Here for Good
SUPPORTING OUR COMMUNITY
Being a part of the Y means so much more than participating in our programs and services. The Y is not a building or a place; it’s a movement of people united in our work to strengthen communities. As a nonprofit committed to helping all of us be our best selves, the Y has a history of stepping up when our neighbors need us.
Despite unprecedented and difficult circumstances, we are working tirelessly to reimagine our branches and pivot our programming to support our community’s most urgent needs and long-term well-being. We are proud of the way our Y has expanded how we serve.
Springing into Action
- Fueled by the generosity of an anonymous donor, nine YMCA branches offered free childcare for essential Atrium Health and Novant Health employees.
- YMCA Camp Thunderbird launched an innovative partnership to serve Charlotte Rescue Mission residents struggling with addiction.
- Multiple Y locations served as drop-off points for personal protective equipment (PPE) for first responders and hosted community blood drives.
- In partnership with Atrium Health, select Ys and our Wellness on Wheels mobile health unit continue to provide coronavirus testing and help distribute over 2 million free masks to our community.
Creating A Summer of Opportunity for All
- Powered by the City of Charlotte, five YMCA branches transformed into youth and teen opportunity centers with a focus on health equity, job skills training and enriching summer experiences, including swim lessons for campers ages 7 – 10.
- With support from Foundation For The Carolinas and United Way of Central Carolinas, multiple YMCA locations and partner sites welcomed more than 4,500 day campers and nearly 2,200 overnight campers with an increased emphasis on academic support and social emotional well-being.
- In partnership with local churches, we hosted 90 children at summer reading camps designed to support students at risk of falling behind.
- Our Y Readers program transformed into a virtual learning experience, providing 700 students with daily literacy tutoring sessions, as well as home resource learning kits filled with school supplies, books and educational activities.
- Y Achievers helped connect high school seniors to summer employment and paid internship opportunities, facilitated virtual college prep sessions and distributed sendoff kits – dorm room supplies, toiletries, books and a laptop – to help teens confidently navigate the transition to college.
Navigating the Digital Space
In partnership with Queens University’s Knight School of Communication and Digital Charlotte, our Y launched the Online Health Skills & Connections Program in 2019 to support senior adults as they navigate the digital space. Aimed at improving their ability to confidently and safely locate health information and community resources online, this course teaches seniors how to connect virtually with family and friends using digital platforms.
After completing the course, 96% of participants (average age 73.5) said they know how/where to find helpful health resources online, and 90% felt confident using this information to make health decisions.
Eliminating Food Insecurity
Working alongside Loaves & Fishes, our Y helped provide critical access to fresh produce, meat, dairy and bread through foodshare and mobile food pantries.
The Stratford Richardson YMCA continues to host a mobile drive-thru style food distribution site in the branch parking lot. Our critical partnership provides nutritionally-balanced groceries to individuals and families living in the West Boulevard Corridor food desert. Families receive a week’s supply of groceries, along with fresh produce, meat and dairy, plus healthy menu ideas and nutritional tips to encourage cooking and enjoying a meal at home.
Over the past 3 months, the Y and Loaves & Fishes hosted 18 foodshare events that collectively provided a week’s worth of meals to 1,149 households (4,580 individuals).
Reimagined Y Experiences
While our traditional operations have been paused, our Y team has also been busy reinventing and expanding our youth development and healthy living experiences. Many of our programs have transitioned to virtual engagement, and we have developed a suite of Virtual Y fitness offerings to help keep our community healthy and connected.
We also began offering outdoor fitness with equipment and exercise machines and group exercise classes at several YMCA locations, and we reopened select outdoor and indoor pools for our members. To keep our members and community safe, we have adapted our operations to maintain the highest standards for cleaning and social distancing.