COVID-19 and the Y
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3-25-2020: Message from YMCA President & CEO Brad Toft
Dear YMCA members,
These are challenging times for all of us. On behalf of the YMCA, you and your family remain in our thoughts and prayers.
The Y has been affected in big ways by the measures put in place to prevent the spread of COVID-19. Yet, while other “gyms” in the area are completely closed, the YMCA remains busy.
The YMCA of Greater Toledo isn’t just a gym. It’s a nonprofit organization created to serve this community. Our “profit” is measured by outcomes in these areas:
- Helping kids succeed in school
- Improving people’s health and well-being (spirit, mind and body)
- Bringing people together
We too have closed facilities, as required, but we continue to serve the communities in and around Toledo. Highlights of this service through today include:
- Free Community Food Stations: We have converted three of our branches to community food stations. We’re providing 200 meals daily to youth and families in need.
- Meal Delivery with the United Way : The Y has committed our fleet of buses to aid the United Way in delivering meals to 40 other food stations in our region.
- Pandemic Child Care: Starting tomorrow, we will provide child care to hospital employees, so they’re able to do their jobs and do them with greater peace of mind related to their children’s care.
- Virtual Health Hub: We’ve already been posting workouts and activities through our social channels and today launched a hub on our website with dozens more. The goal is simple: help you and your family keep bodies and minds active. We hope you will use this service in lieu of the Y facilities during this period to remain active.
- Senior Outreach: We have been calling many of our ‘active older adult’ members to simply ask how they’re doing to sustain a sense of belonging and camaraderie: seniors are most susceptible to suffering from loneliness. Partnering with the Area Office on Aging, the Y will also conduct virtual town hall meetings on topics of interest to active older adults.
- Firefighter Quarantined Housing: We have set up a section of our Francis Family YMCA to provide quarantined housing for Bedford firefighters who could have been exposed to the virus.
Stay With Us
Thanks to so many of you who have kept your membership active and continue to pay monthly. To others, I respectfully ask that you consider keeping your membership active. Your monthly payments help the Y deliver the types of service described above. Our communities’ needs have never been greater.
I understand that your own financial situation may require suspending the monthly Y expense. If that is the case, I ask you to place your membership on hold at no cost during this time; just email firstname.lastname@example.org. Your membership will be placed on hold for one month.
If you need a second or third month suspended simply reach back out 7-10 days prior to your payment date, and we can process those requests.
Thanks for your support of the YMCA, and good healthy to you and your family.
|President and CEO|
|YMCA of Greater Toledo|
3-18-2020: 3 BRANCHES CONVERT TO COMMUNITY FOOD STATIONS
Three YMCA of Toledo branches, after closing due to the COVID-19 virus, will reopen on Friday, March 20, to serve the community as grab-and-go food stations. Specifically, the branches will provide free meals for youth 18 and under.
Parents interested in the service should call United Way’s 211 number to reserve their meals, which are being donated by A Village on Adams, the nonprofit arm of Manhattans Restaurant. Parents can pick up lunch, as well as a breakfast for the following morning, for each of their children 18 years old and younger. Reserving the meals ahead of time will help prevent the YMCA food stations from running short on food.
The meals meet USDA standards for school meals. No proof of income is necessary.
The meals can be picked up Monday through Friday between 11 a.m. and 1 p.m. at the following:
- Eastern Community YMCA – 2960 Pickle Road, Oregon
- Wayman D. Palmer Community YMCA – 2053 N. 14th Street, Toledo
- Wolf Creek YMCA – 2100 S. Holland-Sylvania Road, Maumee
3-16-2020: BRANCHES UPDATE
Dear YMCA members,
Per executive orders from the governors of Michigan and Ohio earlier this afternoon, we are closing all YMCA of Greater Toledo branches by close-of-business today (March 16) until further notice.
These COVID-19-driven changes feel counter to one of the fundamental reasons the YMCA exists – bringing people together to strengthen themselves and their community.
Nonetheless, we will of course follow the mandates of our government leaders and health authorities for the health and safety of our staff, members and community at large.
Temporary branch closures, coupled with prior decisions to suspend Storer’s outdoor education program and school-age child care, will put a great financial strain on the YMCA. I ask you to consider continuing your monthly membership payments. If you do, we will acknowledge them at the end of the year as charitable contributions (for the associated tax benefits).
As a nonprofit organization, we are already exploring different ways to continue supporting the community and people who need it most. Two programs being considered in partnership with other nonprofit organizations are:
- Repurposing some YMCA facilities as temporary food stations (YMCA child care sites provide many kids with breakfast, lunch and dinner)
- Providing child care to critical needs personnel (with one example being medical professionals) who are likely facing long hours in the weeks ahead
The YMCA will continue to process membership fees as scheduled. Members may request a 1-month hold through an email to email@example.com. Again, please consider continuing payments to support our ongoing work in the community.
Child care centers inside the Wayman Palmer, Sylvania and East branches will also suspend operations today (March 16).
