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It was the beginning of a commitment to working with soldiers and sailors that continues to this day through the Armed Services YMCAs.
Only 59 Ys were left by war's end, but a rapid rebuilding followed, and four years later there were 600 more.
READ MORE Improving the health and well-being of the community.
In communities across the nation, the Y is a leading voice on health and well-being.
Mott himself was a student of the YMCA movement, and he was a major influence on the Y's missionary movement.
He and a group of fellow drapers organized the first YMCA to substitute Bible study and prayer for life on the streets.
By 1851 there were 24 Ys in Great Britain, with a combined membership of 2,700.
Also, its target of meeting social need in the community was dear from the start.
George Williams was knighted by Queen Victoria in 1894 for his YMCA work and buried in 1905 under the floor of St.