SOUTH SHORE YMCA

South Shore YMCA COVID-19/ Coronavirus Updates

Posted: Jul. 03, 2020 REOPENING FAQS

Friday, July 3, 2020
Reopening Update from
Trevor Williams, Chief Operating Officer
South Shore YMCA

THE SOUTH SHORE Y REOPENS MONDAY, JULY 6

To Our South Shore YMCA Members,

Have you heard the news? Governor Baker announced Phase 3 of his reopening plan, which means the South Shore YMCA will officially reopen our Emilson and Quincy YMCA branches and other facilities for membership on Monday, July 6! We can’t wait to have you back.

REOPENING INFORMATION

Reopening Slowly & Safely on July 6 

While you were away, our team has been working hard to prepare for our safe reopening, taking a cautious and careful approach to ensure all safety procedures and protocols are in place in accordance with CDC and state regulations, including health screenings, physical distancing, proper cleaning and sanitizing.

What to Expect 

When you come back, things will look and feel a little different, but the heart of our Y remains the same. Here is what to expect when you return on July 6 and your membership is reactivated. Details and updates can be found at ssymca.org/reopening.

Online Reservations Required

State regulations will limit us to 40% of our typical capacity, and reservations are required in advance for all Y activities, including:

You may make a reservation 24 hours in advance through our online scheduling tool by visiting ssymca.org/schedules. Please note that our field house, gymnasiums and pools will not be available for general use and will only be available through activities that can be reserved through our online scheduling system.

SCHEDULES & RESERVATIONS

When You Arrive:

Health Screening Self-Certification

To protect one another, every time you visit the Y, you will be asked to self-certify that the following is true before entering our facilities. Our Welcome Desk team will ask you the following questions, ask you to sanitize your hands, and then scan your membership card or app barcode to enter and enjoy!

  • I have not had a cough or fever for 14 days
  • I have been COVID-19 symptom-free for 14 days
  • I agree to maintain physical distancing wherever possible
  • I agree to clean any equipment I touch immediately after use
  • I agree to wear my own mask/mouth & nose covering during my visit
  • I will sanitize my hands upon arrival and during my visit

Safety Protocols

To ensure members’ health and safety, as well as the enjoyment of our facilities, we are implementing the following safety protocols to reduce health risks to our members, program participants, and staff.

What the Y is Doing

  • All staff will be smiling underneath face masks 🙂
  • Designed for Physical Distancing: All areas inside the Y have been adjusted where possible to create physical distancing between members. Signage has been placed prominently throughout the facility to drive awareness of this requirement and to help you navigate our space.
  • Cleaning: In addition to sanitizing equipment by staff all day, members will be asked to wipe down equipment after use, and the facility and equipment will be thoroughly cleaned and disinfected each day using products and processes in accordance with the CDC and EPA.

How We’re Asking Members to Help Maintain Safety

Y staff will be stationed throughout the facility to assist with cleaning, disinfecting equipment and to answer questions regarding new guidelines. The YMCA appreciates members’ adherence to the following safety precautions during their visits:
  • Stay Home If You’re Sick: Members should stay home if you don’t feel well. The CDC and state public health officials encourage those with underlying health conditions to stay at home.
  • Bring a Towel, a Mask, and a Water Bottle: Members will be asked to bring their own mask, water bottle and a workout towel (towel services will not be provided) and yoga mat for group exercise classes.
  • Wear a Face Mask: Members (over the age of 2) are required to bring a mask and wear it throughout your visit.
  • Keep Your Distance: Please exercise on designated equipment only and respect all signage regarding physical distancing. Strive to maintain at least six feet between you and others whenever possible when moving through the facility. We will use outdoor spaces and areas such as gymnasiums, field house and turf areas to create distance with maximum fresh air.
  • Expect Reduced Capacity: We will have limited capacity due to government and health department guidelines. To ensure proper social distancing by physical distancing, our wellness areas will have a limited capacity of 40%. We will manage this with online reservations for swimming, group classes and playroom.
  • Remember to Wipe Down Equipment: Please help us reduce the risk of exposure by wiping down everything you touch, including all equipment, weights, etc. with the provided cleaning materials.
  • Reserve showers for pool use only. During Phase 3, we ask that members avoid using our locker room showers except for pre-swimming.

