April 22, 2020

The Eugene Family YMCA celebrated its 133rd birthday today by doing what it does best: giving back.

Y staff delivered 400 special 'Y' cookies donated by Market of Choice to our community's frontline workers who have been so selfless in their protection of our community and have worked tirelessly in the face of danger.

"On this birthday, it is only fitting to offer our gratitude in a unique Y way to those who are serving in essential ways during the coronavirus pandemic," said Brian Steffen, CEO of the Eugene Family YMCA. "Through the past century, the Y has experienced a number of transitions and hardships, which makes this year's celebration even more extraordinary as we persevere through this challenging time and continue to demonstrate our significance to Lane County. It is an honor to celebrate the Y's birthday by recognizing the heroes in our community who are working so hard to ensure that others have more birthdays!"

The Eugene Family YMCA proudly partnered with Market of Choice to offer gratitude to those working in fire stations, at PeaceHealth's Sacred Heart Medical Center at Riverbend, emergency child care sites, the Eugene Police Department, Lane County Public Health, urgent care centers and the city's Emergency Operations Center.

"It is not at all what we imagined our 133rd birthday would look like," said Chip Radebaugh, Board President of the Eugene Family YMCA. "Even so, as a volunteer board member, I've never been more proud to celebrate this organization's birthday as I am this year. The way we are serving the community during the coronavirus pandemic is exactly why we were created 133 years ago: to respond to the needs at hand. This pandemic shows that we've never been more relevant or resilient."
The Y was founded in 1887 on the University of Oregon campus by a UO professor and a small group of UO students. Back then, the Y's mission was to greet new students and acquaint them with student life.

In 2019, the Eugene Family YMCA was Lane County's largest afterschool child care provider, served more than 18,000 people through its programs and gave $464,675 in financial assistance to ensure that no one was turned away due to financial barriers.

Now, in 2020, the Y is evolving again--- as it has dozens of times in its long history--- to respond to the community's most pressing needs.

In the face of closures due to the spread of COVID-19, the Y has been providing free emergency child care, virtual fitness classes to maintain health and wellness, and outreach to combat social isolation and depression.

The way we celebrated today is not at all what we expected, but it aligns with the Y's mission perfectly. Here's to another 133 years serving Lane County residents exactly how they need!
Following Best Health Practices,  Your Y  Won't  Open  May 1

Coronavirus has changed so much about how we conduct business, stay connected and keep you healthy and well. Our best-laid plans could never have predicted how this global pandemic would affect your Y. 

Based on the Governor's 'Stay Home, Save Lives' order to continue to protect our community's health and safety, we will not reopen on May 1 as previously planned. We are closely following our Governor's order and pertinent information from her office as well as public health experts to inform us of a new reopening date.

In the meantime, we will continue to work hard to support you as best we can from afar! Be sure to check out our online workout options and keep up with your Y on social media. We care about you and look forward to being together once more.
Standing With Your Y Has Never Been So Comfy!
We are incredibly moved by the generosity shown by our community's response to the STAND WITH YOUR Y challenge match! We have currently raised $22,334 toward the match and need your help to reach our $25,000 goal by the end of the month.

To boost efforts, we're excited to announce a new line of Y gear available for a limited time! I STAND WITH MY Y apparel is now available thanks to a partnership with Threadbare Print House, a locally owned and operated business. 50 percent of the proceeds will be donated to the Y to support the Y's free emergency child care programs, outreach to address social isolation and online fitness classes to encourage health and wellness. Donated proceeds will be MATCHED until the $25,000 match is met. Show your support and get comfy!  Shop today.

Of course, you can always  donate to your Y without purchasing Y gear.
Your Support Melts Our Hearts
Your Y understands the significant hardships placed on our members-from loss of income to juggling an essential job and schoolwork for kiddos. Please know that we would never ask for support from anyone not in a financial position to securely offer it. Also know that we feel your love. It's notes like these that melt our hearts:

Dearest Y team,

Please, if you can, place my membership on hold for 3 months. I am confident that at that time I will be able to reinstate my membership and even be able to donate a little towards the Y's own recovery needs. Thank you for the newsletters, honestly they are really helpful during this time. Knowing that you are there for the whole community is calming, nourishing and uplifting.

With much love and support of your efforts,
Kathryn Riordan
Your Y's CEO, Brian Steffen, Launches Y Kids' Challenge!
Welcome to the first week of the Y's Kids' Challenge! This week's challenge is brought to you by your Y's own sports celebrity, CEO Brian Steffen. You didn't know that he is training to become a world-class juggler, did you?

This week's Y Kids' Challenge is juggling! How long can you juggle three objects? To participate, kids must take a video of themselves juggling by Sunday night and post it to Facebook (with parent permission, of course). Y staff will review videos and select a winner each week! 

Be sure to tag @EugeneFamilyYMCA and use the hashtag #YKidsChallenge to be considered to win. The winner will be announced in next week's ENews update.

Masks Made with Love by Y Member Colene
Longtime Y member Colene, also a regular yoga class participant, made and donated 32 cloth masks for your Y's Youth Development staff caring for the children of first responders, medical professionals and essential workers.

Colene started sewing when she was 8 and her skills-sewing wedding gowns and custom clothing-helped finance her way through college. 

