For a Better Us
The YMCA exists to strengthen the foundations of our community through Youth Development, Healthy Living and Social Responsibility. We do it by teaching kids new skills that build self-confidence, character values and leadership. We do it by helping adults and families lead healthy lifestyles. We do it by connecting older adults to an active support network. We do it by providing outlets to give back to those in need an volunteer your time. People engage with the Y on one level, but they soon find a deeper meaning to their activities and a connection to those around them. Ultimately, at its highest form, they feel compelled to volunteer, to give back and help others strengthen the entire community. Here are just a few of the YMCA programs helping to strengthen the greater Chattanooga area:
The Backpack Blessings program provides nutritious, non-perishable food items to students each Friday to reduce weekend hunger and help prepare for Monday's learning in the classroom. Supported through a partnership with schools, volunteers, grants and individual donors, Backpack Blessings serves children throughout each school year.
Currently, the Backpack Blessings program serves students at the following Walker County School locations:
- Chattanooga Valley Elementary
- Chattanooga Valley Middle School - New for 2016-17!
- Cherokee Ridge Elementary
- Gilbert Elementary
- LaFayette Middle School
- Naomi Elementary
- North LaFayette Elementary
- Rossville Middle School
- Saddle Ridge Elementary and Middle
Volunteers meet to pack meal bags on the scheduled Tuesdays at 5:30 p.m. at Walker County Advancing Education Center. Unloading of the truck and preparation begins at 5 p.m. Enter the building at the lower parking lot. See the full bag prep schedule here.
If you would like to volunteer, please contact the YMCA. We encourage all volunteers to RSVP ahead of time so we can prepare to greet you when you arrive.
Chattanooga Mobile Market
The Y supports Mobile Market, which is a program that provides healthy food to the food deserts in Chattanooga. The Chattanooga Mobile Market has 3 values that we share:
- Convenience- Groceries are brought to the neighborhoods so that healthy foods are more easily accessible.
- Courtesy- Every single shopper is treated with the courtesy they deserve.
- Consistency- Comes to neighborhoods each week throughout the year.
See below for schedule and locations:
12:00 PM - 2:00 PM
Mini's Mini Market
Summer & Year Long Feeding Programs
Summer Feeding Program: The Y believes that children deserve every opportunity possible to learn, grow, and thrive. The meals we serve every summer help more children get the nutrition they need for good health through our summer feeding program. With the funds raised through our Community Support Campaign, the Y is able to continue its dedication to youth development. The Summer Feeding collaborative provided more than 8,000 children at-risk in Chattanooga, healthy nutritous meals during summer break. This summer, over 36,000 meals were provided to over 50 sites including Downtown Chattanooga. Download the volunteer applicaton today!
For More Information
YMCA Summer Feeding
Call us at 423-805-3361
School Year Feeding Program: Rally your church, school group or co-workers to get involved in the cause! Volunteers and Teams are Needed Daily to prepare meals. Volunteers must complete a YMCA background check and training.
The shifts include:
Monday - Friday 9 a.m. -3 p.m.
Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, & Friday 3:30 p.m. -6:30 p.m.
- Y-CAP Boxing Club: Through this program youth are able to train and compete in local and national competitions. But what's being taught extends beyond boxing; values, family and Christ are important aspects of this program.
- Y-CAP Garden: The Y-CAP Garden is a community service project partnership between the YMCA and the Orange Grove Center Group Home (a home for the physically and mentally disabled). Our vegetable and fruit garden is planted and cared for by the Y-CAP students. The Y-CAP students learn responsibility and hard work as they care for the garden and exercise their writing abilities as they journal their gardening activities. The students later interact with the residents of Orange Grove as they donate part of the harvest, giving them an opportunity to work on valuable social skills.
- Y-CAP Woodshop: The woodshop gives Y-CAP students of Chattanooga the chance to learn valuable trade skills. They will also use important math skills in the woodshop, helping them improve in school.
- Y-CAP Thrift Store: All proceeds from the Y-CAP Thrift Shop help fund Y-CAP and all it does to support the community. More importantly, Y-CAP alumni work at the Thrift Shop, where they can improve their business and social skills.
North GA Summer Mobile Meal Program
Our North GA Community YMCA serves healthy meals to more than a dozen area schools during the summer months.