April 16, 2020

Your Y's Youth Development team is at the forefront of responding to our community's changing needs. It was afterschool care mere weeks ago; now it's all-day, socially distant care. Connection used to mean sitting side-by-side with a child and listening intently; now, it's verbally explaining the support available and using encouraging words to express connection.
"The little kids are confused," says Y child care provider, Maria Huether. "One little one said to me, "'I thought I was supposed to share' when I told her to keep the toys for herself."

Each child has their own set of Legos, markers, pencils and school homework packet. Sets of cards are waterproof so they are easily sanitized. Kids are washing their hands so much that parents have bought extra lotion to keep their hands from getting chapped. The kids' desks are spaced at least 6-feet apart and each child is issued an individual pool noodle for the day.

"The creativity of the Y staff is incredible," says Chelsea Whitney, a county public health nurse and a parent of a 7-year-old. "At Holt Elementary, the kids played pool-noodle tag so that you tag another child only if you touch them with the end of your pool noodle."
Y staff Maria

Now that Gov. Kate Brown closed schools for the rest of the school year,  parents in these critical child care programs lean on Y staff to facilitate learning outside of the classroom.

"Work is more stressful right now," says parent Chelsea Holland-Bak, a manager at PeaceHealth's Oregon Cardiology department. "It is massively helpful that my kids come home tired and having completed their school work during the day. I can visit with them, make dinner and connect instead of nagging about school work."

The ask of the Y's child care staff providing emergency care right now is not to be overlooked. Staff members are placing themselves at higher risk than those who stay home and they are contending with stressful situations and new policies. These staff are to be commended and, like many other Y staff who are going above and beyond during the Covid-19 pandemic, are being rewarded for their level of commitment to our community. As an organization, we recognize the undeniable value these staff have to our community and keeping its families well and thriving.

Y staff Maritza
Child care workers are hypervigilant about sanitizing spaces and toys, reminding kiddos to maintain distance and providing comfort in new ways to students while keeping everyone's health and safety as a top priority.

Maritza Ruiz, one of the Y's multi-site coordinators, says that staff shares articles about staying connected, relieving stress and leaning on co-workers.  Y child care providers are encouraged to take days off to de-stress and regroup, with confidence that there is always someone available to stand in for them.

Y leaders recognize both the necessity to take care of our child care providers and the absolute necessity for child care to be available for first responders, medical professionals and essential workers for however long is needed.

"We have been, and always will be, here for our community," says Holly Kriz-Anderson, Youth Development Director and Vice-President of Operations. "For as long as our nurses, doctors, firefighters and other essential workers are showing up for work, we will show up to give the very best care to their kids. No one in our community should be worried about the safety and well-being of their children while they go out and save lives or otherwise serve our community."
Please take a moment to STAND WITH YOUR Y
We are incredibly grateful for the tremendous response to the STAND WITH YOUR Y $25,000 challenge match!

So far, we have raised more than half of our goal--- a total of $14,263 from 84 donors toward the match.
We need to raise an additional $10,737 to meet the match by month's end. Your gift to this campaign ensures that we are able to continue offering free child care to our medical providers, first responders and essential workers, provide fitness classes online to keep our community physically active in the safety of their homes and offer work-from-home solutions to our staff during the closure.
Here are examples of the impact your gift is making for families continuing to work in essential fields:

Free all-day care:
  • $45/day per child
  • $135/3 days per child
  • $225/week per child
  • $900/month per child
You can make a gift to the campaign and DOUBLE YOUR IMPACT HERE

Thank you so much for your support!
Words From Your Y Family: Stand With Your Y
Your kind, generous words... 

Thank you, Leone, for Standing With Your Y!

Thank you, Jolie, for Standing With Your Y!

Your Y Encourages Kids With New Video Challenge
Local sports celebrities have partnered with your Y to encourage kids to be healthy and active, while staying engaged with your Y.
A series of video challenges demonstrated by student and adult athletes (some likely to be your kiddos' heroes!) will be posted on social media to spark creative movement and showcase new skills.
Here's how it works: 
  • The Challenge of the Week will be announced in the Behind Closed Doors e-news update every Wednesday.
  • Each challenge can be done safely from home with limited equipment.
  • Kids record a video demonstrating the Challenge of the Week and post it to their family's Facebook page (with adult permission) by Sunday nights.
  • Participants must tag @EugeneFamilyYMCA and include #YKidsChallenge in the description to be considered to win.
  • The winner will be chosen based on a clear demonstration of the challenge, as well as creativity, enthusiasm and positivity.
Y gear goes to the winner!

Keep an eye out NEXT WEDNESDAY, April 22 for the first Y Kids' Challenge! 

Your Y's Stall Street Journal distributed to personal bathrooms!

