YMCA COVID-19 Emergency Response
Join our cause! For more than 160 years, the YMCA of Greater Cincinnati has addressed the community’s most pressing needs. Above all, we stand for youth development, healthy living, and social responsibility. During this time of the COVID-19 pandemic, the community’s needs have shifted. The Y remains committed to serve the community however we can.
WHAT WE’RE DOING TO HELP:
Childcare for Healthcare Workers and First Responders
At the Y, we are youth development experts. We are hosting quality programming dedicated to serving the needs of children. It’s why we closed our centers early to prepare. Last week, we launched 11 Critical Care Personnel Program sites at our branches throughout the Greater Cincinnati and Northern Kentucky areas. We are preparing to serve 1,100 children. The Y has also launched an Emergency Response Fund to ensure financial assistance for all who need it. (Our goal is to provide this service free of charge.)
We understand that simply being open to the children of our healthcare workers and first responders may not be enough. Many of these children depend on their schools for meals and many schools are still distributing meals to students via pick up during school closures. While this is an incredible service, if parents are at work in our healthcare systems and first responder stations, they do not have the ability to go to their schools and pick up food for their children.
For this reason, the Y has partnered with UMCFood Ministries to provide meals to children attending Y programs. Breakfast, lunch, and a snack will be offered to each child Monday through Friday while programming is in operation.
More than 40% of seniors regularly experience loneliness, which can lead to serious health issues with the over-65 population. More than 15,000 seniors in Greater Cincinnati choose to spend time at the Y, with nearly half of those coming to the Y three times per week or more.
During this time of social distancing, the Y is working to connect with our seniors by utilizing volunteers to perform wellness calls. Volunteers are able to note any needs and either connect seniors with services in the moment or create an action plan for follow-up. Seniors are connected with food access and transportation services. When safe to do so, the Y is makes deliveries of shelf-stable foods and hygiene products to our seniors. Aside from other services, the seniors benefit from a social connection and a feeling of community during this time.
Because the community must practice social distancing and, in many cases, complete isolation, the risk for depression and anxiety continues to rise in our community. Physical exercise can relieve tension and stress, boost energy, and enhance overall well-being. COVID-19 has placed a spotlight on the need to protect one’s health, and the Y is doing our part to help.
We have been producing a stream of online exercise videos tailored to different ages (adults, seniors, and kids) and abilities using items readily found in the home. The Y will also offer a virtual 5K, with options for shorter and longer distances, to encourage people to get up and move. The 5K will be free to participants and encourage donations to the YMCA COVID-19 Emergency Response Fund.
HOW YOU CAN HELP:
Donate your extra face masks, gloves, alcohol wipes, or rubbing alcohol. We need them for the childcare centers for the children of hospital employees and first responders. Put them in a plastic bag and leave them at the entrance of the following locations: Blue Ash, Campbell (Fort Thomas), Clermont (Batavia), Clippard (Colerain), R.C. Durr (Burlington), Gamble-Nippert (Westwood), Highland (Hillsboro), Carl H. Lindner (West End), Richard E. Lindner (Norwood), M.E. Lyons (Anderson), and Powel Crosley, Jr. (Springfield Township). Do not engage with others (social distancing). Drop the supplies off and then return home. (If you’d like, write a note of encouragement, and we’ll pass it along.) Drop Off Day at the above YMCAs on Fridays, from 9 a.m. to 11 a.m.
Check in on a senior. During the next few weeks, we want to check in on thousands of seniors. Many are socially isolated, confused, or in need of help. Your call might include general conversation, teaching them technology, and/or asking if they need help. If they need help, relay specifics to us, and we’ll take it from there. Your call will make a world of difference to them and you! Step out and be transformational.
Become a virtual volunteer. Do something on your own, like pick up trash, make a card for a neighbor, call a loved one, write a message to encourage those moving about. Then, share your journey on social media. #YMCAvirtualvolunteer. For details, visit MyY.org.
Join our Virtual 5K. To usher in spring and keep everyone at a safe distance, the YMCA of Greater Cincinnati is launching its first Virtual Race. Join in on a Fun Run (for the kids) or a 1-Mile, 5K, or 10K race. It is free, and we encourage donations to our COVID-19 Emergency Response Fund. Click here to register.
Make a gift. For every month that Y facilities are closed to members and program participants, the YMCA will lose $1 million. Please consider making a gift to support our work. If this is not an option for you, please consider writing your senators and representatives to urge them to include nonprofits like the Y in economic stimulus packages.
The YMCA is so much more than gyms and fitness centers. We (you) are a cause. We are working to transform the lives of our friends. For a better us.