April 1, 2020

Your Y has always shifted course in response to changes in our community's needs. Coronavirus has been no exception.

School closures affected our afterschool child care, but we knew families would still need help.

That's why your Y partnered with the city of Eugene and the 4J school district to  immediately provide child care to first responders and medical professionals. 

"We thank all of the child care workers for keeping the children of emergency and essential workers safe and cared 
Chief Chris Heppel
for during this crisis," said Eugene Springfield Fire Chief Chris Heppel. "This work was especially helpful in the early stages, allowing us to provide  essential services to the community."

Since then, your Y has helped create the framework for expansion of that care to include the children of essential workers. Our grocery store clerks, banks and credit union employees, pharmacists and technicians, gas station attendants and workers in restaurants also need a safe, secure place for their kiddos while schools are closed.

"It is vital that employees who are expected to work have a safe place for their young children to play, learn, move their bodies and connect with trained adults when their world feels less secure," said Brian Steffen, CEO, Eugene Family YMCA. "We are grateful for the collaboration with so many local entities. No one organization could provide a service this expansive--- a collective effort among long-time child care providers successfully fulfilled this vision."

Y members Brad
and Colleen

The child care partnership has now grown to include Bethel, Springfield, South Lane and Fern Ridge school districts.

In addition to leading the care at a school in Bethel and a school in 4J as well as preschool care on site at the Y facility,  your Y is also managing the registration platform for all emergency childcare.

"We are really grateful that the Y is offering emergency child care," said Y member Colleen Vehafric, whose son is attending the Y's preschool program. "All of the social distancing, handwashing and safety procedures in place make us  feel good about having our son there."

Vehafric is a mental health worker and a graduate student in social work. Her husband works as a paramedic. She says that  child care is critical for her family right now. 

"Child care options are absolutely necessary," she said. "If the community expects essential workers, such as grocery store clerks and people in the service industry to work, they need to be able to have child care--- especially at a cost that is affordable or no cost at all. A lot of folks are having their hours cut and struggling to maintain housing and their own sources of security."

Your Y is grateful to be able to support medical professionals, first responders and essential workers with this critical need during this global crisis.  Even without capes, they are the real heroes!

To learn more about your Y's critical child care, click HERE
Behind the Scenes: Part of Emergency Operations in the Time of COVID-19
Your Y's own Lisa MacMaster, Chief Operating Officer, has been involved with the City of Eugene's COVID-19 Incident Command Emergency Operations Center since it began March 17. One of its objectives included a crucial collaboration among your Y, school districts and city officials to establish an emergency child care solution for first responders and health care workers. Lisa also helped lead the recent effort to expand child care to include essential workers. 

THANK YOU, Lisa, for your insight, countless hours of work and dedication. 
A Note From Your Y Family Members, Rich and Connie Clark
"As two senior members of the YMCA community, we would not be as active, physically or socially, were it not for our Eugene Family YMCA. For us, the Senior Stretch and Strength class, the Health and Wellness Center, and above all, the Tennis Center are the places where we benefit from the marvelous programs that the Y offers.  The staff keeps us moving, connected and active. And, it's all done with warmth, thoughtfulness and that special YMCA sincerity. The staff at our YMCA is among the heroes who are stepping up in this very concerning time."

--- Y Board Member Rich Clark and his wife Connie, cultivating their garden's rhubarb.
A Note From Your Y Staff Member Brynne
"Hello to my Y Family! I hope this finds you all healthy and safe. I sure do miss you! Sweet memories of your smiles, laughter and warm hugs--- in the halls, locker room, classes, and lobby--- are holding me over until we get to be together again. Hang in there with me!

To my Gentle and Flow yoga friends, Piyo peeps, Low Impact lovelies and Enhance Fitness family, oh how I miss our classes together! The thought of being back in classes together sometime soon makes me happy. I know you feel it too. Don't worry, we will make it through this and we'll be moving and laughing together again before we know it.
My boys and I are doing well and staying home, which is where I am now working from. We've been doing a little spring cleaning, a lot of hiking, and a fair amount of baking, playing card games and watching movies. A little bit of this, a little bit of that...you know how it is.

I love you all. Stay healthy, stay safe, stay AWESOME!"
--- Brynne Blevins Andrus
What the Federal Stimulus Means for Nonprofits
Thank you for e-mailing your U.S. senators and representatives to advocate for your community's well-being and support local nonprofits!

Our nation now has a  $2 trillion stimulus package.

Nonprofit organizations with fewer than 500 employees are eligible for a Small Business Administration loan for up to $10 million. This money ensures employees are paid and have access to health insurance. The money can also help a nonprofit pay facility costs. While this bill is a step in the right direction, nonprofit advocates are still seeking more funding, such as the $60 billion aid package for nonprofits, that was not approved in this bill. 

Your Y will continue to follow federal legislation that affects nonprofits,
and we will keep you informed as details become clear. Thank you for supporting your Y and the work of thousands of other nonprofits.
New Fitness Experiences on Your Y's YouTube Channel
Your Y has found a rhythm with our virtual fitness routines. Individual instructors are bringing their expertise right into your home. Please subscribe to the Eugene Family YMCA's YouTube channel so you don't miss the most recent workout!

