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Across the United States, 18.9 million members are part of more than 2,500 branches and camps run by 55,961 volunteer policymakers serving on YMCA boards and committees, plus 540,672 volunteer program leaders and uncounted other volunteers, all of whom work with paid professional staff members. They are at work in more than 120 countries around the world, serving more than 45 million people. YMCAs have total revenue of $4.1 billion. The first U.S. YMCA was started in Boston in 1851, the work of Thomas Sullivan, a retired sea captain and lay missionary. Believe it or not, these things were all invented by or started at a YMCA: volleyball, basketball, racquetball, Father’s Day, Toastmasters, Gideons, and professional football. YMCA inspired the founding of Camp Fire Girls, Boy Scouts of America, the Peace Corps, and the USO. Additionally, YMCA helps people develop values and behaviors consistent with Christian principles.




Teens Against Gang Violence (TAGV)

Telephone & FAX: (617) 825-TAGV


From Passionaries... Teens Against Gang Violence

Domingo Guyton, YMCA

“With blood oozing from four knife wounds, Boston teenager Domingo Guyton made an unusual decision—he did not want his mother to see him this way. So, he walked to a friend’s house and sat on the front steps while they waited for an ambulance. By 1990, the 14-year-old had already been in and out of trouble with local street gangs for three years.


Growing up in a loving home with his mother and grandmother, Domingo had never experienced alcohol, drugs, swearing, abuse or neglect. He sang in the church choir, played the drums and his mother read Bible verses to him every night. Stepping outside their house, however, was like “entering a different world.” His neighborhood was “hardcore” and fights, drugs, and gangs dominated the streets. “Every day, someone got shot or stabbed,” he recalls.


“I started carrying pocket knives at the age of 11, then my grandmother’s kitchen knives. My aunt from Tennessee thought it would be nice for a fine young man like myself to have a BB Gun like my other cousins in the south. She didn’t think I would start carrying it around the streets doing stupid stuff. It was taken from me when I got stabbed,” explained Domingo….”