YMCA of Greater Erie

Click here for a list of donors giving $100 or more to the 2017 campaign.

The Y is now…as it has always been…a place of possibility and promise for all. Unfortunately, in times when the true power of “us” is unknown to many and our bonds are fraying, we must do even more to enhance our human connections.

That’s why the Y passionately focuses on strengthening communities. Every day, the Y supports kids, adults, seniors and families with programs that protect, teach, connect, heal, nourish and encourage. It’s how we help our community and the “us” who live here achieve our individual and collective promise.  We can’t do it alone.

Our Y sits at the forefront of several key issues facing the Erie community including:

  • Safe Spaces: Drowning Prevention/Learn to Swim, After School Enrichment, Teen Center, Diabetes Prevention
  • Health: Wellness for Veterans, Senior Activities Outreach, Family Strengthening
  • Learning: High school graduation rates, Early Learning Readiness, Literacy/Power Scholars Academy
  • Meals for Kids: Food + Fun Bus, Healthy Eating Standards

From safe spaces to academic achievement, when you donate to the Y, you’re giving those in need opportunity to thrive.

For Safe Spaces


All kids and teens need a safe and productive environment to both release energy and discover their potential.  The Y is Erie’s community space, providing programs to help youth learn, grow and thrive.


  • Drowning is still the second leading cause of accidental death in kids under 14.  We provide community based learn to swim programs.
  • 18% of kids in PA are responsible for taking care of themselves afterschool.  We provide scholarships for low-income kids wanting to attend afterschool enrichment programs.
  • Only about ½ of youth are exposed to the 40 Developmental Assets which help prepare them for life and avoid risky and unhealthy behaviors.  We provide community based programming that offers mentorship, creative space, academic enrichment, positive values and conflict resolution.
  • Kids with diabetes often feel excluded from their favorite activities including birthday parties, holidays and sleepovers.  We provide scholarships for youth to attend Diabetes Camp at YMCA Camp Fitch – an inclusive camp with support staff which helps them feel included with their peers.

For Learning

babies hands on top of mums hands

Research shows that many youth from underserved and low-income families need extra support in reaching their potential.  They often start kindergarten underprepared and fall behind their peers as they progress through school.  That “gap”, known as the achievement gap, presents not just immediate hurdles for these students, but also long term challenges for us all.


  • 40% of Erie’s kids are unprepared for Kindergarten.  We provide scholarships for low-income kids to attend high quality preschool at little or no cost and a community based program to help caregivers at home.
  • 4 out of 5 inmates in Erie are high school drop outs. We provide community based tutoring, job readiness and post-secondary programs for teens.
  • 30% of third-graders in Erie score unproficient in 3rd grade reading.We provide learning programs which lay the foundation for reading readiness through daily reading and language based skills including vocabulary, letter and sound identification.

For Meals for Kids

Piece of bread in hands

The Y is committed to keeping kids nourished all year long. More than 16 million children and teens under 18 live with food insecurity, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture.  And, when the school day ends, many of these youth are at risk of going hungry.


  • 30% of Erie’s kids are overweight or obese.  We commit to limiting processed foods and increasing fresh fruit and vegetables in our meals through our program and community based meals sites.
  • Erie County has 10 food deserts – areas where access to healthy food is a concern for kids.  We provide a mobile meals site for kids – YMCA Food + Fun bus – serving meals right in neighborhoods.

Read about the Food + Fun bus

For Health

The American Flag

The Y aims to improve our community’s health and well-being by providing programs and activities that promote wellness, reduce the risk for disease and help others reclaim their health.


  • More than 5,000 Veterans in Erie County are currently treated for Post Traumatic Stress Syndrom.  We provide free wellness programs and Y membership for Veterans to help them deal with anxiety and return back to society.
  • 15% of Erie County’s population is over age 65.  We provide community based programs for seniors to help them keep active, prevent illness and stay connected with others.
  • 25% of families spend less time together and 43% don’t eat family dinner.  We provide community based programs that strengthen family bonds.



Video Stories of Impact

The player below will guide you through several stories of how our Y has impacted the community of Greater Erie. You can choose to play all or select the story you’d like to see from the menu in the top left corner of the player.


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