As soon as it became clear that cloth masks can provide some protection against the spread of COVID-19, Colene put aside her other sewing projects and made enough for her daughter's coworkers at the Department of Human Services and her son-in-law's colleagues at the Corvallis Police Department.

"Elastic for me is like toilet paper for everyone else," she says, laughing. "I keep running out and it is so hard to find!"

Colene's grandson, Liam, is a longtime Y kiddo in our afterschool programs and summer camps. 

Colene's grandson Liam and
her son-in-law model handmade masks.
When she found out about the need for masks for Y Youth Development staff, she didn't hesitate.

"I just want to help people and keep them safe," she says. "Of course I would make them for staff at the Y--- 
I just love the Y!"

The 32 masks that she made in just a few days are clearly made with love and care.

Next Edition of Your Stall Street Journal  Ready 
For Your Bathroom

Our second special edition Stall Street Journal is ready to be posted in your bathroom! Y love can be experienced in many ways--- even in the form of jokes, trivia and inspiring stories.

Print your copy of the SSJ today!
Your Y Continues its Outreach to Members
Your Y staff understands the importance of relationships and knows that connection at this time is more crucial than ever. 

Our membership team has LOVED calling and checking in with our members over the past month, and we're not done yet. Once every Y member has received a personal phone call, we will move on to round two and call again. We care about YOU and look forward to connecting again sometime soon.

The LIVESTRONG® at the YMCA program, at its core, helps cancer survivors reclaim their lives through fitness and interpersonal connection. Our program is on pause during the pandemic, but the need to create and maintain community remains.

"I am checking in on participants, many of whom are at high risk for COVID and live alone," says Lisa Milton, LIVESTRONG® at the YMCA Instructor. "Some are still receiving treatment. One told me I was the only person that had checked in on her and knowing we cared meant a lot. Our team is planning ways for us to 'get together' on Zoom very soon. We can't wait. We miss you!" 
Notes From Your Y Welcome Center Staff
Your membership staff loves and misses you! Many of our Welcome Center staff are keeping busy with hobbies, such as reading, drawing and creating bead art.

"I miss seeing all of your faces and having the Y hallways be loud and vibrant, filled with casual hellos, simple check-ins and deep conversations," says Kari Porter, Senior Director of Member Experience. 

"It's so weird being stuck at home! I hope that you have been feeling love from your Y staff through our collective phone calls, e-mails, Zoom classes, YouTube classes, group check-ins and one-on-one inquiries. I look forward to reacquainting myself with all of you lovely people! In the meantime, I'm doing my best to stay sane at home. When I am not busy with Y work, I'm struggling to parent my kids in their new online schooling schedules, pulling weeds, talking to the blueberry bushes and eating delicious home-cooked meals with the family. I feel I have so much to be thankful and grateful for and even on hard and stressful days, I go to bed with hope and high intentions for the next day."
Thank you, Y Volunteers!
Happy National Volunteer Appreciation Week! Did you know that the YMCA began as a volunteer-run organization in 1844 in the United Kingdom?

Your Y is so grateful to all of our amazing volunteers--- from our Board of Directors and Youth Sports coaches to our volunteer instructors and Capital Campaign Cabinet. We could not fulfill our mission without their generosity and support. 
Resources in the Community
It's National Week of Dance! Visit the City of Eugene's website to access free online p erformances and dance workshops to participate in and celebrate the art of dance.

There is a relatively new program available for all teens, family members and teachers in our community through White Bird. It's called HOOTS: Helping Out Our Teens in Schools. Counselors are available by phone or e-mail to assist student learning from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., Monday through Friday.

For 4J, Bethel and Eugene charter schools: 
(541) 246-2342

For Oakridge, Springfield and South Lane schools: 
(541) 246-2332

For video chats, e-mail
Our Virtual Check-in Allows Us to Understand Our Impact
Your Y is working hard behind closed doors to bring wellness into your homes. We are excited to be able to provide Zoom classes for our Y members so we can continue staying healthy together! 

Since so many of you are already doing the YouTube and Live Zoom classes, we want you to be in the know about our new  Virtual Check-in. You will find your member barcode located on your Y membership card or key card. It is a six-digit code. If you can not locate that number, either send an e-mail to membership@eugeneymca.org or call us 9 a.m.-5 p.m., Monday-Friday at (541) 686-9622 and we will get your barcode number. 

When you check in, your Y has the ability to track your health efforts and lets us know you're keeping up with your wellness! We are proud of you and hope you are home staying strong, safe and thriving. 
Your Y in the News
Geoff Norcross, Morning Edition host for Oregon Public Broadcasting, interviewed your Y's own Holly Kriz-Anderson, Youth Development Director, about how our emergency child care programs look in the time of social distancing.

Holly explains how youth development staff adapts child care to meet social distancing protocols and how the partnership with school districts and the city was established so quickly.

"It really wasn't thought about how we are going to have all these families pay for (child care)," Holly said. "It was that we knew there was a need there and it needed to happen so we could keep our community safe."

Thank you,  Open for Business , the Eugene Area Chamber of Commerce's magazine, for informing our community about the Y's exciting business news: CEO Brian's Cause Communicator of the Year Award and former NFL star Chris Miller's volunteer work with the Capital Campaign Cabinet.

Stay tuned at KMTR , KEZI  and The Register-Guard for news stories about your Y's 133rd birthday and how we celebrated!

We miss you!