Dorri McWhorter
Jan 4, 2023

Celebrating a Remarkable 2022

To the YMCA of Metropolitan Chicago Community:

Thank you, as always, for your support and patronage of the YMCA of Metropolitan Chicago, and a special thank you for being part of the Y’s journey over a most remarkable 2022.

So, what does remarkable look like?

It looks like: a banner year for strategic and community partnerships. 

From Local Lunchbox with the Obama Foundation to the Nike HER Court, the Y’s reach continues to expand through engagement with key corporate, civic, and philanthropic organizations across our portfolio, providing our community with opportunities unlike any other. We’re working to foster and deepen existing relationships with organizations such as Wilson, the YMCA of the USA, and area school districts. And we’re establishing new ones with Comcast, the Million Girls Moonshot, The Walt Disney Birthplace, the Bud Billiken Parade and Festival, and Dion’s Chicago Dream, just to name a few. All of this is in our pursuit to strengthen community by connecting all people to their purpose, potential, and each other. 

And – breaking news! — the YMCA of Metro Chicago has secured nearly $7 million in federal Community Projects funding for 2023 and beyond. Thanks to our partners in the Illinois Congressional delegation, the Lake View YMCA will convert underutilized space into a natatorium, and the Safe ‘n Sound program will expand after-school programming in the Aurora and Naperville areas, among other highly anticipated initiatives that we’ll announce in the coming weeks!

Remarkable also looks like: outsized impact on the communities we serve. 

In 2022, the YMCA of Metro Chicago touched more than 300,000 individuals, from cradle to legacy. Our Pre-K program is in the top 10% nationally in instructional support, classroom organization, and emotional support. We registered 24,000 summer day campers, 64% of whom were new to the Y. All 14 of our Y Centers not only participated in several signature enrichment initiatives this year but are currently in the midst of reaching new members through modernized membership offerings. The Y is additionally establishing a greater presence in the West Garfield Park neighborhood through the Sankofa Wellness Village, an essential step towards a healthier, safer, more hopeful future for Chicago’s West Side. In response to a humanitarian emergency and in partnership with the City of Chicago and dozens of civic and nonprofit organizations, the Y welcomed nearly 500 new arrivals to the city, providing them with essential care and services at the temporarily reopened High Ridge YMCA facility.

Remarkable is: evolving to become a 21st-century social enterprise for the region through our connections across communities.

After more than a decade, the Y successfully overhauled our website to enhance the ease and friendliness you asked for — for nearly a decade! I know you’ve seen it a hundred times already, but I think it’s worth another look! The Y’s partnership with Comcast is establishing or enhancing Tech Hubs in our six Y Centers in the City of Chicago, facilitated by Digital Navigators that can assist our young and young-at-heart people in developing the essential tech skills they need to thrive in the digital age. It’s a huge step forward in our digital-equity service portfolio that also includes a bilingual Community Helpdesk and digital literacy resources.

Because of our partnerships, because of our neighbors, because of our evolution, because of our revitalized strategic vision to meet the needs of our members in an ever-changing marketplace, it’s quite honestly never been easier to connect with the YMCA of Metro Chicago. I’m excited to see our reach continue to grow across all of our communities, from Little Village to Lake Zurich and from the northwoods of Wisconsin to the western shores of Michigan.

While the end of 2022 may have come and gone, it absolutely does not mean the end of any of these exciting developments. I have a feeling that 2023 is going to be even better thanks to our members, our awesome staff, our friends and neighbors, and all of the connections we made last year.

Best wishes for a happy and healthy 2023!

Yours in service,