YMCA Update - March 23, 2020

Dear YMCA Member:

Just like every crisis before, we come together in the name of our humanity. And just like it’s been for the last 135 years, our Y is here for good.

Thank you for your patience as we communicate the effects of this change. It’s been a complicated time for everyone, and we appreciate you bearing with us. Your Y leadership staff has worked tirelessly the past week responding to some of the most pressing needs of our community and narrowing our focus as permitted by state and national mandates. Since the Olean Y started in 1885 and Bradford Y in 1889 and expanded its reach across three counties in the Twin Tiers including a facility in Wellsville, the Y has adapted and changed to meet community needs and strengthen the foundations of our community. I will outline a few ways we are doing our part to keep our community strong.

Help Us by Keeping an Active Membership
We need all hands on deck. Members who continue to pay their monthly membership dues are our Sustaining Members – because they are helping us be resilient during this chaotic time. We are asking you to stay with us. We understand that everyone is not in a position to do so and we need you to do what is best for your situation. Here are your options:

1. Be a Sustaining Y Member: Allow us to keep your monthly membership draft active. Your dues will be considered a contribution to the cause and be used to focus on sustaining YMCA operations and meeting community needs during this crisis period. If you choose to do this, no action is required on your part. We will continue to draft your membership and will provide you with documentation of your charitable gift at the end of this period. You can change your mind at any time should your situation change.

2. Place Your Membership on Hold: We know many people are scared and feeling the pressures of this situation. If you are unable to be a sustaining member by contributing your Y dues, place your membership on hold. We will discontinue your monthly membership draft and resume the draft when we reopen. There is no charge for putting your membership on hold during this shutdown period. You must call the Y to put your membership on hold. Please call your home branch, and we will make the necessary changes. A YMCA representative will be available Monday through Friday from 8:00 am until 5:00 pm.

We’re in this Together

Thank you for working with us to create a history that demonstrates how we came together and served those who needed us the most. Let us tell the story of the meaningful ways in which we responded. Let that be the story that is remembered. Here are just a couple ways your Y is responding:

- Emergency Child Care Services: The Y is providing childcare services for employees of hospitals and medical facilities, nursing homes, group homes, and First Responders. We are caring for their children so they can care for our community. Paying for childcare is a new expense for these emergency workers, and we need to find ways to provide the financial assistance necessary so these critical care workers can continue their crucial work.

- Community Shepherding Program: We have already been piloting this over the past week with a select group of our members. The Shepherding Program is an organized effort to check in with our most vulnerable populations: seniors, people suffering from mental illness, families with unique challenges, people who are suffering financially, and children who are being left home alone. Neighbors helping Neighbors: more to come.

- Virtual Health Initiatives: We know the Y is an extension of your family, and we remain honored to serve you. While we can’t serve you in-person, you can become part of Y360, a new virtual initiative led by Ys across the country. We have your favorite classes brought to you by top instructors now available at home. Start taking classes now at: Y360 on Youtube.

Working Responsibly with Compassion
We are working around the clock uncovering every stone to reduce expenses and minimize the extreme financial burden that this will cause our nonprofit organization. We are looking at how to finance the deficits we will face. Not unlike other organizations, we have had to make some very difficult decisions that affect the lives of our 350 employees. Our employees are our family, and we care deeply about the personal challenges this position will place on them. We have the opportunity, right now, to decide what the future looks like. We want a future of generosity, social justice and equal access to critical resources. We are learning a lot in real-time, and we’re adapting.

Remaining Resilient and Strong
We can’t thank you enough for your support and understanding. We're working on other ways we can support our community. We will continue to communicate with you through our website, Facebook, and direct emails to members. (If you have not received previous emails, now is a good time to update your email address. Send an email to information@twintiersymca.org today.)

Most importantly, this is not forever. We’re standing by you during this trying time and ask that you stand by us as well. There’s a bright future ahead, but the only way we will get there is together. Thank you.

Barb Sweitzer

YMCA Update - March 16, 2020

Dear Valued Members and Families:

We understand that the closure of our YMCA facilities may have felt abrupt and untimely. Under these extraordinary circumstances, we know closing was the right decision. We serve thousands of people daily, both young and old and all in between. As such, we do not want to put our community at risk of contracting this highly infectious virus. Our top priority is the health and well-being of our valued members and staff, always. All of us at the Y are grateful for the outpouring of support, and we will continue to live our YMCA mission of serving and strengthening our communities.

Closure for any length of time is a significant threat to our non-profit organization. We need to come back strong: financially, programmatically, and personally. Join us in this effort. We ask that you continue to pay your membership dues so that we can use this revenue during this time of uncertainty. If you choose to donate your membership dues, no further action is necessary. Thank you! If you would like to do something different, we understand and are able to assist. Our member service representatives are available by phone, 8am-5pm, Monday-Friday. Please call your home branch.

The Y employs over 350 employees, and we are dedicated to caring for these individuals who, in turn, care for you. Our leadership team has made the decision to temporarily pay all staff through the initial stages of this challenge. We appreciate your help in these efforts.

Membership: We know the Y is an extension of your family, and we remain honored to serve you. While we can’t serve you in-person, you can become part of Y360, a new virtual initiative led by Ys across the country. We have your favorite classes brought to you by top instructors now available at home. Start taking classes now at: Y360.

Programs and Services: We are committed to the continuation of our programs when we reopen. Please see below for specific program details:

Progressive Swimming, Gymnastics Lessons, and Kinderclub: The current session is scheduled to end April 4. We will automatically re-register participants to the session running from April 20th to May 30th at no additional charge. Should you choose not to attend the April 20th session, you can receive a prorated credit for remaining classes that can be applied to your membership or future programs.

Youth Sports: All skills camps and soccer leagues will continue upon reopening. You will receive information on the rescheduled leagues as soon as possible.

Adult Volleyball and Soccer Leagues: All remaining games will be rescheduled upon reopening.

Fitness Programs, Peak Performance and Mission Maintain: These will resume and be extended upon reopening.

Special Events are cancelled and/or postponed until further notice. This includes 3-on-3 Basketball Tournament, Family Fun Nights, Super Saturdays, Healthy Kids Day, Kids' Fest, Say Yes to the Prom Dress, and Spring into Shape. We look forward to rescheduling these.

We know you still have questions. We do too. Please know we are committed to doing everything possible to secure the future of the YMCA and all of its services. For updates and more information, please keep checking back for updates on this website at www.twintiersymca.org for up-to-date information, along with our Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/OleanFamilyYMCA.

We thank you for your patience, support and understanding during this unprecedented time. Please take care of yourself and one another. Our community is strong, and together, we will get through this.


Upcoming Events

What's happening at the Y?

schools out
School's Out Club  Starting October 14, 2019  Click HERE for more information.
Kinship Caregiver Program 6-7:30 2nd Wednesday of the Month Click HERE for more information.
Barb quote
FINDING BALANCE. IMPROVING LIVES.   JESSICA SWEITZER MEMORIAL FUND When a young Olean mother lost her life to mental illness after struggling…

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