Building on a Legacy

HISTORY OF THE MCDONALD SOUTHEAST YMCA

In 1903, the first YMCA was organized to serve Fort Worth’s African American community, and in 1919 it became a part of the Fort Worth YMCA.

In the early years, the Y provided a vocational school, free employment bureau and a restaurant serving nutritional food at a discounted rate, as well as Hi-Y Club for teens and sports including football and basketball. The branch was renamed the McDonald YMCA in 1944 when William M. McDonald, a well-respected African American civic leader and businessman, donated a building which housed the Y from 1944–1971. The McDonald YMCA moved to its Berry Street location in 1971. In 1991, the Southeast Multi-Agency YMCA opened on Miller Avenue as a preschool and community resource center. The two YMCAs merged to become the McDonald Southeast YMCA in 2013. The YMCA of Metropolitan Fort Worth is a part of a worldwide organization dedicated to putting Christian principles into practice through programs that build healthy spirit, mind and body for all.

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CURRENT MCDONALD SOUTHEAST YMCA

Today, the McDonald Southeast YMCA serves nearly 1,000 people through a variety of programs including:

  • Preschool and afterschool programs
  • Health and wellness programs for youth, adults & seniors
  • Summer day camp
  • Youth leadership & mentoring programs, and more

NEW Y IN SOUTHEAST FORT WORTH

Ground has been broken on our $12 million southeast Fort Worth capital project what will open its doors in the spring of 2018.  

FOCUS AREAS

WATER SAFETY

In collaboration with the City of Fort Worth, the new YMCA facility will include a large family-friendly aquatic center open to serve members and non-members alike.

Impact:

For over 125 years, the YMCA has been dedicated to water safety in greater Fort Worth by providing guarded pool access and teaching people to swim. Learning to swim means much more than learning strokes though; it is learning water survival skills, practicing water safety, and developing comfort in the water. Drowning is a silent killer that can be avoided when children and parents learn water safety and basic swim skills.

COMMUNITY HEALTH & WELLNESS

A gymnasium will provide enhanced programs like basketball, while an elevated walking track will provide safe, indoor exercise. Child Watch will engage children while parents are at the Y, and a new kitchen will provide nutritious meals to the Early Childhood Learning Center and offer community cooking and nutrition demonstrations.

Impact:

This new facility will allow the YMCA to make a positive impact on many health-related challenges including diabetes, heart disease, cancer and more. As an example, the Y offers programs like LIVESTRONG at the YMCA, which helps individuals regain their strength after undergoing cancer treatment, and Diabetes Prevention Program, which aims to prevent diabetes. A kitchen can be transformed from preparing nutritious meals for children during the day, to hosting cooking classes and demonstrations in the evenings and weekends, utilizing Y garden-grown produce, supporting healthy nutrition.

YOUTH & TEEN DEVELOPMENT

An expanded Early Learning Center for up to 80 children and infants will continue to focus on school readiness and preparing them for success as they enter kindergarten. A Youth Empowerment Zone and Teen Enrichment area will provide dedicated space for youth and teens to feel at home, safe and prepared to become next generation’s leaders.

Impact:

The YMCA has developed its early childhood education and youth programs through its understanding that young people need caring adults to provide support, guidance, and encouragement as they grow. With this guiding philosophy, the Y delivers a daily early childhood education program that focuses on preparing children for their formal educational career. Additionally, youth programs like Reach & Rise® mentoring, afterschool care, sports, Youth & Government and more, focus on building and delivering holistic programs that provide for leadership, community involvement, skill building and physical and emotional safety.

OBJECTIVES OF THE NEW YMCA

The main objective of the new YMCA is to provide a healthy, sustainable YMCA center to serve as a community gathering place ensuring people of all ages and backgrounds can access the resources needed to help them grow and thrive in spirit, mind and body.

EARLY LEARNING

Enhance the early learning curriculum and school-readiness opportunities we can deliver to children in southeast Fort Worth with a continued partnership with Fort Worth ISD.

COMMUNITY HEALTH

Improve community health by promoting physical fitness and nutrition through the new wellness center, kitchen and expanded community garden.

FAMILY ENGAGEMENT

Engage parents as active participants in their child’s education and physical health through a full family center which will transform our opportunities to serve the whole family.

WATER SAFETY

Improve community health by promoting physical fitness and nutrition through the new wellness center, kitchen and expanded community garden.