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The pool at the Lakota Family YMCA hosts water exercise for all ages, including a successful swim team.

Featured Article

Giving Back to All Ages

The Lakota Family YMCA Brings the Community Together in Body, Mind + Spirit

All year long, the Lakota Family YMCA gives back to all ages of members of our community, from newborns dropped off at their daycare to retirees participating in SilverSneakers.

Sara Matchison, membership and marketing director for the Lakota Family YMCA, admires the nonprofit’s ability to bring people together from all backgrounds across Liberty Township and West Chester into one community.

“We try to do everything we can to make everyone feel welcomed in this area,” Matchison says. “The focus of YMCA is on the needs of the community.” 

While the first YMCA, or Young Men’s Christian Association, was founded in England in 1844, the organization has since grown to become one of the largest nonprofits in the United States with more than 2,650 branches across the United States. The charity serves approximately seven million adults and four million children and teens in the country each year through youth development, healthy living and social responsibility programs. 

“I think people forget that we’re a nonprofit and they don’t always see the impact we’re having on the community,” Matchison says.

The Lakota Family YMCA strengthens the local community through a wide variety of programs and resources geared to help people develop a healthy body, mind and spirit. The center serves as a convenient drop-off donation location for Reach Out Lakota, a local community food and clothing pantry. They also regularly host free blood drives and mammogram screenings for community members. The nonprofit even extends their reach to families who may only be temporarily living in the area, offering free memberships to those staying at Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center for chemotherapy or medical treatment. 

Daniel Kuhn, marketing coordinator for the Lakota YMCA, says engaging in these programs allows him to learn more about the Liberty Township and West Chester areas.

“‘It’s more than a gym,’…is the big thing I hear a lot,” Kuhn says. “With this gym in particular, you can come and feel like you’re part of one big family, from newborns all the way up.”

Kuhn says the YMCA offers its members an escape from the stresses of work and daily life.

“Whether it’s members or our staff, everyone’s very happy-go-lucky around here,” Kuhn says. “It’s a warm, safe, inviting place you can come to.”

This winter, the Lakota Family YMCA continues giving back to the local community with their annual Giving Tree in partnership with Reach Out Lakota. Set to launch during the second week of November, community members select an ornament–which lists a requested gift–off of the Lakota YMCA’s Giving Tree. Community members purchase, wrap and donate the requested gifts, which go to one of 800 local children whose families are experiencing financial hardship.

The Lakota Family YMCA will also participate in the global movement Giving Tuesday, coming November 28. Through this Giving Tuesday campaign, Lakota Family YMCA members can help support financial assistance for those who cannot afford a membership and the organization’s Veteran discount program. The Giving Tuesday campaign also supports The Lakota Family YMCA’s foster care/kinship program, which gives some families 20% off their memberships and scholarships for childcare, swimming, camp and other programs.  

Matchison and Kuhn say the nonprofit’s biggest event this year will be Cookies with Santa from 6-8 p.m. on Dec. 8. During this event families can bring their children to visit and eat cookies with Santa Claus. Those who are interested in volunteering for this event can email for more information. 

“At the end of the day, seeing the kids’ smiles makes it all worth it,” Kuhn says.  

Lakota Family YMCA, 6703 Yankee Road, Liberty Township

513.779.3917 |

  • The pool at the Lakota Family YMCA hosts water exercise for all ages, including a successful swim team.
  • The Giving Tree collection for Reach Out Lakota at the Lakota Family YMCA for this holiday season begins the second week of November.