Make us your home page

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

YMCA launches new brand to draw attention to what it can do for communities

More than 66 percent of Americans believe the quality of life in their community declined in the last year.

Only 24 percent believe it will get better. A whopping 53 percent think our current state will remain in place.

The results come from a community snapshot survey conducted by the national YMCA, and they suggest our nation needs not only a revitalization, but a willingness to believe we can overcome these economic doldrums and regain our greatness.

As it's done so many times during its 160-year history, the YMCA stands primed to fuel just such a revival. On Monday, the nonprofit introduced a new logo and launched an awareness campaign to underscore its longtime commitment to strengthening communities.

The logo change, the nonprofit's first in 43 years, represents a rebranding strategy that embraces the organization's nickname — "the Y" — and seeks to increase understanding of its mission. The group wants to be referred to as just "the Y" going forward.

The tenets, however, remain the same: youth development, healthy living and social responsibility.

"We're changing how we talk about ourselves and we're simplifying how we describe our programs," Kate Coleman, chief marketing officer of YMCA of the USA, during a Monday morning webcast.

YMCA of the USA president and chief executive officer Neil Nicoll said the organization's survey didn't reveal any surprises when it came to Americans' top worry: the economy.

Beyond that, however, came three other pressing concerns: negative youth behavior, including teen violence and bullying; access to health care; and declining personal and community values.

The Y learned that families interested in reversing those trends want to start in the home and work collaboratively with government, businesses and nonprofits.

"A uniquely American quality: It's broken, I'm not happy with it, but it's my responsibility to fix it," Nicoll explained.

Locally, the Y gives people a chance to fix it through programs under its three primary principles to address the most pervasive problems. We think of team sports, swim lessons and workouts when it comes the Y, but many of its programs go beyond the centers.

In Sulphur Springs, the Tampa Metro YMCA plays a vital role in that neighborhood's rebirth by offering morning outreach classes for parents, after-school clubs and a full summer program.

The Greater St. Petersburg YMCA, celebrating its 90th anniversary this year, boasts of a neighbor-to-neighbor program that provided 400 families with a Christmas tree, decorations, presents and gift cards to buy Christmas meals.

The YMCA of the Suncoast is the largest provider of school-age child care in Pinellas, Pasco, Hernando and Citrus counties.

More than ever, we need folks to use such opportunities to strengthen the community. If only 24 percent of us believe we can get better, we'll just have to do the lifting for everyone else.

Why? As you will hear in the YMCA's new campaign, the answer is simple: "Because we need each other."

That's all I'm saying.

YMCA launches new brand to draw attention to what it can do for communities 07/12/10 [Last modified: Monday, July 12, 2010 11:32pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. Tampa man crashes into parked cars, gate at the Islamic Society of Tampa Mosque


    A Tampa man intentionally drove his pick-up truck into two parked vehicles before smashing through the locked gate of the Islamic Society of Tampa Mosque, according to the Hillsborough County Sheriff's Office.

    Shaun H. Urwiler, 42, was arrested July 16 for intentionally driving his pick-up truck into two parked vehicles before smashing through the locked gate of the Islamic Society of Tampa Mosque, according to the Hillsborough County Sheriff's Office. [Hillsborough County Sheriff's Office]
  2. USF hoops to play at Indiana in November


    The USF men's basketball team is set to get an early test from a Big Ten powerhouse in non-conference play next season.

  3. Last steel beam marks construction milestone for Tom and Mary James' museum


    ST. PETERSBURG — Tom and Mary James on Wednesday signed their names to the last steel beam framing the 105-ton stone mesa that will be built at the entrance of the museum that bears their name: the James Museum of Western and Wildlife Art.

    The topping-out ceremony of the James Museum of Western & Wildlife Art was held Wednesday morning in downtown St. Petersburg. Mary James (from left), husband Tom and Mayor Rick Kriseman signed the final beam before it was put into place. When finished, the $55 million museum at 100 Central Ave. will hold up to 500 pieces of the couple's 3,000-piece art collection. [Courtesy of James Museum of Western & Wildlife Art]
  4. Florida's school grades improve as educators get the hang of a new system


    Following a trend, Florida's school grades showed strong gains in the third year after the state changed its grading formula and the standardized tests that students take every year.

    After finding out earlier Wednesday that her school went from a low C to an A,  Bear Creek Elementary principal Willette Houston celebrates with her students in the YMCA After School program at the school in St. Petersburg. Houston is giving a high five to rising fifth grader Jonaven Viera. Rising 4th grader Jonathan Cafaro is in foreground with his back to camera. [CHERIE DIEZ   |   Times]
  5. Tampa Bay woman, 11-year-old boy had sex up to 20 times the year their baby was born, detectives say.


    TAMPA — A woman sexually battered an 11-year-old Brandon boy, got pregnant and raised the baby for three years before a tip led to her arrest, Hillsborough County sheriff's officials said.

    Marissa Mowry, now 25,  had sex as many as 20 times in 2014 with a boy who was 11 when he impregnated her, Hillsborough County detectives allege. [Photo courtesy of Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office]