Meaningful Membership

Belonging to the Y means more than coming to a facility to work out. Your Y is a community of people from all backgrounds and walks of life who come together to improve their health and their lives, nurture their families and strengthen their community, together.

We want everyone to be a part of the shared experience of the Y. So, closing our doors and creating distance between the people we serve was previously unimaginable for an organization like ours committed to bringing communities closer together. Yet, this became our reality three months ago when the pandemic struck.

As we reopen our doors, we thank you for staying with us as South Shore YMCA member and we look forward to welcoming you back to our Y community in person at your first visit.

Thank you,

Trevor Williams
Chief Operating Officer
South Shore YMCA

Thursday, June 18, 2020
Reopening Update from
Paul Gorman, President & CEO,
South Shore YMCA

SOUTH SHORE YMCA UPDATES ON RESUMING OPERATIONS, SCHEDULED EVENTS AND MORE

June 18, 2020

To our South Shore YMCA Community,

As we work to move forward together in healing from COVID-19 and the previously unthinkable impact it has had on our children, our families and our community, we look forward to brighter times ahead for everyone.

The past several months have been so challenging for all of us and we thank you for doing your part to help keep your families and our community safe. We are thrilled to announce that we are taking steps to reopen our South Shore YMCA branches, day camps, resident camps and Early Learning Centers in just a few weeks. We are so happy to welcome you back to the Y on our expected date June 29, 2020.

As we prepare to reopen our doors, please be assured that your safety – and the safety of all our members, program participants, staff and volunteers – is our number one priority. We are taking a slow and cautious approach to reopening, closely following all guidelines from Governor Baker’s reopening plans, health experts and local officials to ensure that our facilities meet the highest standards for hygiene and safety, and we have modified our policies and programs to facilitate safe physical distancing practices.

REOPENING INFORMATION

BRANCHES/WELLNESS CENTERS

The Emilson YMCA in Hanover and Quincy YMCA branches plan to reopen to South Shore Y members on Monday, June 29, in alignment with Phase 3 of Governor Baker’s plans. Our branches have been thoroughly cleaned, sanitized and rearranged to promote physical distancing, with clear signage to help you navigate the space with ease. Our staff will be following new cleaning procedures all day long, with professional deep cleaning and sanitization each night. A Group Exercise Class schedule will be available on our website next week, and classes will now be held in our gymnasiums and outdoor spaces to allow for physical distancing…and some sunshine! Details on our reopening can be found at ssymca.org/reopening, and we will provide you with updates when we receive final guidelines from Governor Baker next week. Unfortunately, we are not reopening our ZoneWellness center, but welcome those members at our Quincy and Emilson branches. For information on your membership, please contact our Membership Directors

  • QUINCY YMCA: Sheri McKinney, Director of Membership, smckinney@ssymca.org
  • EMILSON YMCA: Erin Ross, Director of Membership, eross@ssymca.org

DAY CAMPS

Kids need the connections and outdoor activity of camp now more than ever. So, we are pleased to reopen our Day Camps for the 2020 season on June 29, following all safety guidelines from the state and CDC while creating a fun camp experience for your child. Our camp capacity is limited this year in order to properly implement physical distancing and other restrictions, so reserve your space now by visiting ssymca.org/camp to register your child. We have extended our day camp hours to 5pm to accommodate working families.

  • CAMP GORDON CLARK (Emilson Y, Hanover): Chris Crossen-Sills, Director ccsills@ssymca.org
  • CAMP QUIRK (Quincy Y): Phil Gay, Director, philg@ssymca.org
  • NATURE ADVENTURES CAMP (South Shore Natural Science Center, Norwell): Chris Jacobs, Executive Director, cjacobs@ssymca.org

OVERNIGHT CAMPS

We are prepared to resume overnight camps in Phase 3 of the Governor’s plan, pending final safety guidelines from the state. Our Camps Burgess for boys and Hayward for girls offer acres of outdoor spaces to spread out and enjoy the experience of camp with plenty of physical distance between smaller groups. Our overnight camps are currently at full capacity, but please contact our Vice President of Camping Services, Bruce Netherwood, with questions and waitlist information.

