Investing in Our Communities

As a leading nonprofit, cause-driven organization, the state's YMCAs have a track record of moving communities forward. We work every day to address community needs, ensure that all are welcome, and that no one is turned away for their inability to pay. Learn how NC YMCAs serve as a Community Anchor.

COVID-19 Impact: 2020 in Review 

So many people in North Carolina have a Y story—a meaningful connection to the YMCA. Perhaps they went to the Y for afterschool care or developed independence skills at YMCA overnight camps. Perhaps they volunteered at the Y, mentoring children and teens. Perhaps they learned to swim at the Y.

Countless new Y stories were written in the wake of the COVID-19 between March and December 2020 as North Carolina YMCAs stepped up to meet needs wherever they could.

  • More than 835,000 people will tell the story of the Y providing meals, that otherwise they could not have afforded.
  • Nearly 90,000 seniors will tell the story of how their Y called them to check on them during quarantine and provided vital social connections while they were isolated at home.
  • More than 9,600 children will tell the story of attending school at the YMCA when they couldn’t go to their school in person because of COVID-19.
  • More than 31,000 children will tell the story of having fun at the Y and some sense of normalcy in the spring and summer of 2020 while everything was closed down.

Behind each of the numbers in this infographic is a Y story. This video from a member of the Rowan-Cabarrus YMCA highlights her appreciation for the Y continuing to care for its members, and this letter from YMCA of the USA to President Biden and Vice President Harris lifts up the Y’s work nationally and here at home in NC.

We celebrate Y staff, members and donors who made our service to children, families and seniors in possible in 2020. We celebrate our strengthened and new partnerships with local and state governments and agencies, schools and nonprofits, and the opportunity to join together to serve. While our Ys struggle with painful cuts in staff and significant financial losses coming into this year, we look to a brighter 2021 and many more Y stories to unfold.

Remote Learning Support Statewide
The 2020-2021 school year is like no other due to school closures caused by COVID-19. But kids need to learn, and parents need to work.

YMCAs across North Carolina and other community-based organizations have stepped up to meet the unexpected need for a safe, enriching environment for in-person learning while schools are closed. This infographic illustrates how organizations across NC are serving students.

  • Currently, 116 organizations are operating 287 remote learning sites across the state with relief funding allocated to North Carolina through the federal CARES Act.
  • North Carolina's YMCAs are serving 6,100 of the estimated 13,800 students statewide in 109 remote learning sites.

In September, Governor Cooper signed HB 1105, providing $19.85 million that enables YMCAs, YWCAs, Boys & Girls Clubs, parks and recreation departments, and other community-based organizations to provide a safe place for remote learning support for students until they can return to school for in-person instruction. 

Funding Relief Still Needed

While HB 1105 provided CARES Act funding to nonprofits to support families, all funds must be spent by Dec. 30 unless the federal government provides an extension for these vital funds. We know the pandemic doesn’t end in December, and neither should remote learning support.

 The Alliance continues to advocate for the extension of CARES Act funding, in addition to the extension of the Payroll Protection Program, and other measures, that would support nonprofits that are struggling financially due to the pandemic but continue to provide critical services, such as remote learning sites, to communities.


In North Carolina, the Y touches roughly 1 in 10 men, women and children. We collectively served 976,800 North Carolinians and provided nearly $34 million in financial assistance and subsidies to NC families. We are able to do this thanks to the generous philanthropic gifts given to the Y each year. 

We serve all


Collectively, North Carolina Ys serve nearly 360,800 youth and teens, providing a wide range of activities to nurture potential, including teen clubs, sports leagues, family nights and community service projects.

Low-income Families

Our YMCAs provide quality, affordable childcare to 31,181 children, and we open all our programs to working families regardless of their ability to pay.

Seniors (65+)

NC Y programs ensure that 103,000 older NC adults have every opportunity to connect with one another and engage in meaningful activities.

Everyone is Welcome

NC Ys provide activities open to everyone in our communities, including free health fairs/screenings, physical activity programs, nutrition advice and more. NC YMCAs open their doors at little to no charge for outside clubs, nonprofits and community service organizations to help them meet broader community needs.

Volunteer Engagement and Collaborations

Mobilizing our community to effect lasting change


We could not do the transformational work we do in NC communities without our volunteers. NC Ys had the help of more than 39,700 volunteers that contributed more than 227,000 hours of community service at a value of more than $5.5 million dollars.


The Y recognizes the importance of working together to create lasting social and personal change. We have the community’s trust to convene, partner and support community collaborations with schools, government agencies, faith-based organizations, businesses and others. In many counties across the state, the Y is an active member of local health coalitions working to make the healthy choice easier for all.

An Economic Engine in Our State

The Y employs neighbors to help neighbors. The state’s YMCAs employ thousands of full time, part time and seasonal staff, and we are the single largest employer of youth staff. In 2019, our Ys employeed 19,500 people. 


At the Y, strengthening community is our cause. Strong communities don’t just happen—they’re the result of steady leadership and stewardship of strong values. That’s the Y.

We make a difference by focusing on three key areas: youth development, healthy living and social responsibility. By investing in our kids, our health and our communities, NC Ys ensure that everyone, regardless of age, income or background, has the opportunity to thrive.