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During early 1844, the industrialism of London was both dangerous and hopeless. Many people had to be exposed to this toxic and scary lifestyle as the streets were very vicious and the overall landscape was very bleak. A common farmer who turned into a department store worker [George Williams] had enough of this current miserable lifestyle and wanted to do good for others who migrate to this austere and barren land. George joined 11 close friends to organize the Young Men’s Christian Association (YMCA), which was essentially a refuge for young men looking for Bible study and prayer as a way to ‘escape’ their life on these grim streets of London.
Though it was an interesting concept, it was far from new. Many associations like this were already formed, but the YMCA offered something very new and unique for an old time like this. This organization had an excessively strong drive to meet the social needs in its community and it was always open to people giving it lots of attention, then giving it an even bigger boost of attention it needed. This caused the YMCA to gain lots of new members with big profit during these dark days in the streets of london.
In George’s earliest years, he was born in October 11 1821, he lived in Dulverton, Somerset and had 6 other siblings. He lived with his siblings, his father (Amos), and his mother (Elizabeth), he was always very educated and a hard worker on his father’s farm. George soon left the family farm to be apprenticed as a draper and moved to London. George had a big effect on his era as his inspired and motivated many greatly with the vast expansion of his creation when a sailor from Boston use his idea and moved it to the U.S. He soon married in 1853 to Helen Hitchcock then had many children. Before this marvelous idea George was a draper for ‘Hitchcock, Williams & Co.’ until George Hitchcock passed away and Williams couldn’t handle the business by himself so he shut it down then devised the plan to create the YMCA with his friends.
The way George vastly changed the world during this time was remarkable as his first intent was never for the YMCA to grow this largely throughout the world. Williams has always been seen as so impactful and selfless with certain quotes like: “What is my duty in business? To be righteous. To do right things between man and man. To buy honestly. Not to deceive or falsely represent or colour.” This just shows how far he is willing to go to impact both his current era and much more to come.
In late 1894 he was knighted by Queen Elizabeth herself but Williams soon died 11 years later . His funeral was set at the St. Paul’s Cathedral and he was buried in a crypt with a monument bust nearby. Though the man himself has unfortunately died, his story still lives on with his great great grandson Colin Williams who is the Vice President of the YMCA who always sees it to donate and help others in need, reviving the legacy of Sir George Williams.
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