For A Better Us

March 26, 2020

Here for the First Coast

While the world is facing this unprecedented health emergency, we are doing what we can to alleviate the stress here on the First Coast.

Whether it’s providing child care to health care providers or essential workers, staying connected with our wellness community through virtual fitness classes, providing virtual academic programming for youth or keeping them entertained with camp activities, or reaching out to our senior population to let them know they are not alone, we want to make sure our services are still available to all in this time of need.

Our Impact


Take a look at some of the stories about our community impact featured recently in the news:

April 2

March 26

March 24

March 23

March 20

Thank you for your continued support and loyalty to the Y. We can’t do this important work without your help. We will get through this together.

#staywithus

While the world is facing this unprecedented health emergency, we are doing what we can to alleviate the stress here on the First Coast. Whether it’s providing child care to health care providers or essential workers, staying connected with our wellness community through virtual fitness classes, providing virtual academic programming…


March 14, 2020

Branches Closed Temporarily

The safety and well-being of our staff, members, volunteers and guests is always the Y’s top priority. It is our social responsibility to do our part in the face of this unprecedented health emergency.

All First Coast YMCA branches are closed until further notice. This includes most programs and services.

We are following mandates and guidance from government leaders and health officials. As such, we unfortunately remain closed through the month of April.

Child Care

We are offering child care to our health care community, members and participants in a very limited capacity at 6 locations across the First Coast. We are taking extra precautions to help decrease the spread of the Coronavirus.

Virtual Services

Our staff will continue working hard for you throughout this time to provide new virtual services and other offerings.

Again, this is a quickly changing situation. Our leadership team will continue to evaluate whether we should resume operations based on current information and guidance from health officials and government leaders.

Your membership is so important to the good work that we have been doing for our First Coast community since 1908.

We ask that you continue to pay your membership fee so that we continue to provide necessary services for children, families and adults across the First Coast.

Click here for more details on our impact.

We can’t thank you enough for your continued loyalty to the Y. It means so much to us and to our entire community.

FAQs

Why are you closing?

The safety and well-being of our staff, members, volunteers and guests is always the Y’s top priority. As a community organization, it is our social responsibility to do our part in the face of this unprecedented health emergency. With new information from the CDC and government leaders, as well as guidance from key leadership on our Metro Board, we made the decision to temporarily close all branches. This is a precautionary measure and we remain committed to helping keep the First Coast healthy and strong.

How long will you be closed?

We are following mandates and guidance from government leaders and health officials. As such, we will unfortunately remain closed through at least the end of April. Please #staywithus and we will continue to keep you updated just as soon as we are able to reopen.

Can I place my membership on hold?

While we understand you may feel the need to place your membership on hold, we are encouraging all members to stay engaged with the First Coast YMCA during these uncertain times. The YMCA is committed to keeping this community strong and our First Coast Y staff will continue working to provide new virtual services and other offerings for our members.

Your membership fees during our closure may be converted to a charitable gift to support the Y. This gift is eligible for a tax receipt and you will be making a substantial difference in the lives of our neighbors all over the First Coast.

We will of course honor and respect all requests to hold memberships. If interested, please call 904.265.1775 and leave a voicemail with your contact information. Our staff is working remotely from 8am-5pm, Monday-Friday, and we will do our best to return your call within 48 hours during those times.

What branches and activities are closing?

All branch locations including KidZone, Tiger Academy and Baker County Aquatics Center will be closed until further notice. Most programs have been suspended.

What about Spring Break Camp or Child Care?

We are offering child care to our health care community, members and participants in a very limited capacity at 6 locations across the First Coast. We are taking extra precautions to help decrease the spread of the Coronavirus.

How can I get updates about when the branches will re-open?

Check our website often for updates, allow notifications from our mobile app and follow us on Facebook. We’ll also continue to send updates through email.

The safety and well-being of our staff, members, volunteers and guests is always the Y’s top priority. It is our social responsibility to do our part in the face of this unprecedented health emergency. All First Coast YMCA branches are closed until further notice. This includes most programs and services….


March 12, 2020

Coronavirus: A Message from President and CEO Eric Mann

I want to thank you for being part of our First Coast YMCA family. Our priority is providing a safe and enjoyable experience for everyone who enters our doors and participates in our programs.

