ORLANDO, Fla. – (May 11, 2020)
Thanks to the support of local partners and donors like Florida Blue, the YMCA of Central Florida has repurposed two of its temporarily closed facilities to offer emergency childcare at no cost serving first responders, front line healthcare workers, and essential workers throughout the COVID-19 pandemic. Emergency childcare has been offered at the Downtown Orlando and Winter Park YMCA since April 6, transitioning on May 11 to the South Orlando YMCA and Blanchard Park YMCA locations.
The Y has been able to provide this vital service for essential workers supporting our community thanks to the generosity of Florida Blue, which awarded a $50,000 grant to continue important community outreach efforts. Since the childcare program began April 6, 2020, participants had the opportunity to complete 2,250 hours of distance learning, 2,625 hours of health and wellness activities, 1,125 hours of STEM curriculum, and 750 hours of arts and crafts. The no-cost emergency childcare program is currently serving 200 children a week in two Y locations. The front line organizations whose employees are benefiting from this generous gift include: AdventHealth, Orlando Health, Orange County Government, City of Orlando, Florida National Guard, and Walgreens.
“At the Y, we know that we’re stronger together. So, it is a privilege for us to do our part by offering our Y facilities and talented staff to serve the children of those who are serving us all,” said President & CEO of the YMCA of Central Florida Dan Wilcox. “We’re grateful to Florida Blue and all of our Y members and donors who are standing with us to help meet this vital community need.”
The health and well-being of our communities is our top priority right now. We are grateful for the healthcare workers, emergency responders, and other essential staff who are on the front lines combating COVID-19. We commend the YMCA for providing vital members of our community with a safe and supportive location for their children while they are fulfilling critical work to keep our communities healthy.
— Tony Jenkins, Florida Blue Market President
The grant from Florida Blue will continue to support the philanthropic focus related to the Y, including aiding in food stability for seniors and children, check-in calls with senior Y members, Asset Limited, Income Constrained, Employed (ALICE) Family Support, and much more. For more information regarding emergency childcare operations, please visit ymcacf.org/emergencychildcare.
As a 501(c)(3) nonprofit, the YMCA relies on support from neighbors and community partners just as the community relies on the Y. Additional donations are needed during this critical time in order to continue assisting families long-term with emergency childcare. For more information on supporting the Y, contact Claire Fournier, Vice President of Philanthropy for the YMCA of Central Florida, at [email protected].
About the YMCA of Central Florida
The YMCA of Central Florida is one of the area’s largest nonprofits, serving more than 360,000 Central Floridians per year through a focus on Youth Development, Healthy Living, and Social Responsibility. With a Christian-based mission to improve lives and communities, it operates 22 YMCA locations across Orange, Seminole, Osceola, Brevard, Lake, and Marion counties. This mission is expanded beyond the four walls of the Y through community-based programs to combat chronic disease, boost children’s after-school safety and learning, and strengthen neighborhoods. To learn more, visit ymcacf.org and follow on Facebook or Instagram.