Happy Sunday, the day we like to post something spiritual, religious, or reflective-- essentially, living a life that is meaningful beyond ourselves. Today, we've chosen a photo of children riding the YMCA bus during the 2012 Martin Luther King, Jr. Parade.
YMCA stands for Young Men's Christian Association. According to their website, the YMCA was founded in London in 1844 by George Williams and 11 of his friends. Initially, they provided a Bible-study/refuge to get young men off of the streets. The unique aspect of the early YMCA was that it the crossed rigid social lines of English society. In 1851, ten years before the Civil War, Thomas Valentine Sullivan, a retired Boston sea captain, formed a YMCA in Boston, the first in the USA.
In 2010, the Chicago-based, non-profit organization changed its name to "Y" in an effort to clarify their mission of strengthening communities by "focusing on youth development, healthy living and social responsibility" (reference), regardless of gender (M/men's) or religious background (C/christian). They have grown to serve 10,000 neighborhoods. Today, the Y programs enhance the health and well-being of people from all walks of life; from cradle to grave. From the looks on the faces of these young members, the Y accomplishing its mission is a positive, nurturing place.