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!