  • CAMP BURGES & CAMP HAYWARD OVERNIGHT CAMPS  Bruce Netherwood, VP of Camping Services, bruce@ssymca.org

EARLY LEARNING

Throughout the pandemic, we have proudly served as emergency childcare centers for essential employees, medical workers and first responders. On June 29, we look forward to transitioning to our traditional early learning center operations, reopening our South Shore YMCA Early Learning Center in Hanover, and our State Street Early Learning Center located at our Quincy YMCA. Unfortunately, we will not reopen our North Quincy location, but will consolidate its operations with our existing Quincy location.

  • SOUTH SHORE YMCA EARLY LEARNING CENTERS: Kristine Swan, Vice President of Youth Development, kswan@ssymca.org

OTHER Y PROGRAMS

Although not all Y programs will open on Day 1, we are confident that as guidelines evolve and restrictions are lifted, we will reintroduce your favorite programs as soon as possible.

COMMUNITY IMPACT & EVENTS

As a nonprofit dedicated to keeping our community healthy, safe and thriving for all, Y members like you make our impact possible. Thank you for staying with us during these incredibly challenging times. Since we closed our doors on March 17 and froze all membership fees during our unexpected closure, nearly 2000 of our members actively donated their membership towards our COVID-19 emergency relief efforts, which provided $338,677 in membership donations towards services such as food pantry, emergency childcare, senior meal delivery, temporary homeless shelter and Y staff emergency fund. Although these dollars helped to sustain us during this time, they are a fraction of the costs incurred by the Y to operate these vital programs. It is not too late to go back and donate your frozen membership fees from the past few months here or make a donation online

Your favorite events may look different this year, but our team is working hard to create new ways to connect and engage so that we can continue to help our community and neighbors in need.

Contact Mary Orne, our Vice President of Development at morne@ssymca.org for questions regarding donations or these exciting events.

  • Golf Classic: Join us for golf and great times on August 17 at Pinehills Golf Club in Plymouth. Learn more.
  • Rodman Ride for Kids: Give all kids a chance to succeed. Join us for this virtual fundraising event on September 26 with a 25- or 50-Mile bike ride, walk or run in your own neighborhood. Learn more.
  • Taste of the South Shore: We are planning to turn The Taste into an exciting virtual event in September with your favorite chefs and restaurants. Stay tuned for details! Learn more.

I hope to see you when we reopen our facility on June 29, 2020. We’re here to help you focus on what matters most: your health, your family and friends, and your community. Your membership is more meaningful than ever before, and we thank you for your continued community support

Best,

Paul J. Gorman
President & CEO
South Shore YMCA


Tuesday, May 19, 2020
Reopening Update from
Paul Gorman, President & CEO,
South Shore YMCA

To Our South Shore Y Community:

As announced during Governor Baker’s address to the state yesterday, we now know that our Y branches will be reopening during Phase 3 of the Governor’s 4-phased “Reopening Massachusetts” plan. Although no specific dates have been provided to us, we are working to prepare for our summer reopening, and will keep you informed as details and targeted dates unfold.

Our team and I are eager to welcome our members back to the Y, and we are hard at work to prepare for your return, implementing new floorplans to allow for physical distancing, and incorporating enhanced cleaning and sanitizing protocols to keep you safe.

We are ready for Massachusetts to open Day Camps in Phase 2, as children are excited for much-needed outdoor activities and the chance to reconnect with friends. As we await dates to be announced, we are working to prepare for a summer of camp adventures at Camp Quirk, Camp Gordon Clark and Nature Adventures Camp, with new safety protocols and plans to acommodate working parents. We await Phase 3 for our Resident Camps to open and look forward to welcoming children to an exciting, safe environment to build skills and a sense of belonging at Camps Burgess & Hayward.

