Throughout its 160-year history, the YMCA has supported communities through incredible challenges, including world wars, economic recessions, and public health crises. During the COVID-19 pandemic, the YMCA continues to innovate to meet critical needs and wants everyone to know: We’re here for good.
The YMCAs of Northern New England continue to mobilize staff, volunteers, community partners and financial resources to provide critical services during the pandemic, including childcare for essential workers, emergency food distribution, online wellness classes, and check-ins on seniors. Across Maine, New Hampshire, and Vermont, the 27 YMCAs have raised more than $1.2 million from foundations and individual donors since mid-March to ensure that those in need have access to these critical services.
The YMCAs continue to demonstrate their ability to adapt based on community need and public health guidelines. These innovations include:
- Partnering with hospitals to provide childcare to frontline healthcare workers
- Distributing food to those in need, including meal delivery to people’s homes
- Providing virtual fitness classes on platforms such as Facebook and Zoom
- Making phone calls to seniors to prevent social isolation
- Hosting blood drives for the Red Cross
- Providing families with educational activity kits for children
At the same time the YMCAs are providing these services, they are diligently preparing to reopen when it is safe to do so. The Ys will adapt their facilities, programs, services, and staffing to comply with CDC and local public health guidelines. The Ys look forward to welcoming community members back into their facilities and resuming in-person programming, and appreciate everyone’s patience as they work in partnership with federal, state and local authorities to do this safely.
The YMCA Alliances of Maine and New Hampshire/ Vermont support collaboration amongst the three states’ Ys and community partners to increase our impact and advocate for positive change in our communities. There are 27 YMCAs with more than 100 branches and daily program sites across Maine, New Hampshire, and Vermont — all locally organized and volunteer-led.