The Family YMCA of Northwest Illinois in has been serving community needs since 1869 and was originally suggested by evangelist D. L. Moody at a Sunday School convention in 1868.

“The activities of the YMCA when they began a few months later were limited to daily noon prayer meetings in the Association rooms upstairs in the Maynard block facing the court house, and a series of the noon prayer meetings averaged twenty men. During the winter of 1869-1870 the YMCA hired its first known paid employee, a city missionary.  

In keeping with this conception of the YMCA as an interdenominational mission, the city was surveyed on New Year’s Day, 1870, by workers who sought out those in need with gifts of food and goods.

Thus began the Freeport YMCA in 1869, and it has been serving the people of Northwestern Illinois for more than 145 years.  

From the humble beginnings of noon prayer meetings, the YMCA has blossomed and matured into the diversity and strength that is the YMCA of today. Housed in several buildings since its inception, the YMCA moved into its current location on Highland Community College campus in January of 1980.  The YMCA offers a variety of programming for the entire family from infants to seniors.  

The Family YMCA is a charitable association of members working together to provide the people of Northwest Illinois with quality leadership, programs and services in a healthy environment promoting Christian values, positive relationships and personal growth in spirit, mind and body.

Our Cause Defines Us

We know that lasting personal and social change comes about when we all work together. That’s why, at the Y, strengthening community is our cause. Every day, we work side-by-side with our neighbors to make sure that everyone, regardless of age, income or background, has the opportunity to learn, grow and thrive.

Our Strength is in Community

The Y is a nonprofit like no other. That’s because in 10,000 neighborhoods across the nation, we have the presence and partnerships to not just promise, but deliver, positive change.

The Y is community centered. For nearly 160 years, we’ve been listening and responding to our communities.The Y brings people together. We connect people of all ages and backgrounds to bridge the gaps in community needs.The Y nurtures potential. We believe that everyone should have the opportunity to learn, grow and thrive.

The Y has local presence and global reach. We mobilize local communities to effect lasting, meaningful change.

Our Impact is Felt Every Day With a mission to put Christian principles into practice through programs that build a healthy spirit, mind and body for all, our impact is felt when an individual makes a healthy choice, when a mentor inspires a child and when a community comes together for the common good.