Teams and Walkers
Teams and Walkers
Aloha Windward Y Community, Members and Supporters,
As we reflect, the year 2020 will not soon be forgotten. Few have been spared the catastrophic impact that COVID-19 has had on our community. The YMCA, a nonprofit service organization, has been severely impacted by this devastating pandemic. As many of you know, the Y had to close its doors for several months in 2020 to comply with mandatory pandemic restrictions and, as a result, has lost more than half of its monthly program and membership revenues. To offset this deficit, staff have taken pay cuts, and our workforce was reduced by 75%.
Despite these challenges, our Y spirit for service and dedication to our local community has blossomed during this time. When the pandemic hit, the Y responded immediately with our remaining resources to fill some of the most urgent and critical needs, some examples of which are highlighted below:
• The Y created an Essential Workers Child Care program for children whose parents continued to work in necessary services. Over 970 local children were served by the Y in this critical program.
• The Y immediately mobilized emergency meal distribution to families across the island where the need was greatest. From March thru December, the YMCA served more than 100,000 meals to keiki and their families.
• The Windward Y continued its monthly houseless program throughout 2020, providing a hot meal, shower, supplies and services to this vulnerable population for a 3rd year in a row.
• The Y continued to offer many wellness opportunities, both in person and through virtual classes, following strict COVID-19 guidelines. We have continued the member scholarship program for those who need financial support.
• The Windward Y Teen Service Club volunteered over 2,500 hours of direct community service during the pandemic, including daily meal distribution to vulnerable keiki, supply and clothing distribution, ʻāina work at 4 different community gardens, beach clean-up days, and distribution of over 1,200 lbs. of fresh produce to families and kupuna in need.
• The “Learning Center” program was created on-site to serve 50 elementary school aged keiki every week, providing an e-learning environment during school closures as well as safe after school care activities so their parents could return to work.
As you can see, the global pandemic has not prevented the Windward YMCA from continuing to serve our ʻohana, not only with our traditional services, but also in serving those vulnerable populations who have been disproportionally impacted by this crisis. In the future, we see the continued importance the Y will play in creating an environment – whether virtual or in person – where community members of all ages and diverse backgrounds can connect in a healthy, vibrant and safe way. We envision a future where the Y continues to play a critical role in developing youth leaders and change makers for the future, imparting the important shared character values of caring, honestly, respect, responsibility and diversity.
Going forward, we anticipate the demand for Y services will be even greater. With your help, the Windward YMCA will survive this crisis and continue to serve our local community for many more generations. We are humbly asking for your most loving support, now more than ever. The need is urgent! This comes at a time when we recognize that many may not be able to give. It is our hope that if we remain united in spirit and community, the Windward Y will continue to be able to provide these essential services and serve as the amazing community resource it has become. Please join us in this critical and compassionate effort. Mahalo for your gift!
Thank You for Supporting the Windward Y Learning Center: “I am a single mom of three elementary age children and lost my job due to COVID-19. My kids are distance learning and have been unable to return to school face-to-face. This has put my family in a very unfortunate position. It is very difficult to focus on job applications and attending interviews when I have three kids at home who require assistance and support. Not to mention, if I am offered a position, I can't accept it if I have nowhere to take my children. The YMCA, through its financial assistance program, has allowed me the flexibility to do what I need to do in order to try to secure employment and given my children a safe place to conduct their distance learning. My children are so much happier being around other students, and I am grateful to the YMCA and it's generous donors for the opportunity to have my kids attend the Learning Center, it's one less heavy load to bear during this strange and difficult time.”
Mahalo for Y Learning Center Program: “As a health care worker for the State of Hawai'i, when the COVID quarantine went into effect, it was more important than ever that I went into work. There was no work-from-home option for me. However, with a young child at home who was required to maintain school attendance my situation quickly became hopeless. There was no way to support and care for my child the way the school expected me to and keep the job that was paying our bills. When the YMCA was able to open the Learning Center for essential workers and obtain grants to make it financially possible for parents, it brought tears to my eyes! The stress of being torn between your livelihood and your child is a stress none of us needs to feel at a time like this, and the YMCA understood that. They tirelessly worked to support the essential workers who were required to continue to work through this pandemic. I will forever be grateful to the YMCA and their staff for taking care of my child, my family and my sanity during this stressful time!!”
Mahalo for the Y Feeds Kids Program: "My family is thankful for all the food! Almost every weekday we pick up food from the wonderful folks of the YMCA. Not only does the food nourish our children, which we appreciate so much during these uncertain times, but the smiles and positive energy of the folks who feed us are infectious and uplifting. We’re so grateful for all their hard work that they are doing. This service also provides us with a much needed routine that is safe and stress free. It’s so reassuring that through hard times like these there is still a lot of aloha."