Program areas at Ymca of Greater Charlotte
Healthy living: the Ymca of Greater Charlotte (the "y") started 2020 operating 19 branches and two resident camps throughout the Charlotte metropolitan area with 60,763 membership units. On january 30, 2020 the world health organization declared the coronavirus "covid -19" outbreak a "public health emergency of international concern" and on march 11, 2020, declared it to be a pandemic. The state of north carolina began issuing executive orders that limited the number of persons that could convene in indoor and outdoor spaces and on march 25, 2020, ordered the closing of certain types of businesses including indoor exercise facilities. A "stay at home" order was issued soon after and only essential business were open such as hospitals, grocery stores, gas stations, pharmacies etc. Throughout the remainder of 2020 our full time staff was reduced 32% and membership and program revenue decreased 59%. Grants and contributions helped allow us to provide critical services for the community at some branches. Upon the issuance of the executive orders mentioned previously, the y closed all branches and halted operations in all fitness areas including indoor fitness, personal training, group exercise and aquatics among others. At the end of april membership had decreased to 40,725 units as members cancelled or suspended their memberships due to the overall uncertainty around the pandemic and the shutdown of our branches. Membership reached a low of 27,951 units at the end of august. As it became quickly clear that the pandemic was going to be more than a short term situation, the y began to produce fitness content for live streaming online and on the y app for use by members and the general community. This effort continued and was enhanced as the pandemic continued for an increasingly long period. Being able to connect with members and the community in this way was important for physical and mental health as people's lives and routines were disrupted. The y began plans for a more professional production studio for such content to be able to offer a high quality experience even after the pandemic ends to increase connectivity and to respond to developing fitness styles. Once outdoor mass gathering maximums increased, the y moved certain fitness equipment outdoors onto parking lots, parking decks, field space and other open spaces at some of our branches and developed a reservation system so members could come to the y and work out in the outdoors in a safe, socially distanced, supervised environment. Offerings included use of fitness equipment and group exercise options. In september, an executive order was issued that allowed indoor fitness facilities to operate at 30% capacity with masks and social distancing. The y instituted proper cdc compliant safety, cleaning and facility flow protocols and opened the doors of selected branches for fitness operations at the reduced capacity. The y operated at this capacity through the end of 2020. At december 31, 2020 membership units were 29,929. All aquatics programs and usage were suspended under the north carolina executive orders from mid- march until june when limited capacity was allowed in our pools. When open, the y served 2,928 unique participants in aquatics programming at eight different branches through socially distanced group and private lessons, master's swim, swim team and swim clinics. Additionally, 554 participants were served in our safety around water drowning prevention program which teaches children how to swim and basic water safety tips. Food insecurity in the y's community was of increasing concern during the pandemic as many were unable to work because of shutdowns and the ability to have access to food for some was a Greater challenge. To address this need, the y partnered with community organizations and served as a distribution site to give a week's worth of food at a time to more than 20,000 individuals representing over 5,000 families. Additionally, almost 4,000 meals were served through family food truck nights which allowed families to take home meals when they picked up their student(s) from certain programming. In the communities surrounding five of our branches we provided 1,150 meals to families of teens who participated in our levelup teen programming (described in iii 4b). More than 600 vegan food boxes were delivered to immigrants and refugees near one of the y's branches and 700 thanksgiving meals were served in the community with partner organizations. Additional health equity initiatives during the pandemic included hosting covid-19 testing sites with the y's hospital partner with 2,400 individuals being tested. The y screened and provided eye glasses to almost 300 adults and children and provided 568 pairs of new shoes to children, both initiatives in conjunction with community partners. Through a gift from the molina foundation, the y distributed approximately 40,000 books to children in our remote learning and literacy programs. In order to assist active older adults with digital literacy, 68 individuals went through a 6 week course to learn basic computer skills to assist with navigation of online grocery shopping sites, virtual doctor's visits and how to connect to family and friends. The y also held a virtual prayer service which reached over 6,000 people and had over 19,000 impressions.