With global coronavirus (COVID-19) remaining top of mind for all of us, I’d like to personally update you on the increased prevention measures we are taking to reduce the risk of exposure for our staff, our members, our participants and our community.

In addition to closely monitoring the situation and following guidance from public health officials and government agencies, we are:

  • Focused now, more than ever, on ensuring our facilities are clean and sanitized, with extra attention to frequently touched surfaces
  • Encouraging staff, members and participants to stay home if sick and take everyday preventive actions to avoid illness
  • Making decisions to postpone or cancel some events
  • Implementing new personal travel guidelines for all employees and stopping business travel for employees

As this is a rapidly-changing situation, we appreciate your patience and understanding. We will continue to keep you informed on our efforts to stay healthy together.

Again, thank you for your loyalty to the Y.

Eric K. Mann
President and CEO
YMCA of Florida’s First Coast

PROGRAM & EVENT CANCELLATIONS

I want to thank you for being part of our First Coast YMCA family. Our priority is providing a safe and enjoyable experience for everyone who enters our doors and participates in our programs. With global coronavirus (COVID-19) remaining top of mind for all of us, I’d like to personally…


February 8, 2020

New Diabetes Prevention Class in St. Johns County

The Diabetes Prevention Program is not an exercise or nutrition lecture series. Instead, it is a year-long program broken down into 16 one-hour weekly sessions followed by bi-weekly and monthly sessions.

New Class
February 27, 2020
Flagler Heath+ Village
5:30p-6:30p

The Diabetes Prevention Program is not an exercise or nutrition lecture series. Instead, it is a year-long program broken down into 16 one-hour weekly sessions followed by bi-weekly and monthly sessions. New Class February 27, 2020 Flagler Heath+ Village 5:30p-6:30p


February 8, 2020

Now Hiring for Summer

Come spend the best summer ever changing lives at the Y!

We’re looking for caring, fun-loving, and enthusiastic site directors, camp counselors, lifeguards and more.

Click here for all job opportunities.


The Camp Immokalee Experience

Since 1909, YMCA Camp Immokalee has provided youth with an unsurpassed traditional resident camp experience.

From learning archery, to experiencing the thrill of riding down a 350 foot zip line, to catching a bass on the shores of Lake Brooklyn – and so much more!

Come spend the best summer ever changing lives at the Y! We’re looking for caring, fun-loving, and enthusiastic site directors, camp counselors, lifeguards and more. Click here for all job opportunities. The Camp Immokalee Experience Since 1909, YMCA Camp Immokalee has provided youth with an unsurpassed traditional resident camp experience….


February 8, 2020

First Coast Games Expands into St. Johns County!

First Coast Games is celebrating its 15th anniversary this year and we’re excited to expand the Y’s beloved corporate wellness program! First Coast Games is coming to St. Johns and Flagler counties for an exclusive season of competition, networking, team-building and wellness presented by Flagler Health+.

If your company is located in St. Johns or Flagler counties, you won’t want to miss this! The GAMES will bring your employees together to strengthen overall morale in a format you’ve never seen before! For more info, please contact Dana Troeger.

WATCH: First Coast Games 2019

First Coast Games is celebrating its 15th anniversary this year and we’re excited to expand the Y’s beloved corporate wellness program! First Coast Games is coming to St. Johns and Flagler counties for an exclusive season of competition, networking, team-building and wellness presented by Flagler Health+. If your company is…


December 8, 2019

Welcoming All at the New American Welcome Center

The Y has a long history of welcoming and engaging immigrants – from launching the nation’s first English as a Second Language class in 1856 to providing aid to thousands of new arrivals at Ellis and Angel Islands in the early 1900s.

We believed then as we do now, that offering our newest neighbors the support and care to thrive creates stronger, more connected communities for all.

Our commitment is evident every day at the New American Welcome Center at the duPont YMCA campus.