Instructor Matt Kane offers a mindfulness and guided meditation practice.

Instructor Davey Jackson introduces Capoeira, an Afro-Brazilian martial art that combines elements of dance, acrobatics, and music. 
Instructor Coy Hargrave leads a functional bodyweight training session that will leave you sweaty!

Explore them all and stay connected with your Y even though our doors are closed!
April Fools' Day Memories are What's Needed Today

Your Y enjoys a kind-hearted April Fools' joke as much as anyone else.
But coronavirus has stolen some of our humor this year.

Some of our Y family members have lost jobs, are working extra hours in hospitals or struggle to care for kids without needed school equipment. We send our love and thoughts to those members, and we are working at all times to find a way to support them.

So today, on April 1, 2020, we want to remind you of last year's April Fools' jokes.

Our CEO Brian--- in his typical good-natured spirit--- arrived at low-impact aerobics, gentle yoga and deep-water wellness classes to "teach." 

He explained that the instructor was sick and he apologized for being the only Y staff available to sub.

In deep-water wellness, he instructed his class to stretch by touching their noses to their toes. 

In yoga, he began class with "nap pose."

And in low-impact aerobics,
he counted to 1,000 for jumping jacks. 

He got rounds of applause when the actual instructors slipped back into the room and revealed the joke.

As predicted, Y members loved every minute of it and Brian quickly rose to Richard Simmons-level fame! Watch the video HERE.

In youth development, we offered unique summer camps, such as chore camp (learn to sweep and clean dishes like a pro!), unicorn-care camp and sessions to teach kids to repair broken toys.

Not surprisingly,  families were genuinely interested in signing their kiddos up for Chore Camp!

Happy April 1, Y family! We predict next year's April Fools' Day includes a whole slate of events to make you giggle.
Local Organizations Step Up in Big Ways to Stay Connected

Your Y isn't the only organization in town keeping in touch with our community and finding unique ways to stay connected.

The Hult Center is inviting everyone to a Stay Home Talent Show. They are encouraging all performers including musicians, actors, singers, dancers, comedians and more to submit a video no longer than 3-minutes for consideration. Clips can be submitted for consideration on social media platforms and Hult Center social media posts by including the hashtag #HultTalentShow between now and April 10, 2020. For more information, visit the Hult website .

The Eugene Area Chamber of Commerce compiled a list of restaurants offering delivery and take-out. Thank you for supporting your local eating establishments.
Our Talented Members Help Others
The McClain family misses the Y, but they are trying to stay positive by doing a few things for others.

"We know it's hard for parents whose jobs have been impacted to get a moment to send an e-mail, work or even take a shower," says Y member Laura McClain. "So, we created the Kids At Home Now YouTube channel. We'll read to kiddos so parents can take a break. As homeschoolers, we know the power of books and stories. They create a magical closeness in your home like no other activity." 
Heartened to See So Many STAND WITH YOUR Y
Thank you, beautiful Y family, for keeping your membership dues in place or donating to show how you STAND WITH YOUR Y. 

Your words overwhelmed us:

"I'll Stand By My Y!" wrote Y member Sharon. "You were there for me when I needed help, now let me return the favor. I'll keep paying my dues. Here's hoping you all stay well and strong."

Y member Laura wrote: "I can't tell you how meaningful your e-mail outreach has been to me and my family! I got totally choked up when I read how you guys are holding space for us and thinking of us and CALLING members. Taking your classes online is going to be so helpful. Truly, you are making a difference in our family and community. I'm happy to keep paying my membership, so that others can stay connected to their Y family. Blessings to you and the staff."

We know that many of you could not continue membership dues in light of the current business closures and stay at home order. We understand. Please know that when we open our doors, you are welcome with open arms and an extra smile to help ease your past worries.

We are stronger together. Members who are able have been supporting members unable to give at this time. That's what a family does.

Thank you, sincerely and humbly.
Your Y in the News
The Register-Guard newspaper has covered your Y's closure, efforts to reach out to all members to understand the extent of their needs, and scaling up critical child care for essential workers in addition to first responders and medical professionals.  

Cities, schools and local YMCA collaborate to provide free childcare for all 'essential' workers. Read the article HERE.

Unable to open, local YMCA finds new ways to connect with members. Read the article HERE.

KEZI took note of your Y's child care offerings when they first opened to first responders and medical professionals. Watch the video HERE.

And, on a lighter note, Northwest 50 Plus magazine's April 1 edition features the first in a monthly series by your Y's own Kim Miller, Director of Health and Wellness and Healthy Living. Y members posed for the photo shoot.

The topic is appropriate now that we are all stuck at home: "Gardening: Don't Hurt Yourself." Read the article HERE.
Please keep in touch! Your Y staff misses you and wants to know how you are doing. Please continue to send us your stories --- we love sharing them and your Y family loves reading them. 

Be well.