Our Cause

The Y is a cause-driven organization that is for youth development, for healthy living and for social responsibility. That’s because a strong community can only be achieved when we invest in our kids, our health and our neighbors.


Community Makes the Y Stronger

East Orange YMCAWhile our mission is clearly to make the community stronger through our three areas of focus, there was a remarkable event in our East Orange Branch last week…The community made the Y stronger.

The 60 Children in the Abbot Pre-school program and over 150 children in the SACC program receive federally subsidized meals through the City of East Orange, Department of Health and Human Service, Division of Nutrition, Child and Adult Food Services Program. Read Full Story >

YMCA Honored for New Jersey Citizenship Award

YMCA Livingston RotaryThe Rotary Club of Livingston Foundation celebrated both organizational and personal contributions to the local community through service and citizenship at their annual dinner.  Rotary leadership presented the Annual New Jersey Citizenship Award to the Metropolitan YMCA of the Oranges and recognized Michael and Peter Schofel of the Eastman Companies with the Annual Community Service Award.  Both the leadership of the Y and Schofel brothers were honored for embodying the Rotary motto of “Service above Self” for their commitment to making the community stronger.   Pictures left to right: Rick Gorab, Metropolitan YMCA of the Oranges President and CEO; Marcia Meehan, South Mountain YMCA Executive; Bob Kahle, Fairview Lake YMCA Executive; Jennifer Gardner, Sussex County YMCA Executive; Helen Flores, West Essex YMCA Executive; Larry Lev, Sr. VP and COO;  Lou LaSalle, 2012 New Jersey Citizenship Award recipient and Vice President-External Affairs at Saint Barnabas Health Care System; David Thwaits, Rotary Club of Livingston; Bunnie Ratner, 2012 Community Service Award recipient; Allan Feid, Jr., Rotary Club of Livingston;  Peter Schofel, Managing Partner, Eastman Companies; Tony Ceresoli, Wayne YMCA Executive; Michael Schofel, Community Service Award and Ernest Bryant, East Orange YMCA Executive.

Annual Golf Outing raises support

clientuploads/news/YMCA-Stuart-Vorcheimer.pngA morning rain could not dampen the spirits of the 150 golfers and volunteers who gathered at the Montclair Golf Club with 2 goals in mind:  a challenging day of golf and a great cause, sending kids to camp.  A YMCA experience can help a child to learn more about themselves, develop independence, and foster their leadership skills.

Last summer, 3400 children had were campers in the Metropolitan YMCA summer camp programs.  This year’s outing raised over $90,000 to ensure even more kids have this opportunity, and in the past 19 years have provided over $1.2 million dollars in support. This is certainly an accomplishment that takes a dedicated base of sponsors and participants, especially the presenting sponsor Eastman Companies, and tournament sponsors, St. Barnabas Health, Precor and the McMullen Foundation. Read Full Story >

Introducing the "We are Ready" Program

clientuploads/news/WE ARE READY.jpgIn an effort to help address high school readiness and high school drop out rates, the South Mountain YMCA is introducing the WE ARE READY program specifically geared toward 7th and 8th Graders. Learn what it means to be “high school ready”. Strengthen study skills and organization habits. Explore post high school options - College and Read Full Story >


clientuploads/news/Picture 1.pngThe East Orange YMCA, America's Grow-a-Row and Rutgers University College of Nursing have partnered together in a pilot program that includes an America's Grow-A-Row Free Farm Market, youth days at the actual farm and a health impact study. Y families pick fresh fruits and vegetables at the Y, kids get to experience a day at the farm harvesting fresh produce, participate in brief nutrition classes, take questionaires, and more. We're very excited to share this healthy living program with our community.
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Committed to Kids

Kids have powerful voices at the Block Party.

Three very different stories, from very different presenters, one shared message… the Metro Y is supremely committed to youth development.

