Armed Services YMCA

Updated: April 2, 2020
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    Armed Services YMCA

    Photo by Kristen Wong U.S. Army Garrison-Hawaii

    A national member association of the YMCA, the Armed Services YMCA (ASYMCA) of the USA is exclusively focused on military families. The ASYMCA provides specialized programs and support services to military service members and their families in all branches of the Armed Forces, including the U.S. Coast Guard, with an emphasis on junior enlisted servicemen and women – both single and married ­– and their families. All programs, services, and events are centered around youth development, healthy living, and social responsibility with the ultimate goal of helping families come together and thrive in military culture.

    The ASYMCA operates 34 ASYMCA-only branches located near the nation’s largest military installations and has over 200 affiliate program centers throughout the United States at local YMCA locations or on base. Programs and services are offered at no or low cost and the ASYMCA does not require dues or membership fees.

    ASYMCA Programs

    Angles of the Battlefield Awards Gala

    The only event that honors the front-line actions of military medical personnel, this gala recognizes medics, corpsmen, and pararescuemen for their life-saving medical treatment on the battlefield. The ASYMCA coordinates with all military branches to select an honoree from each branch.

    Art and Essay Contest

    Open to all military school-aged children, this annual contest gives children an outlet to express their love and appreciation for their military heroes and families.

    Camps and Camping

    One of the ASYMCA’s most popular programs, year-round camps are open to military families, youth, and teens and allow for a fun, educational, and safe outdoor experience for children and families to bond, make new friends, and build their support networks.

    Childcare and Preschool

    In an effort to help prepare children for future success by teaching social skills, creativity, literacy, and fine and gross motor skills while giving military spouses the opportunity to pursue work or education, the ASYMCA offers childcare and preschool at an affordable rate.

    Children’s Waiting Room

    This program allows parents to attend scheduled medical appointments without needing to find someone to watch their children. Click here to see Children’s Waiting Room locations.

    Military Family Month

    Established by the ASYMCA in 1996, the U.S. government now recognizes Military Family Month annually in November in an effort to demonstrate the nation’s support and commitment to the families of the Armed Forces.

    Operation Hero

    An after-school program designed for kids grades 2-8, Operation Hero is a 10-week course that helps military children express themselves and cope with the stress of frequent moves, parental deployment, and trauma. The sessions include discussions, snack time, activities, and homework assistance.

    Operation Holiday Joy

    Established in 2004, this program aims to raise funds for junior enlisted families during the holidays. With the help of donations, the ASYMCA purchases food and toys for Thanksgiving and Christmas.

    Operation Kid Comfort

    ASYMCA volunteers make custom quilts and pillows with photos of deployed service members to help children cope with emotional stress during a parent’s deployment.

    Operation Ride Home

    For service members and their families looking to travel home for the holidays, the ASYMCA provides financial assistance. Since its inception, over 6,000 military families have been able to travel home during the holiday season.

    Operation Little Learners

    Understanding that parents are their child’s first teacher, Operation Little Learners provides new parents with the tools to enhance their child’s development.

    Visit the Armed Services YMCA website to learn more about programs and services.

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