Please be assured that we are working closely with the Massachusetts Alliance of YMCA’s and state and local authorities to ensure that we reopen safely, following all guidelines and with proper safety standards in place. We will keep you informed on our reopening plans as these guidelines are released by the state.

In the meantime, our Y continues to serve our community through our food pantry at the South Shore YMCA Germantown Neighborhood Center, our emergency childcare centers for essential employees, and our emergency shelter at the Quincy YMCA. These relief efforts would not be possible without the support of our members and donors. We greatly appreciate all of our members who have donated their fees to date, creating a meaningful membership where belonging to the Y means so much more than access to our facilities.

Please visit ssymca.org/staywithus to see our supporters and their generosity in action. We welcome all to join them by donating membership fees or making a donation to support our ongoing COVID-19 emergency relief efforts.

We look forward to the day when we can welcome you back in person and will keep you informed as the Governor provides dates and details. Until then, be well and be safe, and thank you for staying with us.

Thank you,
Paul J. Gorman
President & CEO
South Shore YMCA

SEE YOUR IMPACT IN ACTION


Monday, April 20, 2020
Update from Paul Gorman, President & CEO, South Shore YMCA

To our South Shore Y Community,

Vulnerable seniors are at the greatest risk amid COVID-19. With senior housing now implementing “no visitor” policies to protect elderly residents from COVID-19, seniors are more isolated than ever, struggling to access food and essentials of daily living.

It is our duty and shared responsibility to protect at-risk seniors from COVID-19, but the efforts associated with feeding and protecting seniors require additional emergency funds. That’s why we are asking our community to donate to our Weekly COVID-19 Community Support Challenge.

Each week, we raise dollars to pay local restaurants and caterers to prepare nutritious meals, and our Y team delivers them safely to hundreds of senior housing residents and at-risk seniors staying at our Quincy Y emergency shelter.

Although our Y has frozen all membership fees during our COVID-19 closure, members can still support these emergency efforts by converting membership fees into tax-deductible donations through a short online form or calling 617-479-8500. Or, simply make an individual donation to the cause anytime at ssymca.org/donate.

I hope you, your family and loved ones are safe and well, and I thank you for staying with us. Visit ssymca.org/stay-with-us and download our latest Donor Newsletter to see all the ways your support continues to help our community.

Sincerely,

Paul J. Gorman
President & CEO
South Shore YMCA

 


Monday, April 13, 2020
Update from Paul Gorman, President & CEO, South Shore YMCA

Dear YMCA members, staff, volunteers, participants and community partners,

My thoughts continue to be with you and your families, hoping you are safe and well. In this time of great uncertainty, the work our Y is doing brings me great strength and resolve that out Y is more important than ever. We are truly in this together.

As you know, on Monday, March 16, 2020, the South Shore YMCA made the difficult but necessary decision to close all membership operations and non-essential facilities. This decision was made under the guidance of state and local government and public health officials to do our part in controlling the community spread of the COVID-19/Coronavirus.

FREEZING MEMBERSHIP FEES AS OF APRIL 1

As the community faces extended social distancing, business closures and the sharpest restrictions on daily life, the South Shore YMCA chose to freeze all memberships and place your fees on hold as of April 1, 2020 until such time when we are able to re-open our doors and fully serve our members. As a member, there is no action for you to take to freeze your membership.

But we still need your help.

PLEASE STAY WITH US: DONATE YOUR MEMBERSHIP

If you have not done so already, please join the over one thousand members who have converted their membership fee to a tax-deductible donation to help your community during this time.

If you can, your monthly membership draft will remain the same, and funds will be fully dedicated to assisting your community. When we resume normal operations, your donation will end, and we will convert you back to regular membership. The YMCA will provide a tax receipt of your charitable donation.

Donate Your Membership

JOIN OUR WEEKLY COMMUNITY CHALLENGE

Each week, thanks to our generous donors, we are partnering with local restaurants and retailers to provide supplies, hot meals, and a bit of hope and joy to those who rely on our Germantown Neighborhood Center Food Pantry, Emergency Childcare Centers and Quincy YMCA Emergency Homeless Shelter.

