, work readiness, and life skills development.

Contact:  Shonna Moon, [email protected], 419.205.0777

Find Your Joy, Find Your Y at Healthy Kids Day!

The YMCA of Greater Toledo is hosting the Y’s annual Healthy Kids Day® in April and May.

April 20 | 11:00 am to 2:00 pm | Wayman Palmer YMCA 

April 20 | 1 to 4:00 pm | YMCA Storer Camps 

April 30 | 5:30 to 7:30 pm | Eastern Community YMCA 

May 04 | 10:30 am to 12:30 pm | West Toledo YMCA

These free, annual events will feature a variety of family-friendly activities to encourage healthy kids, healthy families, and a healthy start to the summer season.

Kicking Summer Off Right

In celebration of this annual kick-off to summer, we are sharing a list of five activities that we encourage you to introduce to your kids. The goal is to have them try something new by promoting various opportunities to get involved in active play. Hopefully, this will inspire a lifetime love of physical and mental activity! Share these activities with your children and inspire them to “find their fun” by discovering an activity they love!

Find Your Curiosity with Summer Specialty Camps  The YMCA offers a variety of specialty camps that help inspire wonder about the world around us. Guiding children to find their CURIOSITY is key to helping them reach their full potential. Click here to learn more about YMCA Specialty Camps.

Find Your Adventure with Y Summer Camp Summer is a time for kids to explore new things and expand the limits of their imagination. At YMCA of Greater Toledo, every day is a new adventure! Whether experiencing the wonder of YMCA Storer Camps, or having a blast with new friends at summer day camp, many children and teens find their ADVENTURE with the Y. Learn more about all the Y has to offer this summer.

Find Your Voice with Y Teen Programs We believe young people have the power to change the world. Our Y Achievers teen program is designed to help young people develop the skills and confidence they need to lead positive change in the greater Toledo area and beyond. Visit the Achievers webpage to learn more about Y teen programs.

Find Your Swimming Skills with Y Swim Lessons Each year the Y teaches hundreds of children to swim. This helps them find their CONFIDENCE, teaches a lifelong skill and introduces them to safety around water. Visit our swim lessons page to learn more about Y swim lessons.

Find your Passion with Y Sports Youth sports are just the start of something bigger– , aside from teaching fundamental skills, they also teach the value of teamwork, help fuel determination, and build character. At the YMCA of Greater Toledo we have more than 30 sports programs to choose from, including leagues, teams and clinics. The Y wants to help keep children active while igniting their PASSION for something greater. Explore youth sports today.

For more information on Healthy Kids Day, follow us on Facebook! 

Building Brighter Futures: The Rewards of Joining the YMCA Child Care Team

In the world of community service, the YMCA stands as a pillar of support, offering a wide range of programs and services that cater to the diverse needs of its members. At the heart of this mission are the dedicated individuals working tirelessly in child care, embodying the YMCA’s commitment to fostering holistic development in individuals of all ages. However, like many organizations, the YMCA is currently facing a critical challenge – a shortage of qualified staff. We want to discuss the importance of hiring staff in child care, the benefits of working for the YMCA, and the profound impact that staff can make on members and the community.

The Importance of Hiring in Child Care 

Child care is more than supervision; it’s an opportunity to instill a love of learning, provide quality care, and shape the future of our community. Without a dedicated and qualified staff, the YMCA cannot adequately serve its members, leaving a void in the community’s access to essential services.

Challenges in Hiring

 As a non-profit organization, the YMCA faces challenges in competing with the compensation offered by for-profit companies that provide similar services. The struggle to attract qualified staff, particularly in child care, poses a significant hurdle to the YMCA’s mission of community empowerment.

Benefits of working for the YMCA

 The YMCA remains an attractive employer for individuals seeking not just a job but a purpose-driven career. Employees at the YMCA become part of a community-focused organization that values personal and professional growth. Free YMCA membership, a flexible work environment, and the chance to contribute meaningfully to community well-being are just a few of the perks that make working for the YMCA a fulfilling experience.

The Impact of Staff on Members and the Community 

Qualified and dedicated staff in child care can have a profound impact on the members they serve and the community at large. While fostering a love of learning in children to promoting health, staff play a pivotal role in shaping positive experiences and building lasting connections within the community.

In the face of hiring challenges, and recognizing the crucial role they play in building a healthier and more connected community, the YMCA calls on passionate individuals to join its childcare team. The rewards of working for the YMCA extend beyond compensation, offering employees a chance to contribute meaningfully to the lives of others while enjoying the benefits of personal and professional growth. As we navigate these challenging times, the YMCA remains steadfast in its commitment to empowering individuals and communities, and it is the dedicated staff who will continue to make a lasting impact on the hearts and minds of those they serve.

Why you should consider a role in YMCA Child Care or Aquatics

As a non-profit organization, the YMCA relies heavily on its staff to deliver quality services to its members and the community. In particular, the child care and aquatics departments require qualified staff to fulfill their duties. Without these essential team members, the YMCA would be unable to provide vital services to the community, such as instilling a love of learning in children and teaching them how to swim.

However, like many other businesses and organizations, the YMCA is experiencing a lull in hiring. The biggest needs for staff are in child care and aquatics, which are essential services that cannot be provided without qualified staff. This is where you come in. By joining the YMCA team, you have the opportunity to make a significant impact on the lives of children and adults in your community.

