WE’RE GLAD YOU’RE HERE
There is no other IL nonprofit quite like the Y. That’s because in 120 communities across the state we have the presence and partnerships to not just promise, but deliver, lasting personal and social change. We know that when we work as one, we can move people and communities forward. That’s why we are committed to providing support to our neighbors and opportunities for kids, adults and families to learn, grow and thrive.
The Y. So much more.
This year in the state of Illinois, more than 1,000,000 people – nearly half of them kids – along with more than 1,900 policy volunteers* and more than 21,000 program volunteers will come to the Y to learn, grow and thrive. Engaging 120 communities across the state, more than 114 corporate, branch and community school Ys have one goal in common: our cause to strengthen the foundations of community.
The Y is a cause-driven organization. That’s because a strong community can only be achieved when we invest in our kids, our health and our neighbors. Our work is defined in three focus areas:
OUR IMPACT: SO OUR KIDS CAN MAKE THEIR DREAMS A REALITY
We believe the values and skills learned early on are vital building blocks for life. Because of the Y, more young people in neighborhoods around the state are taking a greater interest in learning and making smarter life choices. At the Y, children and teens learn values and positive behaviors, and can explore their unique talents and interests, helping them realize their potential. That makes for confident kids today and contributing and engaged adults tomorrow.
Being healthy means more than simply being physically active. It’s about maintaining a balanced spirit, mind and body. The Y is a place where you can work toward that balance by challenging yourself to learn a new skill or hobby, fostering connections with friends through our lifelong learning programs, or bringing your loved ones closer together through our many family-centered activities. At the Y, it’s not about the activity you choose as much as it is about the benefits of living healthier on the inside as well as the outside.
OUR IMPACT: EVERYONE COMES TOGETHER FOR THE COMMON GOOD
The generosity of others is at the core of the Y’s existence as a nonprofit. It is only through the support of our hundreds of thousands of volunteers and public and private donors that we are able to support and give back to the communities we engage.
FIRST EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR NAMED FOR THE IL STATE ALLIANCE OF YMCAS
Chicago, IL –Andy Thornton, Chair of the IL State Alliance of YMCAs is pleased to announce the selection of Margaret Cooch as the first Executive Director of the Illinois State Alliance of YMCAs.
Meg has more than 15 years of experience in fundraising, administration, management, coalition development, public policy, community organizing and educational training. She has proven program and organizational development, evaluation and executive management experience. Meg has an understanding of city, state and national legislative advocacy processes and relationship building. Her empowerment of low-income communities through leadership development and engagement has given her the knowledge of disability, aging, housing, children and health policy issues.
Meg worked at Lutheran Services of America as the Director of Strategic Projects. She directed strategic project development for LSA including in the area of fundraising capacity building. She coordinated projects and initiatives engaging LSA members supporting children and youth. Followed emerging models and trends in child welfare and direct shared work among members. Evaluated and managed the marketing, sales and on-going support of users of caregiving training products. Was the lead in evaluation of new and ongoing programs and developed new grant program for members
Meg is enthusiastic about the opportunity work with the 48 corporate Ys and 120 branch locations throughout the state to make the IL State Alliance of YMCAs a strong partner and ally on issues important to YMCAs across the state.
RETHINK YOUR DRINK 2014 CAMPAIGN!
The Illinois State Alliance of YMCAs partners with the Illinois Alliance to Prevent Obesity (IAPO).
The Illinois Alliance to Prevent Obesity (IAPO) is kicking off it’s Rethink Your Drink 2014 campaign with “Rethink Your Drink Month,” January 13 – February 13 in Illinois. With sugary beverages making up 46% of added sugars in the American diet, IAPO is encouraging residents to “go on green,” drinking beverages with less than 5 (1.25 teaspoons) grams of sugar per 12 ounces and to “stop on red” with drinks that have 12 (3 teaspoons) grams or more of sugar per 12 ounces.
- Campaign Launch: Monday, 1/13-Friday, 1/17
- Health Departments/Local Government Education Week: Monday, 1/20-Friday, 1/24
- After-School Programs/Non-Profits Education Week: Monday, 1/27-Friday, 1/31
- School Education Week: Monday, 2/3-Friday, 2/7
- Worksite/ Hospital/ Healthcare Education Week: Monday, 2/10-Friday, 2/14
Register to listen to IAPO’s webinar: Providing Clarity on Lobbying vs. Non-Lobbying activities for Rethink Your Drink Illinois (recorded on January 22, 2014)
AMA CEO LAUDS YMCA DIABETES PREVENTION PROGRAM
January 18, 2014
In yet another sign of changing perceptions about the YMCA as a leading organization in chronic disease prevention, the CEO of the American Medical Association has lauded the YMCA as a “model community asset.”
Speaking to the AMA’s House of Delegates during that policy-making body’s Interim Meeting in November, Dr. James Madara recognized the YMCA as a key partner for the AMA’s efforts to improve health outcomes. In particular, Madara cited the positive results experienced by participants in the YMCA’s Diabetes Prevention Program.
The AMA had launched a pilot program focused on increasing physician referrals of people with prediabetes to the YMCA in three cities: Indianapolis, Minneapolis and Wilmington, Del. Calling the pilot “a new way of thinking about the physician’s link to the community,” Dr. Madara said the AMA plans to expand the program to engage more physicians and Ys in other communities. Now, this program is being implemented in YMCAs across the country.
He said the program accomplishes two important objectives: 1) helping physicians promote simple but proven disease prevention strategies such as exercise and dietary improvement, and 2) establishing a link between physicians and a community-based organization that engages individuals at risk for health problems.
The AMA’s pilot program is an example of how YMCAs have become an extension of clinical settings – a critical development, according to Dr. Madara, because public health is underfunded. “We need to find new sites like YMCAs that offer huge national footprints and sustainable business plans to add a new and more fiscally stable public health strategy, by pulling in private sector elements,” he said.
The YMCA’s Diabetes Prevention Program helps those at high risk of developing type 2 diabetes adopt and maintain healthy lifestyles by eating healthier, increasing physical activity and losing a modest amount of weight in order to reduce their chances of developing the disease. Based on research funded by the National Institutes of Health and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the program reduces the risk of developing type 2 diabetes by 58 percent.
In a classroom setting, a trained lifestyle coach facilitates a small group of participants in learning about healthier eating, physical activity and other behavior changes over the course of 16 one-hour sessions. Topics covered include healthier eating, getting started with physical activity, overcoming stress, staying motivated, and more. After the initial 16 core sessions, participants meet monthly for added support to help them maintain their progress.
The YMCA’s Diabetes Prevention Program is part of the CDC-led National Diabetes Prevention Program.
You can participate in the Diabetes Prevention Program here in IL and reduce your risk for type 2 diabetes and gain tools for healthy living. The Kishwaukee YMCA in Sycamore, IL and the Two Rivers YMCA in Moline, IL are the first two pilot Ys in IL.