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Communities Coming Together

August 18, 2020
Summer looked a little different this year at the YMCA and our surrounding communities. Instead of hundreds of kids at day camp, we had small, socially distanced groups at our new childcare programs. Despite the changes, we were still able to make an impact on the families we served. THANK YOU to community partners who offered time, talents, and resources to make these programs successful!Woman and child at camp - Communities


In addition to YMCA centers, local churches stepped in to provide much-needed space. We are grateful to Lakeview Church, E 91st St. Church, Well Community Church, The Creek Church, Northview Church, Grace Church, and Traders Point for making our programs accessible to so many families! Equally as humbling, Old Bethel UMC, Connection Pointe, Chapel Rock, Church at the Crossing, St Luke’s, College Park, Cornerstone Lutheran, Crosspoint, and Mt Comfort Church offered their space to the YMCA programs as well.


To comply with state guidelines and provide a healthy environment, face masks quickly became a commodity we didn't know we needed! Luckily, countless volunteers donated masks for Y staff and kids. Jo Ellen Buffie, a Baxter YMCA Board Member, personally secured donations of hundreds of homemade masks. Additionally, People for Urban Progress, Crimson Tate, and Shine Bright Stitchers are among other local groups who donated masks to our programs.

HELP FROM FRONT-LINE HEALTH CARE WORKERSChildren standing outside the YMCA - Communities

At the center of the chaos over the past few months were courageous nurses and healthcare staff. Community Health Network provided nurses at no cost to screen children as they were dropped off and provide guidance on new health procedures that were put in place. The YMCA connected with many local healthcare organizations. Witham Health Services, IU Health, Eskenazi Health, Community Health, and the VA Medical Center all helped the Y reach as many essential workers as possible by promoting our programs to their staff and in some cases paid for their staff's children to attend! We applaud these efforts from our community to help without hesitation!


Our list of gratitude continues with meals provided by local restaurants. CC Holdings Restaurant Group and the Alexander Hotel provided meals for families to take home at the end of the day. The Benjamin Harrison YMCA Advisory Board provided meals for YMCA staff. And Gleaners, Indy Parks, Chartwells, Washington Township, Perry Township, and Hamilton Southeastern Schools food services provided free lunches for kids in our programs! Outside Benjamin Harrison YMCA - Communities DIVERSE CARE TO MEET DIVERSE NEEDS The YMCA partnered with Early Learning Indiana to provide childcare for our younger age groups. And as this time was stressful for everyone, students from the University of Indianapolis provided mindfulness programming which helped ease anxiety and uncertainty. The Indianapolis Public Library also provided books for the YMCA to offer new educational programming to participants.


We are inspired by the way our community partners went above and beyond to support YMCA programs and families! It takes a village to make sure all families have the care and resources they need right now. The village of Indianapolis came out in full force. Providing successful YMCA childcare programs would not be possible without our community partners!


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