Dear YMCA member,
As the entire world is attempting to contain the spread of Coronavirus, every day more businesses, managers, teachers, and educational institutions are shifting to a new reality of remote working and learning. We suddenly find ourselves in a strange new world, where your screen is filled with a matrix of faces which has become the norm.
As you know, the YMCA was forced to take the difficult but necessary step of closing its facilities during this pandemic. It is important that we do our part to protect the health and safety of the members, staff, and community we serve. We had hoped that this closure would be temporary and we could reopen within a short time period. As of today, we remain closed until further notice.
Impacts to our staff
The loss of revenue associated with the closure of the Y has presented us with unimagined financial challenges. We have explored many options, including reduction of expenses, deferral of payments, and suspension of capital improvements. Unfortunately, these efforts alone cannot meet our financial needs, and we have concluded that we must reduce our workforce to ensure the financial stability of the Y going forward. A reduction in workforce requires that we proceed with a temporary layoff of many of our staff members, effective March 31.
We committed to paying our staff for the two weeks immediately following our closure. We were able to do this by continuing to collect membership and child care dues. This goes beyond what many other employers, including nonprofits, were able to do.
What the Y is doing for its staff
The Metro Y is providing continued health insurance coverage for 90 days.
We have received several requests from members about how you can support Y staff during this time. We are honored and grateful for your generous heart. The Metro Y is in the process of setting up and generously seeding an Employee Assistant Fund where you can contribute. 100% of the funds will go directly to staff in need. Please look for more communication on this next week.
This adjustment in our workforce enables us to sustain the staffing levels and wages that are essential for maintaining current operations.
We are grateful for the many members who have decided to keep their membership active during this time. We want to thank you for staying with us during this time and will provide your incentive once we're open. If you have already made payment arrangements with our staff, that request will be honored. To make arrangements, please contact email@example.com.
Your Child Care, After School Care, and Youth Classes
Knowing the Governer has closed us until further notice, we will not be reopening on March 31st as planned. We have suspended all recurring payments until we’re open. If you have already paid for upcoming classes or programs like Vacation Camp and they will not run, we will provide a credit to your account which can be applied towards future YMCA programs.
What we’re doing now
While our physical doors may be closed, we remain open to serve you. We have been here for the community during every challenge we’ve encountered in our last 135 years, and this time is no different. When this pandemic slows, the services we provide will be like never before. We have already started to provide many of these services to our communities.
Our Virtual Y at Home is a hub for healthy living at home, providing free access to fitness videos, activities for kids and families, mindfulness resources, and more.
Our YouTube Channel provides an extensive collection of videos by YMCA staff, including workouts you can do at your leisure, activities for children, children’s books read by child care staff, and more.
We’re continuously using our social media channels to provide live and recorded workouts, updates about our programs, community outreach efforts, and other important information.
Fairview Lake YMCA Camps have created a virtual Fairview at Home page, so our camp families and guests can enjoy a camp sing-a-long, take a hike in nature, or learn about animals.
We are caring for our seniors during this crisis by making regular phone calls to ensure their needs are being met.
We are actively exploring opportunities to provide emergency childcare to first responders, and will keep you informed of our efforts and how you may be able to help.
Several of our branches are planning blood drives to help address a critical shortage of blood in area hospitals and healthcare facilities.
We are also working with local organizations to address food insecurity that many of our families and seniors are facing.
We plan to launch a virtual personal training program to help adults stay healthy and active while at home.
Additionally, we are working to offer virtual support to school age children while they complete their distance learning lessons.
How you can help
To support the Y financially, please consider continuing your recurring membership draft. When you joined the Y, you joined more than a gym. You also joined a cause. By continuing to pay your membership fee, you will allow us to maintain the financial resources needed to focus our time, people and energies to the most pressing needs in the community. Your support is needed as we work to provide these services outlined above, and so that we have the resources and tools to get back up and running when we do re-open.
The uncertainty we are facing has impacted us all in some way, mentally, physically, and financially. We know you have questions, as do we. We don’t know what next week will bring, or even next month. What we do know though is the Y is here for good. So many of you have reached out to express your appreciation and concerns. We are doing our best to address your questions. We are learning, adapting, and working hard to make sure you have the resources you need to weather this storm.
We’re standing by you during this difficult time and ask that you stand by us as well. We look forward to our reopening, and we’ll be ready to greet you with smiles, just as we have in the past.
There’s a bright future ahead, but the only way we get there is together.
Stay safe, stay connected.
Richard K. Gorab
President and CEO
Metropolitan YMCA of the Oranges