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Did you know that Father’s Day began at A YMCA in 1910?

When Father’s Day began at a YMCA in 1910, it was created for more than just an excuse to buy a tie. The Y recognized the important role fathers played in their children’s lives.

Over 100 years ago, the Y recognized the importance of the role fathers played in their children’s lives. The same goes for today’s fathers and families. We are here to strengthen families and the communities we live, work and play in.

Inspired by a Mother’s Day sermon over 100 years ago, Sonora Louis Smart Dodd wondered why there was no similar holiday for fathers. One of six children, Dodd’s father was a single father and she felt he and others deserved to be honored. After securing support from ministers in Spokane, Washington, her idea came to fruition with the first Father’s Day celebration at the Spokane YMCA on June 19, 1910. Many years passed before the day became a national holiday, but today we use the day to honor the fathers and father figures in our lives.

Oregon YMCAs join the nation in celebrating Father’s Day and recognizing the influence fathers and adult male role models have in children’s lives. According to the U.S. Census Bureau, 24 million—or one in three—children live without their biological fathers. Societal factors such as unemployment, work-life balance or a lack of resources can affect a father’s ability to seek support in strengthening his parenting skills and becoming more engaged in the lives of his children.

The Y, a leading nonprofit in fostering positive youth development, is dedicated to providing both resources and opportunities for fathers to further involve themselves in the well-being and development of their children. 
Studies show that children with close relationships with their fathers and other adult male role models have more self-confidence and exhibit less depression, perform better academically and engage in significantly less drug and alcohol use.

Oregon YMCA Youth & Government Day April
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