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SOUTH SHORE YMCA

South Shore YMCA COVID-19/ Coronavirus Updates

Posted: Mar. 30, 2020 DONATE YOUR MEMBERSHIP

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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