Last week, we raised funds to bring in Chef Paul Wahlberg and the Wahlburgers Food Truck to provide lunch for guests at our Quincy YMCA Emergency Shelter and Father Bill’s & Mainspring, as well as the children and staff at our two Emergency Childcare Sites in Hanover and North Quincy. We also asked Chef Wahlberg and his team at Alma Nove to prepare 150 meals for our YMCA team to deliver to seniors in Quincy housing. These donations also helped us provide socks and pajamas for shelter guests, and supplies for our Germantown Neighborhood Center Food Pantry.

This week, the South Shore YMCA is raising $8600 to support local restaurants to serve our emergency programs:

  • The Y is engaging Montilio’s Mobile Wood Fired Pizza Oven to to feed our shelter guests and staff at the Quincy Y Emergency Shelter, and the children at our two Emergency Childcare Centers for essential workers in Hanover and North Quincy.
  • Montilio’s Bakery will provide 300 packages of cupcakes for our Germantown Neighborhood Center food pantry to brighten up their week
  • Our very own South Shore YMCA Camp Burgess & Hayward Chef, Lois Adams, is preparing 200 meals for isolated seniors in area senior housing

Your donation will help these programs to support those in need while supporting local businesses. See what we are doing each week below and step up with us!

Step up to our Weekly Community Support Challenge

Each week, thanks to our generous donors, we are partnering with local restaurants and retailers to provide supplies, hot meals, and a bit of hope and joy to those who rely on our Germantown Neighborhood Center Food Pantry, Emergency Childcare Centers and Quincy YMCA Emergency Homeless Shelter. COVID19 Community Support

YOUR IMPACT

As our Y responds to the needs of our community, donating your membership dues will help us support those neighbors who need us most in the following ways:

  • PROVIDING EMERGENCY CHILDCARE: Our Y is working with Governor Baker to provide emergency childcare for our medical professionals, first responders and other parents serving in critical support roles.  This has been an essential need and our attendance in our sites located in Hanover and Quincy are going up each day the shutdown continues. As one gentleman told us with tears in his eyes as he dropped off his grandchildren, “Thank you for your services and taking care of our grandchildren. We truly appreciate you all and giving them a place to have fun. I don’t know what we would have done without [this]. God bless you all
  • FEEDING THE HUNGRY: Our Y is maintaining our South Shore YMCA Germantown Food Pantry and Mobile Food Pantry — which are seeing record usage — to feed at-risk families, seniors and children in our area and make sure our most vulnerable in the community will not go hungry. A young woman from West Quincy picked up for her family of five and told us, “You guys are lifesavers. The only ones still working at home are me and my dad. I can’t believe I can come every week.”
  • SHELTERING THE HOMELESS: Our Y is working with Mayor Koch and the City of Quincy in partnership with Father Bill’s Homeless shelter to establish an emergency homeless shelter at our Quincy branch in an effort to implement social distancing and spread out the homeless populations to better protect them from the virus. On the first day that shelter guests arrived at the field house, one man turned to Patrick Murphy and said, “Thank you. You have saved our lives.”
  • SUPPORTING SENIORS: Our Y is working to support our seniors through our Mobile Food Pantry and keep medical wellness program participants connected and engaged, supporting those in isolation who have nobody else to rely on during these times. “I will be praying for your staff as you continue to provide services to those in need in our community during this critical time. God bless you,” said one of our senior members.
  • VIRTUAL CONTENT & RESOURCES: Our Y is working to keep our members and families active, engaged and connected by providing early education content and virtual health and wellness options through online classes, digital content, videos and virtual groups.

 

HOW THE SHUTDOWN IMPACTS STAFF

EMERGENCY STAFF FUND: Last week, seeded by a generous donor, our Y was able to establish an Emergency Staff Fund to provide financial assistance for the most impacted of the 1,100 furloughed staff. Furloughing staff has been the hardest part for everyone and we are doing all that we can for our caring and committed staff. This fund is available for anyone to donate and help support our staff, so please support our staff if you can with a tax-deductible donation.

