Veterans YMCA Sold to Baptist Church
by KRISTEN ARMSTRONG, Staff Writer
|After 60 years at the
Veterans' Memorial facility in South Arlington, the YMCA transferred
ownership of the building to Macedonia Baptist Church on Dec. 19.
The two organizations are across the street from each other, and the church has used the facility for community programs in the past.
Despite the hand-over, the YMCA still will have a presence at the site, located on 22nd Street South. It will work collaboratively with the church to offer numerous services and programs for the Nauck community.
“I am confident our partnership will help us do better and do more for the people of Arlington,” said YMCA board member Robert Bolle.
“It's a marriage made in heaven,” said Angie Reese-Hawkins, president and CEO of YMCA of Metropolitan Washington. “You can't imagine what two organizations can do together.”
The Veterans' Memorial YMCA was founded in 1946, and has served as a “program center,” with a focus on children's activities and services. Working with Macedonia Baptist Church, the YMCA will still offer child care, after-school care, life-saving initiatives and aquatics programs, Reese-Hawkins said.
“We'll actually have more programs,” she said. “[The church] often shared resources with us, and now we might have shared staffing and shared volunteers.”
Members of the nearly century-old church said they are thankful for the YMCA's decision to sell the facility, and are looking forward to expanding their community programs.
“I am grateful for the Y's decision,” said the church's pastor, Rev. Leonard Hamlin. “They could have left [the building] in the hands of someone who doesn't know the neighborhood, but they saw a partner who can share their mission.”
Officials from the YMCA and Macedonia Baptist will continue to collaborate on future projects and goals, from wellness education and health fairs to providing expertise on childcare issues.
“We hope our partnership will serve as a benchmark,” said Reese-Hawkins. “Collaboration is the way we should go. I hope other organizations do the same thing.”
Rev. Leonard Hamlin, pastor of Macedonia Baptist Church, and Angie Reese-Hawkins, president and CEO of YMCA of Metropolitan Washington.
(Photo by Kristen Armstrong)