One of the benefits of working for the YMCA is the opportunity to make a difference in people’s lives. As a staff member, you have the chance to help children learn and grow and to teach them valuable life skills like swimming and water safety. In addition, the YMCA offers several benefits to employees, such as free membership, flexibility, and paid time off. These benefits can make a significant difference in the quality of life for staff members.

Furthermore, working at the YMCA can be an excellent opportunity to learn applicable skills for future employment opportunities. The organization offers training and development opportunities that can help you grow professionally and advance your career. The YMCA also offers full-time positions within the organization, which can provide a stable and fulfilling career path.

Working for the YMCA can be a rewarding experience that offers the opportunity to make a positive impact on the community. By joining the team, you can help provide essential services to children and adults and learn valuable skills for your future career. If you are passionate about helping others and making a difference, consider joining the YMCA team today!

The Impact of Sharing Your Y Story

At the YMCA, we’re more than just a gym or a fitness center. We’re a community where individuals of all ages and backgrounds can come together to grow, learn, and support one another. One of the most powerful ways we do this is by sharing our Y stories with each other.

Your Y story is a unique reflection of how the YMCA has impacted your life. Maybe you found your passion for healthy living through a fitness program, or maybe you met your best friend in a group exercise class. Perhaps you enrolled your child in our Child Care program and saw them develop new skills and relationships.

Whatever your Y story may be, we believe that it deserves to be heard. By sharing your story, you’re not only honoring your own journey, but you’re also inspiring others to discover the benefits of the YMCA community.

We’re inviting members, staff, and volunteers to share their Y stories with us through text, photo, or video. Additionally,  those who submit a Y story on video, will be entered into a drawing for a YMCA gift card.

 Beyond the chance to win a prize, sharing your Y story is an opportunity to connect with others and contribute to the larger mission of the YMCA. By listening to each other’s stories, we’re reminded of the values that unite us: Youth Development, Healthy Living, and Social Responsibility.

Whether you’ve been a part of the YMCA community for years or are just starting to get involved, we want to hear from you. Your Y story is important, and we’re grateful for the chance to learn from and be inspired by your experiences.

The Y is Here to Help you Prepare for Back to School!

August is National Back to School Month. To prepare, the YMCA of Greater Toledo is sharing three ways you can make sure your back-to-school season is a success!

Enroll in YMCA Child Care Before and After-school  Programming Today

When school is out, the Y is in! In honor of National Back to School Month, the Y wants to remind you of all our great before and after-school programming, to ensure your child is taken care of before or after their school day! The YMCA of Greater Toledo has a total of 23 before and after-school sites. Click here to register or learn more. Also, if you’re interested in joining our Child Care team, we are hiring, and encourage you to apply today.  

Communicate Routines and Expectations

The Y wants your family to be prepared for back-to-school season! Here is your friendly reminder to make sure you have everything on your child’s classroom supply list, reset those summer bedtimes well before the big day, and communicate any changes in routine with the entire family. Here’s to a happy, healthy, and safe back-to-school season!

Attend Our Back to School Bash

From crayons to notebooks, many classrooms, and the students who fill them, need school supplies this time of year! In celebration of National Back to School Month, the YMCA of Greater Toledo wants to invite you to our Back to School Bash. Join us on Saturday, August 19 from noon to 2 pm at the Sylvania YMCA/JCC.  

We are so excited about the school year and want you to know that the YMCA is here to support you. 

Back To School Bash

Saturday, August 19 | 12-2pm
Sylvania YMCA and JCC

The Value of Camp: Affordability and Inclusivity

The Value of Camp: Affordability and Inclusivity

A trip to YMCA Storer Camps is always fun! There’s no doubt about that.  In fact, throughout the day at camp, the most common question asked  (besides what’s being served at the next meal) is “What was your favorite thing you did today?” 

This question is typically followed by a number of excited responses about riding horses, climbing the rock wall, or paddling around on Stony Lake on a stand-up paddleboard.  Although not explicitly stated, what these responses reveal is the fact that campers tried something new, grew out of their comfort zone, and created relationships with new friends.

When spending time at YMCA Storer Camps, each camper is able to grow in our four core values of caring, honesty, respect, and responsibility.  They create a community of campers across county, state, and even national lines.  Campers are challenged to push beyond boundaries they didn’t know existed, all while in a safe, caring environment away from societal pressures.  Upon returning home, campers have a stronger sense of self-worth, accomplishment, and appreciation for the world and others around them.

These experiences are designed for all children to learn, grow, and explore. 

YMCA Storer Camps is committed to ensuring that camp is a home away from home for every single child. Regardless of various walks of life, no barrier should ever prevent a child from attending camp.

In an attempt to further reduce barriers to experiencing camp, 2023 saw the launch of a brand new tiered pricing system for summer camp programs.  Families are now able to choose the program rate that best fits their needs, with no questions asked. All campers still receive the same quality programs regardless of payment level.  

We realize that some families may need additional resources beyond the tiered pricing system. In these cases, the YMCA is happy to offer financial assistance, provided by the generosity of donors who believe in the mission of YMCA Storer Camps.

Additionally, YMCA members receive discounts on all summer camp programs.  This discount is not exclusive to members of the YMCA of Greater Toledo but is extended to members of any YMCA across the globe! 

A trip to YMCA Storer Camps is fun, safe, and full of growth. Above all it is meant for your child this summer!