  • At this time, less than 5% of our team is still working to provide emergency food pantry assistance, emergency childcare for first responders and medical professionals and operating the emergency homeless shelter. A few staff members are working to maintain our facilities, prepare for summer camp and answer member communication.
  • Furloughed employees are eligible to collect unemployment. The Y is self-insured for unemployment, which means the Y pays 100% of this benefit for all eligible furloughed employees. This benefit will pay each eligible employee 50% of their usual salary while on furlough. As CEO, I have taken a voluntarily salary cut of 50% to join my employees during this difficult time.
  • In addition, the Y will continue to fund all medical insurance benefits for our employees. No eligible employee will see a disruption to these benefits.
  • These expenses are paid from the Y’s reserves, which for a nonprofit, charitable organization, are limited and draining quickly.

Thank you for your support.

Words cannot express our gratitude for the many members and donors who have already shown support to fund these essential emergency services that we must continue to provide for the most vulnerable in our community. Please be safe, and be well.

With gratitude,

Paul J. Gorman
President & CEO
South Shore YMCA


Monday, March 30, 2020:
Letter from Paul Gorman, President & CEO, South Shore YMCA

Dear YMCA members, participants, volunteers, community partners and staff,

My thoughts continue to be with you and your families, hoping you are safe and well. In this time of great uncertainty, the bonds we share are our greatest strength. We are truly in this together.

I write with an update from my last communication on Monday, March 23, 2020 concerning our response to the Coronavirus pandemic. As you know, on Monday, March 16, 2020, the South Shore YMCA made the difficult but necessary decision to close all membership operations and non-essential facilities. This decision was made under the guidance of state and local government and public health officials to do our part in controlling the community spread of the COVID-19/Coronavirus.

FREEZING MEMBERSHIP FEES AS OF APRIL 1

As the community faces extended social distancing, business closures and the sharpest restrictions on daily life, the South Shore YMCA has chosen to freeze all memberships and place your fees on hold as of April 1, 2020 until such time when we are able to re-open our doors and fully serve our members. As a member, there is no action for you to take to freeze your membership.

But we still need your help.

PLEASE STAY WITH US: DONATE YOUR MEMBERSHIP

If you have not done so already, I am asking that you please consider converting your membership fees to a tax-deductible donation to help your community during this time.

Your monthly membership draft will remain the same, and funds will be fully dedicated to assisting your community. When we resume normal operations, your donation will end, and we will convert you back to regular membership. The YMCA will provide a tax receipt of your charitable donation.

Donate Your Membership

YOUR IMPACT

As our Y responds to the needs of our community, donating your membership dues will help us support those neighbors who need us most in the following ways:

  • PROVIDING EMERGENCY CHILDCARE: Our Y is working with Governor Baker to provide emergency childcare for our medical professionals, first responders and other parents serving in critical support roles. This has been an essential need and our attendance in our sites located in Hanover and Quincy are going up each day the shutdown continues.
  • FEEDING THE HUNGRY: Our Y is maintaining our South Shore YMCA Germantown Food Pantry and Mobile Food Pantry — which are seeing record usage — to feed at-risk families, seniors and children in our area and make sure our most vulnerable in the community will not go hungry.
  • SHELTERING THE HOMELESS: Our Y is working with Mayor Koch and the City of Quincy in partnership with Father Bill’s Homeless shelter to establish an emergency homeless shelter at our Quincy branch in an effort to implement social distancing and spread out the homeless populations to better protect them from the virus.
  • SUPPORTING SENIORS: Our Y is working to support our seniors through our Mobile Food Pantry and keep medical wellness program participants connected and engaged, supporting those in isolation who have nobody else to rely on during these times.
  • VIRTUAL CONTENT & RESOURCES: Our Y is working to keep our members and families active, engaged and connected by providing early education content and virtual health and wellness options through online classes, digital content, videos and virtual groups.