Camping/outdoor: resident camp follows american camping Association accreditation guidelines. It is one of the most formative experiences in a Young person's life. Campers build character values, develop self-reliance, learn good sportsmanship and cumulative interpersonal skills. In 2020, the y's two resident camps served 2,400 children in resident camp and 1,800 children in day camp in safe environments that had no instances of covid-19 spread. In 2020, the environmental education center at camp thunderbird served 2,126 school-aged children prior to the covid-19 shutdown. With a focus on ecology and the environment, the educational activities encourage team-building and understanding of science, technology, engineering and math curriculum. The y's conference and retreat program at both resident camps served over 500 adults prior to the covid-19 shutdown. This program offers team-building and professional development activities on a y campground. In partnership with a community rescue mission, 320 adult participants attended camp thunderbird and participated in camp activities in a safe, socially distanced environment.
Family life: mecklenburg, iredell, lincoln and union counties in south central north carolina are the Association's service area. Staff, volunteers and agency partners collaborated at 19 branches, two resident camps and schools within five school systems to 1) develop youth character and academic success, 2) prevent drowning, 3) improve quality of life for people facing health challenges and 4) provide increased access and belonging for people of all ages, ethnicities, abilities and income levels. Across all membership and programming activities, the Ymca of Greater Charlotte enriched the lives of over 250,000 people in 2020 despite a global pandemic. Financial assistance is available through my y pricing which is a discounted rate structure for membership and program access based on household income. In 2020 with covid-19, programming available and delivery of programming was significantly different. The y pivoted from traditional programs such as afterschool and preschool (which served 1,408 and 634 children, respectively, prior to the shutdown), sports, gymnastics, cultural arts etc. To ones that specifically met community needs. The y was uniquely positioned to rapidly develop programs, mobilize resources, coordinate with community partners and to provide facility space for critical programming to meet community needs. Very early after covid-19 began to spread, the y was contacted to fill a community need to care for 365 children of essential workers in hospitals. This critical program was fully funded by a private donor in the community and allowed essential workers to provide care to the rapidly growing number of covid-19 patients while knowing their children were cared for in a safe, structured environment at the y. During the summer, the y served 4,500 day campers at branches and the two resident camps and 2,400 overnight campers at resident camp. On top of the already stringent measures the y always has in place, strict covid-19 specific guidelines to keep children safe and healthy were followed with no covid-19 spread instances. When the school year began and school systems were closed and offering only virtual options, the y welcomed 1,195 participants from five different school systems for school days +, our remote learning program developed to provide a safe and high quality learning environment in partnership with school systems and additional remote learning partners. In addition to remote learning, students at some branches benefited from traditional y experiences such as swim lessons, forging new friendships which improves social and emotional skills and helps support mental health, physical fitness and sports, arts and crafts and had positive mentorships. Funding for students was provided through various grants. The y's summer y readers program, a nationally recognized literacy intervention program which serves rising kindergarten through third grade students to increase their chance of meeting third grade reading requirements and graduating on time from high school. It is led by certified teachers and supported by community volunteers (limited during covid-19). In 2020 it was offered both in-person and virtually and supported the development and reading retention of almost 700 children funded by various donors and grants. An adult literacy program in conjunction with a local church provided in-person and virtual english language classes. Parent educators served 168 parents as teachers families with children under the age of five virtually in 2020. This evidence-based program influences parents' awareness of themselves as teachers to their children and guides parents on practical matters of early childhood health. Families served exhibit at least one high-need protective factor such as low household income, low parent education level or lack of insurance. I pads were provided to 30 families and 180 families received assistance with christmas gifts. Thirty nine children graduated from the virtual program. The y has run a program called levelup for teens aged 13-17 since 2017 which enlists community volunteers, staff from partnering youth-serving organizations and y youth development staff. While the program looked different in 2020, 252 teens were still served and received job preparation and college readiness training. An additional 700 teens participated in teen enrichment programming at the y. y teams created and delivered 800 teen care packages to homeless community members and 200 packages to families seeking extra support over the holidays. In Association with community partners, 350 christmas trees were distributed to families in the north Charlotte corridor.