Thursday, March 18, 2021
It was this time last year that COVID-19 began to affect our daily lives. Little did we know, 365 days ago, the journey we were all about to endure. Although the journey is not yet over, we certainly have learned a great deal about ourselves these past 12 months.
This past year reminded us the Y is so much more than just a building. The Y is about people. People from all walks of life who come together to improve themselves, their families and their community. I am extremely proud of our Y staff and volunteers for proving that, regardless of the circumstances, we could serve people in ways that no one else can.
Among the many things we discovered this past year, we certainly confirmed the fact that the Y’s impact in the community is limitless. We were enlightened to just how much our families depend on the Y as a means to engagement and connection to their community. One year through this global pandemic and we continue to serve those who might otherwise experience social isolation, hunger or lack of care. We couldn’t continue to strengthen the community without support from you, so thank you for helping us:
- Care for over 1,500 youth from more than 1,000 families of essential workers during the local Stay at Home order.
- Serve 15,440 meals to Youth Relief Care kids in partnership with our local school districts while schools were closed.
- Provide more than 208,771 pounds of food to 29,523 kids, seniors and families through our Veggie Van — A Mobile Market Place.
- Reach out to 4,497 senior members to prevent social isolation and lift their spirits while they were not able to venture out to engage with friends.
- Produce virtual resources to help community members take 17,500 Virtual YMCA classes to stay active, healthy and connected in their own home while the community was shut down.
- Host blood drives at YMCAs across Tampa Bay when blood bank reserves were running low, positively impacting 3,000+ lives.
- Re-open under new safety protocols for over 53,000 members.
- Reinvest more than $7.6 million back into the community through direct scholarships and subsidized programs to ensure our doors remain open to kids and families regardless of their financial capacity.
In addition to all this, we continue to make a profound impact through our Safety Around Water program which kicked off this week during Spring Break. Right now, our certified swim instructors are helping save lives at all our family Ys across the Tampa Y association. At no cost to them, 3-12-year-old beginners and non-swimmers are learning water safety skills while boosting their confidence and having fun — thanks to generous donors like you! After this Spring Break week, the Tampa Y will host more water safety sessions in May and August. Again, these sessions are FREE to our local families so make sure you help spread the word.
As we continue to rebound from the effects of COVID-19, we want you to know safety remains our top priority. We are evaluating our safety measures on a weekly basis, taking into consideration recommendations and guidelines from the CDC, local health officials and government leaders. We will be sure to communicate any modifications to our safety protocols as we navigate through this pandemic together.
President & CEO