Marnie and MaryMary, age 10, approached the podium with her mom and without a care in the world. She proudly introduced her family. She talked about swimming, her Special Olympics gold medals and playing with her brothers and friends. There was no doubt in the minds of more than 250 guests that the West Essex YMCA was one of Mary’s favorite places in the world. Her mom Marnie shared a heartfelt appreciation for the responsiveness of the West Essex YMCA staff in not just accommodating a little girl with Down’s Syndrome, but rather collaborating and creating a new approach to inclusion. Read Full Story >

A true test of preparedness, character and faith

Compassion and sense of oneness is not something we can teach, be we can appreciate it when we see it in action.

On July 18, 2012, in less than one-hour, the Minisink program lodge at the Fairview Lake YMCA Camps was ablaze and ultimately destroyed by what Sussex County fire officials have determined to be a lightning strike. No one was harmed during the blaze. The entire lodge structure was totally destroyed and was unsalvageable. Though program equipment, the popular ETC plaques and color war flags are gone, what remains is priceless – 100 years of memories of our amazing camp.

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The YMCA is the Natural Community Convener

Bringing experts and concerned members of the community together to promote change.

Darkness to Light, a nationally recognized authority on the issue of child sexual abuse prevention and creator of the award winning Stewards of Children curriculum has partnered with our YMCA to inform, educate and mobilize advocates for children. The Metro YMCA of the Oranges has set a goal to train 5% of the adults in our YMCA service area about how to protect children.  This 5% goal represents what the research tells us is the critical point for positive change in a community.  The Y intends to facilitate this change through training individuals and engaging community partners including local civic and volunteer groups, non-profits, school districts and local government. 

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Keeping Kids Safe is Number One Priority

Metro YMCA is leading the way in providing the opportunity for local change.

Across our seven Branches 430 staff have been trained in the Stewards of Children curriculum. EVERY Metro YMCA Branch has made a commitment, focusing on a year-end goal of training 100% of full-time staff and 50% of part-time staff.  

The South Mountain YMCA is leading the way in keeping kids safe with 100% of their staff trained. The South Mountain Branch has also secured the commitment of the Maplewood Kiwanis Club to be a Partner in Protection.  This partnership includes a commitment to have 90% of the organization’s members trained in the Stewards of Children program. Local organizations such as the Kiwanis and Rotary have also made donations towards the purchase of additional training materials and books so that others in the community can be trained.  

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The Horizon Foundation for New Jersey Healthy U Program

Healthy U is a collaborative partnership between the New Jersey YMCA State Alliance and the Horizon Foundation for New Jersey with the goal of combating childhood obesity through nutrition education, physical education and family involvement.

The Healthy U program uses the CATCH (coordinated approach to child health) curriculum to promote physical activity and healthy eating among youth 3 -13 years old.  CATCH teaches kids that eating healthy and being physically active every day can be fun.

The after school program has been a part of Healthy U since 2008  The goal is to promote healthy habits that can last a lifetime by demonstrating, and learning about the importance of, physical activity and good nutrition.

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The teens have leadership qualities when they enter the program, but when they finish the program, they understand what it means to lead.

YMCA Leaders Club is a program for teens, ages 12-17, which focuses on academic achievement, leadership skills, social development and career awareness. The program provides opportunities for participants to gain confidence, improve overall self-esteem, engage with a diverse group of peers and ultimately prepare for college and future careers. Participants learn that leadership often requires listening, cooperating and service, all of which positively impacts their world.

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Drowning is the second leading cause of accidental death for children under fourteen.1 We believe all children should know how to swim and be safe in and around water at all times. That’s especially true in New Jersey with the many lakes, rivers, oceans and reservoirs.

Learning to swim is a critical safety skill for any child living near water. YMCA SPLASH is a water safety and basic swimming skills program offered free of charge at our Ys. Children learn basic swimming skills and practice safety habits while in and around water, which results in a sense of accomplishment and increased self-confidence and security while near water. In 2011, the SPLASH program has taught more than 3,000 youth to be at ease in water and learn basic water safety skills. This year we hope to teach even more!

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