The Y has a long history of welcoming and engaging immigrants – from launching the nation’s first English as a Second Language class in 1856 to providing aid to thousands of new arrivals at Ellis and Angel Islands in the early 1900s. We believed then as we do now, that…


December 8, 2019

Member Spotlight: Mike Freed

Running is more than just a workout for Williams Family YMCA member Mike Freed. Watch how his strides are making a big impact for the First Coast.

Running is more than just a workout for Williams Family YMCA member Mike Freed. Watch how his strides are making a big impact for the First Coast.


September 21, 2018

Remembering James H. Winston

James H. Winston, one of the First Coast YMCA’s most passionate supporters, passed away Wednesday, September 19.

Mr. Winston cared deeply for both the Y and the city. He really understood the impact the Y has on the community. That’s what drove his involvement in the Y’s important work for more than 50 years.

“How incredibly fitting that Jim’s name graces the Winston Family YMCA, a place that’s welcoming to all and serves as a shining example of the good that can happen when a community comes together, said Eric K. Mann, First Coast YMCA President and CEO.

“His YMCA family will certainly miss him, but every day we will honor his legacy through the lives we transform in Jacksonville and across the First Coast.”

James H. Winston, one of the First Coast YMCA’s most passionate supporters, passed away Wednesday, September 19. Mr. Winston cared deeply for both the Y and the city. He really understood the impact the Y has on the community. That’s what drove his involvement in the Y’s important work for more…


August 16, 2018

Taking Control

Norma had already lost her mother and brother to type 2 diabetes, so when she got an alarming diagnosis from her doctor, she knew she had to do whatever she could to keep her health from getting worse.

After struggling with weight all her life, Norma Davis learned this past year that she was pre-diabetic. Pre-diabetes is a condition in which individuals have blood glucose levels that are higher than normal, but not high enough to be classified as diabetes. The condition often leads to type 2 diabetes, unless steps are taken to prevent it.

“When the doctor told me I was border diabetic, that was a red flag,” Norma said. “It got scary so I said ‘NO, I can’t do this. I have grand-babies and a husband.’ It can cut my life span, it can keep me from being mobile, it can cause me blindness and amputation. I really just put a foot forward and told myself that I was going to get through this.”

The First Step

That’s when Norma joined the YMCA’s Diabetes Prevention Program at the Johnson Family YMCA. The program, which is part of the CDC-led National Diabetes Prevention Program, is geared towards helping those who have been diagnosed with pre-diabetes, or believe they may be at high risk of developing type 2 diabetes. This program is designed to help people adopt and maintain healthy lifestyle changes over the course of one year.

Developing Healthy Habits

Norma says the program has helped her meet her goals and also provided the comfort and support she needs to keep fighting for her health. “Everything is coordinated as far as having support. Even the mentality alone, you get the fortitude to say ‘I am going to make it, I am going to do this’, once I changed my lifestyle, I felt good- mentally and physically,” said Norma.

Meeting Goals

The goals of the program are to reduce body weight by 7 percent and increase physical activity to 150 minutes per week. Norma has lost more than 25 pounds since she started the program. She says that the program’s group setting helped her maintain her motivation and inspiration thanks to the support it provides.

Staying On Track

“It helps when you can get together and hear about everyone’s achievements and the goals they have met, it keeps you motivated to meet your own goals,” Norma said. I would have never thought that just a group and positivity would put me in a path that would get me to where I am today.”

Norma Davis took control of her pre-diabetes and she says she will keep taking control for the rest of her life. Her goal is to motivate others that are going through similar struggles with the message that “you can choose to live healthy and be healthy.”

Lisa Peacock, Director of Healthy Living Innovations: Chronic Disease Prevention, is currently planning fall sessions of the Diabetes Prevention Program. Contact her at 904.265.1810 or lpeacock@fcymca.org for more information.

To qualify for the Diabetes Prevention Program, participants must be 18 or older, overweight/obese (having Body Mass Index greater than 25) and at high risk for developing type 2 diabetes, or have been diagnosed with prediabetes.

Watch Norma’s story and learn more about the YMCA’s Diabetes Prevention Program.

Norma had already lost her mother and brother to type 2 diabetes, so when she got an alarming diagnosis from her doctor, she knew she had to do whatever she could to keep her health from getting worse. After struggling with weight all her life, Norma Davis learned this past…