YMCA of Silicon Valley is providing necessary support services to vulnerable community members during the COVID pandemic. Over the last few weeks, the YMCA has adapted their services to best support and match the needs of the community at large.
“As soon as the shelter in place started, we reached out to school districts to see how we could support them,” says Associate Exec. Director for Youth Development, Angela Rodriguez.
Shortly after school closures, YMCA staff members pooled their resources and evaluated how they could best meet the needs of their community. Staff members were dispersed between 18 Bay Area school sites. The services they are providing include nutrition for seniors and students, child care support for healthcare workers, digital resources for well-being and education, and check-in calls on vulnerable community members.
The YMCA is currently serving an average of 1,400-1,900 meals per day at 6 schools in the Evergreen District and 2 schools in the Alum Rock District. They are also providing free meals for roughly 175 seniors in the Gilroy/Morgan Hill community.
"The families need us, the kids need us, and they need healthy nutrition,” says Lupe Ruvalcaba, Executive Director of the East Valley Family YMCA.
The El Camino facility has been retooled to provide childcare for frontline health workers and their families. The facility can hold up to 200 children, providing a space for them to do schoolwork, crafts, or recreation while adhering to social distancing guidelines administered by staff.
All children have their temperatures checked every day when they enter and are required to regularly wash their hands. All children are given their own set of resources to use (markers, paper, toys, etc.) which are sanitized by staff at the end of the day.
“[The staff] are being incredibly diligent,” says Joey Sanchez, Director of Marketing and Communications. “They want to be super sensitive to anything that could happen."
Digital resources have been made to promote health, well-being and education, which can be found here. The Y is soon launching a virtual tutoring program to support families and children outside of the classroom. This will include educational resource material and weekly curriculum plans for families. Additionally, they are developing education support, allowing tutors to be present in online classroom sessions, and arrange 1-on-1 tutoring sessions catered to students with specific needs.
The Y has also been doing welfare check-in calls on seniors and vulnerable community members. Through this, they hope to support the well-being and mental health of their community. Sanchez says the Y is a great place for people to seek support if they have anxiety about COVID concerns.
How to get involved
One way to make a difference is by financially supporting the initiatives of the YMCA. To donate to the YMCA: click here.
“I’m so proud to work with the organization, determining how we can serve our communities in ways I never would have imagined,” says Rodriguez.
The San Jose Earthquakes and are humbled and inspired by the amazing work of our frontline communities and neighbors in this time of crisis. Each week, we’ll be featuring and highlighting the work of one Neighborhood Hero, showcasing the great work they are doing and the organizations our community can rally around.
Additionally, a donation will be provided to an organization or community project on behalf of each week’s hero. This week we will be donating to the YMCA of Silicon Valley’s COVID Response Fund. Learn more about the fund and the initiative here.
Do you know a hero in your neighborhood? Nominate them by visiting: