CAMP PENDLETON, Calif. -- The Camp Pendleton Armed Services Young Men’s Christian Association provides Camp Pendleton Marines, Sailors and their families with recreational and welfare services through the help of donors and volunteers.
With 34 branches and affiliates across 45 military installations, the ASYMCA offers services in childcare, hospital assistance, spouse support services, food services, deployment support, emergency support, computer training classes, counseling, wounded warrior support, health and wellness services and holiday programs that are tailored to the specific needs of the military community on the local level.
“The programs we provide are important to service members on base because we make military life easier for them,” said Christopher Keane, executive director of the Camp Pendleton ASYMCA. “We offer programs that allow them to strengthen their family and build bonds with other military members and their families, enhancing their overall quality of life.”
Some events specific to Camp Pendleton include a Ball Gown Giveaway prior to the Marine Corps Ball, Operation Ride Home, which sponsors flights home for Marines with faraway families, and the Thanksgiving Home Hospitality event which provides Marines in training an opportunity to spend Thanksgiving with a local family and enjoy a home cooked meal during.
“For 2015, we provided programs and services to over 56,000 active duty service members and their families in Camp Pendleton,” said Keane.
The programs provided are offered at little to no cost and require no membership fees.
The YMCA began its relationship with the military in 1861, when 5,000 YMCA volunteers provided care and welfare support to soldiers during the Civil War. Since then, the ASYMCA has operated more than 200 program centers nationwide.
“The volunteers I’ve worked with wanted to express their gratitude to our Marines and Sailors, whether it’s through the Christmas and Thanksgiving programs or any of our fundraising events,” said Keane. “I feel that it provides them with fulfillment.”
Their next event is the ASYMCA Poker Run “Ride for Kids” on April 16. For more information on this and other events, please visit www.camppendletonasymca.org or contact 760-385-4921.