For all members who’d like to exercise at home in the weeks ahead, we will offer a free streaming service 60 days from when they sign up. You’ll be able to stream 9 workouts ranging from cardio to flexibility to strength from the comfort of your own home. Learn more at ymcatoledo.org/mossamove.
People of all ages and organizations of all types are feeling the impact of this pandemic. Our thoughts and prayers go out to everyone impacted directly by COVID-19 and indirectly by its social and economic consequences.
The past week has been a challenging one for all of us. Fighting the spread of COVID-19 will mean that we need to maintain social connections in different ways. We plan to stay in touch with you in the days and weeks to come via digital channels.
We will have a greatly reduced staff at the Y preparing to restart when this health crisis is resolved. At that time, we believe the need to improve people’s health and well-being, develop our youth and bring people together will be greater than ever. The Y plans to continue being part of the solution to some of the biggest challenges facing our community.
Again, we will stay in touch via digital channels and look forward to seeing you again – in person – soon.
In good health,
President and CEO
YMCA of Greater Toledo
3-13-2020: PROGRAMS UPDATE
YMCA Members, program participants and communities,
With the most recent news regarding COVID-19 (Coronavirus) cases in Ohio, and updated news from the Governor’s office, we want to communicate our plans with you.
As always, the health and safety of our staff, members and participants remain our top priority.
We have enhanced our cleaning protocols to give focused attention to all surfaces, equipment and common areas. More specifically, we are wiping down all high-touch areas and surfaces three additional times daily. We are actively reinforcing the preventative measures outlined by the CDC and ensuring that hand sanitizing stations and wipes to clean equipment continue to be available in all our facilities.
Proper chlorination of our pools would prevent transmission of COVID-19 if an infected person were in one of them.
We are doing the same at our child care sites, and strengthening our practices at our outdoor camp in Jackson, Michigan.
- At the end of the day on March 13, 2020, all school-based child care sites will close, in accordance with the recent school-related news from the Governor’s Office on 3/11/20 regarding school closures.
- School-age sites include: Beverly, Brynedale, Crissey, DeVeaux, Elmhurst, Fort Meigs, Glenwood, Grove Patterson, Maumee, Old-Orchard, Ottawa Hills, Rosa Parks, Starr
- Our Early Education sites (8), will remain open to our currently enrolled children.
- These sites include: Eastern YMCA Branch, St. Charles, Owens, Fort Meigs CDC, Anderson Center, Sylvania YMCA/JCC, Wayman Palmer YMCA, Whitmer CDC.
- We will NOT be accepting any new enrollment at this time, for any site, for the next 3 weeks.
- If your child(ren) is currently enrolled in a child care site, please reach out to the staff there regarding upcoming changes.
- We will continue monitoring the news from the appropriate health agencies and communicate any changes to our plans.
In light of recent recommendations from the Governor’s Office, we will be restricting the number of spectators for Y athletic competitions, so that each child will be accompanied by only 2 family members. This includes gymnastics, swimming, and other athletic events.
The Jr. Cavs program will be delayed, practice & game schedules will be communicated directly to those families affected.
Gymnastics Center (Perrysburg):
Effective March 15, all programming at the YMCA of Greater Toledo Gymnastics Center, located in Perrysburg, is suspended until March 30. The center itself will also be closed during this time. With any questions, please reach out to the Fort Meigs YMCA at (419) 251-9622.
Chronic Disease Prevention Programs:
- Livestrong @ the Y,
- Diabetes Prevention
- Blood Pressure Self-Monitoring
These have been put on hold at this time, this is in line with recommendations from the CDC.
Guest pass usage is suspended until further notice.
Towel service is suspended until further notice as well. This includes Downtown, Fort Meigs and Sylvania branches.
- Branches will run at normal operating hours, unless otherwise noted
- Group fitness classes, paid and free, still taking place as scheduled.
- Programs such as art classes, swim lessons, gymnastics etc. are still taking place as scheduled.
- KidZones are still open, with increased cleaning
- Healthy Weight and Your Child Program is still taking place as scheduled.
Maintaining a Healthy Environment
Health officials continue to advise us on the importance of being vigilant in our efforts to prevent the spread of illness. We can all immediately continue to support a healthy Y and community by following these common-sense precautions:
- Wash hands frequently with soap and water, and for at least 20 seconds per hand.
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth with unwashed hands.
- Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue when you cough or sneeze. Practice good cough and sneeze etiquette.
- Wipe down equipment and weights after use and be extra thorough.
- The 'elbow bump' is your new high-five if you see a friend at the Y.
- Stay home when you feel ill.
Should this issue escalate across the communities we serve, we will take the necessary precautions to ensure that you, along with our staff and participants, are safe.
You can find additional resources and information on the Coronavirus here:
- Centers for Disease Control (CDC) is providing regular updates and has information readily available about the virus.
- Ohio Department of Health has statewide information and overviews of how the state is handling the virus.
Thank you for working with us to ensure the health of your fellow members, our YMCA and the community.