HOW THE SHUTDOWN IMPACTS STAFF

EMERGENCY STAFF FUND: This week, our Y has established an Emergency Staff Fund to provide financial assistance for the most impacted of the 1,100 furloughed staff. This has been the hardest part for everyone and we are doing all that we can for our caring and committed staff.
At this time, less than 5% of our team is still working to provide emergency food pantry assistance, emergency childcare for first responders and medical professionals and operating the emergency homeless shelter. A few staff members are working to maintain our facilities, prepare for summer camp and answer member calls.

  • Furloughed employees are eligible to collect unemployment. The Y is self-insured for unemployment, which means the Y pays 100% of this benefit for all eligible furloughed employees. This benefit will pay each eligible employee 50% of their usual salary while on furlough. As CEO, I have taken a voluntarily salary cut of 50% to join my employees during this difficult time.
  • In addition, the Y will continue to fund all medical insurance benefits for our employees. No eligible employee will see a disruption to these benefits. These expenses are paid from the Y’s reserves, which for a nonprofit, charitable organization, are limited and draining quickly.

Thank you for your support.

Words cannot express our gratitude for the many members and donors who have already shown support to fund these essential emergency services that we must continue to provide for the most vulnerable in our community. Please be safe, and be well.

With gratitude,

Paul J. Gorman
President & CEO
South Shore YMCA

Donate Your Membership

 

“God Bless you guys for pulling this together so quickly. Thank you.”
– Quincy Emergency Childcare Service Parent

“I can’t believe you guys are doing this for us. Thank you so much for helping us. I was so scared and did not know what I was going to do.”

“This is so helpful. I have four kids and lost my Food Stamp Card and have no food. I can’t believe I can come every week – this means so much. I was so stressed. Thank you all.”

“This is a savior to me. I wasn’t sure what I was going to do this week for food with my kids home. It’s stressful and I’m scared…”


March 23, 2020

Dear YMCA members, participants, volunteers, community partners and staff, 

These are unprecedented times. As we move forward together, my thoughts are with you and your familieshoping you are safe and well. I write with an update from my last communication on Monday, March 16, 2020 concerning our response to the Coronavirus pandemic. 

As you know, on Monday, March 16, 2020 at 1pm, the South Shore YMCA made the difficult, but necessary decision to close all membership operations and non-essential facilities. This included our Emilson YMCA, Quincy YMCA, ZoneWellness Center, South Shore Natural Science Center and Gymnastics Center. This decision was made under the guidance of state and local government and public health officials to do our part in controlling the community spread of the COVID-19/Coronavirus.  

As an organization that exists to strengthen communities and bring people together, shutting a door is the hardest thing for us to do. As we face this serious challenge, the South Shore Y continues to provide the most essential services for the most vulnerable amongst us.  Our priority is always to do what we can to protect our staff, our members and our community.  

  • We continue to operate our South Shore YMCA Germantown Neighborhood Center Food Pantry. Last week the food pantry saw record numbers of people seeking food assistance feeding twice as many as usual. 
  • Governor Baker and the Commissioner of Early Education and Care have selected our YMCA Early Learning Centers as Emergency Childcare Locations to serve essential community employeesfirst responders and medical professionals.  
  • We care deeply about the health and wellness of our members. While we cannot serve you in person at this time, we invite you to take part in Y-360; a new virtual initiative with online classes and activities led by Ys across the country. In addition, our own staff are creating online content for you and your family to enjoy at home. Topics will include exercise, education, family activities and more, all designed to stay connected.  

How the shutdown has impacted our staff 

The South Shore YMCA was forced to furlough 95% of our nearly 1,100 employees on Monday, March 16, 2020 due to this unexpected extended closure. This has been the hardest part for everyone and we are doing all that we can for our caring and committed staff.  

