Our Mission

The Y is a values-based, character building, nonprofit, membership organization that plays a vital role in contributing to the community. Our values of respect, responsibility, honesty and caring are in everything we do. We plan our high-quality programs around essential elements to help kids grow up caring and responsible. Our staff is caring, competent and experienced.

The Y is a diverse organization of men, women and children joined together by a shared commitment to nurturing the potential of kids, promoting healthy living and fostering a sense of social responsibility.

Our membership is 25,000 strong, and spread across our three Catawba County facility locations. While our programs and facilities are always based on the unique needs and interests of our communities, every Y has one thing in common: our people. The volunteers, staff, members and donors of the Y are all united by a deep commitment to strengthening our communities. Join us -- we could use someone like you.

Our mission: “To put Christian principles into practice through programs that build healthy spirit, mind and body for all.”

Areas of Focus: Youth Development, Healthy Living, and Social Responsibility


About Us

In 1969, when the YMCA was celebrating 125 years of service, the Catawba County YMCA was chartered in Conover. In 1994, to mark the establishment of the Hickory Foundation YMCA and to reflect its regional emphasis, the name was changed to the YMCA of Catawba Valley. The YMCA of Catawba Valley is locally autonomous and is a volunteer organization dedicated to meeting the needs of its own community.

From the early days in the old Conover School, to the present time, our commitment to the YMCA mission has never wavered. Today, perpetuating the vision of the founders of the Catawba County YMCA, we seek to build "everybody's Y" - a 21st century organization to serve as many people and as many needs as possible.

The YMCA of Catawba Valley makes a significant contribution to the quality of life in our community:

* 275 children receive full-day childcare
* 3,500 youth participate annually in youth sports
* 350 boys and girls attend summer day camp daily
* 1,100 children participate in swimming lessons
* 90 boys and girls attend after school childcare
* 800 youth participate in school water safe programs
* 2,300 citizens receive hospital/YMCA health screenings

* The first YMCA in the United States was founded in Boston, Massachusetts in 1851.
* The world's first indoor swimming pool was dedicated on September 29, 1885 at the Brooklyn, NY
Central YMCA.
* In 1881, at the International YMCA Training School, James Naismith invented the game of basketball.
* Father's Day, in its present form, was created at a meeting at the Spokane, WA YMCA in 1909.
* President Ronald Reagan was a YMCA-trained lifeguard in his hometown of Dixon, Illinois. As a youth,
Reagan also played in the Dixon YMCA's band. (See photo below)
* 1999--U.S. YMCA membership reaches 17.5 million. Half are female and half are under age 18.
* 2001--YMCAs celebrate their first 150 years in America!