The YMCA does a lot for Military Families.
While not all YMCA locations offer a discount or program for military assistance, there is a very large number of locations that do.
If you are unfamiliar with the YMCA, it is a not-for-profit business with locations all across the United States.
They focus on improving health, youth development and social responsibility by offering a facility and programs that allow for social, emotional and physical improvements for all ages.
Locations range in what they offer, but most include sporting facilities, pools, gyms, child-care, daily activity programming/classes, youth sports, camps and community programming.
In this article we will discuss the Military Outreach options that participating YMCA locations offer and how the Armed Services YMCA supports Military families.
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YMCA locations outside of the Armed Services locations do not offer a basic Military Discount on memberships.
However, participating YMCA locations have teamed up with the Armed Services YMCA and the Department of Defense to offer Membership and Respite Care Services to Military Families.
Military Outreach Memberships
The membership program allows Military personnel and their families to enjoy the YMCA services for free.
The program covers any Title 10 personnel.
Title 10 personnel that are eligible include:
- National Guard or Revervists’ family members
- Active Duty and their family members
- Relocated Spouse/Dependents of deployed active duty
You can find more information and participating locations by entering in your zip code at the bottom of this page.
To find out if you or your family member is eligible, you must contact Military OneSource at this link.
If you are eligible, OneSource will inform you what supporting documentation you will need to bring with you to the participating location to receive the membership.
Military Outreach Child Respite Care
YMCA respite care for Military families allows children ages infant to 12 years old to receive child care at participating YMCA locations to give the caregiver a break and ability participate in YMCA activities or any outside activities they choose.
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Respite child care in available to Title 10 personnel including:
- National Guard and Reservists’ family members
- Active Duty Independent Duty
- Relocated spouse/dependent children of deployed Active Duty (including families residing within 30 miles from a military installation)
You can find more eligibility requirements and required application forms on the ASYMCA website here.
Armed Services YMCA
The Armed Services YMCA (ASYMCA) has a focus on helping junior enlisted personnel and their family members.
ASYMCA was established during the Civil War to provide service to the Military Community.
The difference between a local YMCA and an ASYMCA is that they focus on specialized programs and services that directly benefit enlisted military members (with an emphasis on junior members) and their families.
They do not have paid memberships and generally do not provide services for the local community.
They have 200 service centers in 18 states that resulted in servicing more than 225,000 people in 2018 (see website here for details).
Their main installations are on bases around the United States but also have several affiliate locations near base locations. Complete list here.
To sign up for an ASYMCA membership, visit the ASYMCA website here and find a location near you.
Each location will have basic contact information listed and a link that says, “Register Now”.
After selecting, “Register Now” on the location nearest you, the link will take you to a the specific location site where you can follow the steps to registering for the program including basic enrollment and verification.
When membership registration is complete, you can view and register for all of the other available programs that your specific location offers.
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Each specific location offers a variety of programming options, all free or low cost to service members and families.
You can find a brief summary of programs below as well as a complete list on their website.
ASYMCA Program Summary:
Angel Of the Battlefield Awards Gala-This event honors 5 heroes that have presented selfless courage while saving lives on the front lines.
Art and Essay Contest-This contest is open to all military school-aged children to express their admiration for heroes and showcase their family through art or essay. It is sponsored by Geico and the ASYMCA. Winners receive an Apple product.
Child & Preschool-Child care and preschool are available for a substantially lower cost in comparison to other child care locations. The child care and preschool program focuses on developing social skills, literacy, motor skills and creativity.
Children’s Waiting Room-This is a short-duration waiting room that is available at select hospitals at no cost for Military family members who have medical appointments. This program reduces no show rates to assist family members in making it to appointments.
Military Family Month-ASYMCA Military Family Month is in November each year and recognizes the support for the daily sacrifices of service members.
Operation Camp-Various camp opportunities are available for youth that allow for recreational and bonding opportunities. This is a great opportunity for children who have experienced multiple deployments.
Operation Hero-This is a no-cost after-school program that specifically targets the needs of military children. The program supports improvements in school and at home.
Operation Holiday Joy-This program was established in 2004 in conjunction with Women’s Day Magazine, to help the purchase and distribution of toys and food to junior enlisted families during Thanksgiving and Christmas.
Operation Kid Comfort-This program allows children of deployed service members to be provided with a free quilt or pillow with photos of their deployed family member. This is meant to help children deal with stress that is involved with deployment.
Operation Little Learners-To help guide parents as their child’s first teacher, this program provides tools and learning opportunities that benefit the child and parent. The program assists parents in learning developmental areas as well as creating a bonding experience.
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Operation Ride Home-A total of 6,410 enlisted members and their families have been able to to travel from their current base location back home for the holidays through donations to this program. The program is sponsored by Jack Daniel’s, the ASYMCA and community member donations.
YMCA Department of Defense Initiative-Mentioned earlier in this article, this program helps military families with memberships and respite child care.
In addition to the unique programs that the ASYMCA offers, they also offer programming that regular YMCA locations offer such as fitness classes and sporting opportunities.
YMCA is a not-for-profit organization that emphasizes youth development and community outreach.
Even though not all YMCA locations offer a Military Discount, the YMCA has a lot of program options that support military families.
Select YMCA locations offer Military Outreach membership and respite care services.
To even further support military families, the YMCA has special locations called the Armed Services YMCA.
The Armed Services YMCA is a nonprofit company that provides memberships and programs to active military members and their family members.
They provide unique services that cover hero recognition, child care, child development, deployment emotional support, and assistance with getting home or receiving gifts during the holidays.
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All of these services are offered on top of the regular programming that other YMCA locations offer at little or no cost to service members.
You can find locations on several different bases as well as affiliate locations that offer similar programming.
Providing these services for free or at a low cost to family members is one of the best Military Discounts you can find.