  • At this time, less than 5% of our team is still working to provide emergency food pantry assistance and emergency childcare for first responders and medical professionalsA few staff members are working to maintain our facilities, prepare for summer camp and answer member calls 
  • Furloughed employees are eligible to collect unemployment. The Y is self-insured for unemployment, which means the Y pays 100% of this benefit for all eligible furloughed employees. This benefit will pay each eligible employee 50% of their usual salary while on furlough.  I have also taken a voluntarily salary cut of 50% to join my employees during this difficult time. 
  • In addition, the Y will continue to fund all medical insurance benefits for our eligible employees. No eligible employee will see a disruption to these benefits.  
  • These expenses are paid from the Y’s reserves, which for a nonprofit, charitable organization, are limited and draining quickly. 

Program & Membership Impact 

Revenues from membership dues and programs are what keep our facilities and membership services running each month, including payroll and operational costs.  

  • At this time, all YMCA program fees, such as swim lessons and childcare centers have been suspended, with the exception of Emergency Childcare which is only partially funded by the state. 

How to manage your membership 

Naturally, if you cannot continue paying your membership fees until our anticipated re-opening in April and wish to place your membership on hold, we certainly understand 

However, if you want to join many other members in funding these critical services, we invite you to stay with us and donate your membership fee. Consider your membership fees a donation so that we can use this singular remaining source of revenue to run our Germantown Neighborhood Center Food Pantry and Emergency Childcare Centers.   

PLEASE VISIT ssymca.org/membership-benefits/manage by Thursday, March 26, 2020 to tell us how you wish to manage your membership dues during this time.

 

Thank you for staying with us. 

We are doing all that we can to reopen our doors safely on April 7, 2020 or at the earliest opportunity possible. We hope that you will find it in your heart to continue to support the essential work at our food pantry and emergency first responder’s childcare needs until that time.   

With gratitude,  

Paul Gorman
President & CEO
South Shore YMCA 

 

“God Bless you guys for pulling this together so quickly. Thank you.”
– Quincy Emergency Childcare Service Parent 


March 16, 2020

Dear South Shore YMCA Community,

The South Shore YMCA will close all membership operations and non-essential facilities on Monday, March 16, 2020 at 1:00pm. This includes our Emilson YMCA, Quincy YMCA, ZoneWellness center, South Shore Natural Science Center and Gymnastics Center. We hope to reopen these facilities on April 7, 2020.

This decision, as difficult as it was to make, was made in accordance with the guidelines from public health authorities, news of all regional school closings in our area and coupled with many other considerations which include the safety of our staff, members and community as the Coronavirus (COVID-19) circumstances unfold locally, nationally and internationally.

We will continue to provide the most essential services for the most vulnerable amongst us, including families needing emergency childcare, food pantry distribution and financial assistance.

We cannot express the potentially devastating impact extensive cancellations could have on our staff and our community. We know the Y is an extension of your family and we remain honored and committed to serving you, just as we have since 1892. In the coming weeks, the need for food and services for children will increase exponentially. We must step up and act consistently with our legacy. We have always been an organization that walked toward the challenges. We cannot permit children to go hungry or to traumatize families by pausing services they rely on. Our food pantry and other essential community services still need our help.

We ask that you join us in the effort and to support the YMCA and our committed staff as well. We ask that you continue to pay your membership fee and consider it a donation so that we can use this revenue to protect our community during this time of uncertainty. Naturally, we will put your membership on hold if you wish, but if you want to join us in service to others, we invite you to keep your membership active. We know your membership is rooted in the relationships you have built at the Y. Those relationships are based upon the humanity you share with others. Join us in creating a history that demonstrates how we came together and served those families who needed us the most.

For our Health & Wellness members, we care deeply about you and your health and wellness. It’s more important than ever to live our YMCA mission of serving and strengthening our communities. And while we can’t serve you in person, you can become part of Y360, a new virtual initiative led by Ys across the country, now available at home. These and other online exercise options will be available on our website at ssymca.org.

For our committed and caring staff. We will do all we can to help you in during this time as well. More communication is coming from your supervisors and our Human Resources team to help you navigate these challenges together.

We will reopen our Y at the first chance we can and hope that you will find it in your heart to continue to support us.

Sincerely,

Paul Gorman
President & CEO
South Shore YMCA

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