Support Our Mission and Impacts
RESILIENT & RESPONSIVE FOR 125 YEARS!
FOR A BETTER US.
First and foremost, we sincerely hope this note finds you and yours safe and healthy. The shared impact that we are all experiencing as a result of the COVID-19 crisis is extraordinary and incredibly challenging. Today we ask for your support as Meeting Waters YMCA continues its long history of being resilient and responsive.
As we’ve done so many times throughout our 125-year history, Meeting Waters YMCA has shifted our efforts to respond to the current critical needs of the communities we serve. On March 17, when the “Shelter in Place” order was announced and all nonessential services were required to cease, we paused our Y-ASPIRE after-school program, but continued to ensure that our Y-ASPIRE children and their families were engaged with our staff through social media, regular mailings, and outreach. We kept our staff employed to deliver these virtual services until state and federal supports for the unemployed exceeded their compensation from us.
Throughout the spring, we invested hundreds of hours in research to find the safest ways to hold our 56th consecutive summer of Y Day Camp. We knew children and parents needed us. Parents needed the support so they could work. The children needed physical activity, social interactions, hands-on learning, and direct support from caring mentors. We adapted Y Day Camp to meet current health and safety demands, enabling us to provide 10 weeks (two weeks more than normal) of summer programming – critical to prevent summer learning loss for low-income children and supporting working families needing childcare. We did so at enormous financial cost to the organization.
This fall, in response to Governor Scott’s call to youth development organizations across Vermont to develop “hubs” to support children and working parents as schools went back to a hybrid model of remote and in-person learning, within one week we established off-site Y-ASPIRE Hubs on the campus of Winston Prouty Center (in Brattleboro) and in a temporary location at the Greater Rockingham Area Services campus (in Bellows Falls). Through these programs, we provide full day (8AM-5:30PM) care, enrichment, remote learning support, and physical activity for children on the days they are not in school, and afterschool care in Bellows Falls on days children are in school. The funding we received from the State to develop these sites expired a few weeks ago. As a mission-driven, community-responsive organization, we continue to provide this vital service. We can’t abandon our families now!
In both our summer program and our remote learning hub, we partner with the school districts to provide healthy meals to children in our care each day – addressing a significant food insecurity issue.
In this time of critical need, your contribution to our annual support campaign will allow us to continue to strengthen the foundations of community. On behalf of the board and staff at Meeting Waters YMCA—and all those we serve—we share our deep appreciation for your support.
Damian Wilson Susan Fortier, MS
Board Chair Executive Director
Meeting Waters YMCA is a 501-c-3 non-profit, charitable organization governed by local volunteers. Your contribution is tax-deductible and every penny of your donation benefits local youth and families.