It is always reassuring to a community that some of its most respected nonprofit organizations reach a certain age. And from Chestertown to Cambridge, some of these volunteer-driven institutions are celebrating significant anniversaries ranging from 20 to 50 years old or older. All of them are worthy of great appreciation.
Communities remember these institutions’ birthdays for many reasons, but the primary feeling of gratitude is always the first. Against many odds, these remarkable entities have prevailed with their charitable intent intact.
But at a certain point, some of our oldest organizations, stable and mature after operating for over a century, sometimes are tempted to forget how long they have been around.
Our YMCA is a good example. Now 165 years old, the Y on the Eastern Shore was one of the first communities to embrace the Young Men’s Christian Association movement only ad few years after it arrived in Boston in 1851. And ever since that early founding, the YMCA of the Chesapeake has been on a tear.
Beyond the fact that the YMCA culture has always embraced modesty as an essential character attribute, the organization has been growing so fast that it only allows itself to focus a little on the past.
But when any organization hits 165 years old, the Spy is driven by our mission to document, as best we can, the extraordinary history of the YMCA. More precisely, to can record for future generations the tremendous social capital it took to achieve this stunning success.
And lucky for us, Robbie Gill, the CEO of the YMCA of the Chesapeake for almost two decades, was willing to come by the Spy studio to tell us what he knows of those early days and the inspirational leaders that led the Y to such a phenomenal success.
This video is approximately six minutes in length. For more information about the YMCA of the Chesapeake please go here.