The YMCA of Greater Charlotte, which recently announced the temporary closure of all 19 of its branches and two overnight camps due to the global coronavirus pandemic, has temporarily refocused its efforts to serve frontline healthcare staff and to support YMCA employees impacted by this crisis. The Y will offer free childcare for essential Atrium Health and Novant Health employees at nine branches and has started an Emergency Staff Relief Fund to help staff furloughed as a result of the closures.
“I’m incredibly proud of our team, who has worked tirelessly to pull these programs together,” said Todd Tibbits, president and CEO of YMCA of Greater Charlotte. “We continue to serve our community and find ways to leverage and support staff when we can’t do our ‘normal work’ at our traditional sites. These efforts are proof positive of our ability to live out our mission during extraordinary times.”
YMCA of Greater Charlotte has partnered with Atrium Health and Novant Health to offer complimentary childcare services to essential employees with children ages 5–12 years. Extra precautions are being taken at the childcare facilities, including health screenings in partnership with Public Health Nurses, limited adult access, and low staff-to-child ratios to allow for required distancing. The Y is partnering with CMS to provide breakfast and lunch for participants through CMS Child Nutrition Services. The children are experiencing a fun camp-like day that includes dedicated time to virtual/home learning provided by their school.
The childcare program will also employ a small group of qualified Y staff who have been unable to work due to the closures, and may expand to additional branches based on demand.
In order to assist furloughed Y employees, the majority of whom are part-time, the Y recently launched an Emergency Staff Relief Fund designed to help furloughed team members with access to financial resources to support immediate and essential needs, primarily housing, medical and transportation. The fund kicked off on March 20 with nearly $600,000 in donations from donors, senior Y leaders and board members.
“Our team members are such an important part of our ability to serve,” said Tibbits. “I’m genuinely touched by the generosity and speed with which our leadership, members and donors came together to make this happen.”
For more information on the Emergency Staff Relief Fund, go to www.ymcacharlotte.org/mission/join-the-mission/make-a-financial-gift.