To put Christian principles into practice through programs that build healthy spirit, mind and body for all.

Our Cause

We are a powerful association 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. We believe that lasting personal and social change can only come about when we all work together to invest in our kids, our health and our neighbors. That's why, at the Y, strengthening community is our cause. Every day, we work side-by-side with our neighbors in 10,000 communities to make sure that everyone, regardless of age, income or background, has the opportunity to learn, grow and thrive.

Who We Are

The Y is the nation's leading nonprofit committed to strengthening communities through youth development, healthy living and social responsibility.

Our Values

Caring, Honesty, Respect, Responsibility

How we do it

  • We are a private, not-for-profit organization, established to serve the local community.
  • Our service area  includes Cedar Falls, Waterloo and rural communities in Black Hawk County.
  • Support comes from membership and program fees, private donations, the Cedar Valley United Way and other grant resources. 

The YMCA in the United States

Today, the Y engages more than 10,000 neighborhoods across the U.S. As the nation’s leading nonprofit committed to helping people and communities to learn, grow and thrive, our contributions are both far-reaching and intimate—from influencing our nation’s culture during times of profound social change to the individual support we provide an adult learning to read.

By nurturing the potential of every child and teen, improving the nation’s health and well-being, and supporting and serving our neighbors, the Y ensures that everyone has the opportunity to become healthier, more confident, connected and secure.

The Y is the organization that…

  • …saw to and met the practical and spiritual needs of young men flocking to London during the Industrial Revolution.
  • …has served the military and military families in every U.S. conflict since the Civil War.
  • …inspired the formation of the S.O., Peace Corps and Father’s Day.
  • …met immigrants coming off the boats at Ellis Island to offer services and support in making a new life.
  • …began the first night school and English as a Second Language (ESL) courses.
  • …invented group swimming lessons, basketball, volleyball and racquetball, and gave them to the community.
  • …provided quality and affordable child care when women began joining the workforce in droves.
  • …began values education at a time of social unrest.


We are excited to be celebrating 150 years in the Cedar Valley in the upcoming year. Here's a look at our local Y history:

  • 1868: the Waterloo YMCA and the City of Waterloo were both founded
  • 1897: the YMCA purchased a lot in downtown Waterloo and opened the new facility in 1898
  • 1931: the YMCA began a fundraising program to construct a new downtown facility
  • 1931: the new facility opened
  • 1974: the Cedar Falls and Waterloo YMCAs joined to form the Family YMCA of Black Hawk County
  • 1982: the present facility opened

Get Involved

The YMCA isn’t ONLY about getting in shape. It is a community resource organization, aimed at improving the spirit, mind, and body of all who want to participate.

Make a Gift

We need your support to strengthen our community – because strengthening community is our cause.
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