You may be watching your Y's YouTube videos or accessing the live Zoom classes, but your bathroom stop surely leaves you missing Y news. Fear not! The Stall Street Journal is HERE, ready for you to print and post in your personal restroom.
Challenge Accepted with Glee!
Imagine your Y's delight when Willamalane Park and Rec District  publicly challenged us to create a Sing-Along Video for the community. They know that they challenged an organization with a 42-year-old popular anthem, right?
Your Y's star-studded cast includes Rich Palmieri, Robbie Petitit, Eric de Pew, Brian Steffen, Colleen Glick, Lisa MacMaster and --- from their own studio --- Kim Miller and Sabrina Hershey-Black.
The video has not gone viral--- yet. View it HERE
A Note From Your Y Staff Melissa
"The building is so quiet and not nearly as exciting without all of you here!  However, I am hoping you are able to enjoy the extra snuggle time at home. Sending you tons of love and hugs. I hope to see all your littles' faces very soon!"

Love, Miss Melissa 

Y Instructors in Real Time
Your Y is known for its heart. Our fitness instructors' connections with class participants is why some members have returned to the same class for three decades. Your Y's warm Welcome Center staff is the reason why some members spend hours in the lobby each week. Closing our doors made those connections so very difficult.
Our first efforts to connect and promote health and wellness resulted in YouTube fitness classes. We hope you will continue to return to those workouts while our doors are closed or, in the future, when you are on vacation or traveling for work.
In the meantime, we have invited our active members to live Zoom fitness classes scheduled throughout the week.
If you are a current member and you need more information about joining our live Zoom classes, e-mail wellness@eugeneymca.org.
Calling Y Family High School Seniors
Your Y is grieving along with high school seniors whose 13 years of education should have culminated in a traditional graduation. Celebrations such as prom and senior-skip day won't be made up. Sports, music and theater finales have been wiped from the calendars. And typical social gatherings have moved to awkward video conferencing or Facetime chats.
It's been hard enough for adults to navigate, not to mention our 18-year-olds struggling to understand their future.
Your Y wants to showcase and celebrate those seniors in a special Y way!
Any local seniors who learned to swim at your Y, attended Y preschool or summer camps, played Y sports or connected with Y staff in a special way are invited to e-mail their senior photo and their photo as a young Y child to sarah@eugeneymca.org for use in our newsletters, social media and Web site.
We can't wait to celebrate our Y family seniors with a special tribute!
A Note From Your Y Aquatics Director Sabrina
"This past weekend marked one month since the Y closed its doors to the public. I know I have not fully become adjusted to all the changes that have taken place or adapted to all the things that need adapting to. What I can say is that as time passes, I find myself missing the little things that I used to take for granted. 
One of those things has been the sayings that longtime Y member Tim Boyden writes up on the big whiteboard in the Aquatics Center. I can't tell you exactly when this little waterworld tradition started, but I can tell you that it has been a long time. 
One of Tim's whiteboard inspirational messages
Typically, Tim is one of our Y's many early morning water exercisers and part of his routine is that he locates the whiteboard markers and will write a saying up on the Board. His sayings are sometimes funny, ironic, poignant and always thoughtful. 
I don't know if Tim realizes the impact he has on our aquatic members. On numerous occasions, his sayings spark a conversation between members. I have seen members pause for a moment to read and reflect. I, myself, look forward to reading them each day and taking a minute to think about how they are relevant, how they open my mind and touch my heart.
Thank you for giving us some words of inspiration. I am so happy that you are giving us your tidbits of knowledge via social media --- so creative!"
Please Ask for Federal Help for Nonprofits
It is critical that the next phase of the federal coronavirus response includes supports for nonprofits like your Y and our employees in the next bill.
Rep. Seth Moulton (D-MA) and Rep. Brian Fitzpatrick (R-PA) have written a bipartisan letter urging House and Senate leadership to make support for nonprofits a top priority in the next phase of crisis relief. 

Please encourage your members of Congress to sign on to this letter to make sure nonprofits are  a top priority for federal support.
Resources in the Community
The Lane County chapter of the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) has created virtual support groups and resources during this stressful time.
Connection Peer Support Zoom Group
Mondays: 6 to 7:30 p.m.
Register for next week's meeting HERE.

Connection Peer Support Zoom Group
Wednesdays: 6:30 to 8 p.m.
Register for next week's meeting HERE.
NAMI Lane County has also compiling resources from community partners that address the needs of our community.
If you or someone you know is experiencing a crisis and/or need some additional support please call:
  • CAHOOTS: 541-682-5111
  • NAMI Help Line: 1-800-950-6264
  • SAMHSA's National Helpline: 1-800-662-4357
  • National Suicide Prevention Hotline: 1-800-273-8255
  • Institute on Aging's Friendship Line: 1-800-971-0016
  • Trevor's Lifeline: 1-866-488-7386
  • Trans Lifeline: 1-877-565-8860
Your Y in the News
Please take a moment to review these media reports about your Y. We are so grateful to live in a community with robust journalism!
KEZI 9 News reported on our expansion of emergency child care to essential workers and quoted Y family member, Chelsea Whitney.

Chelsea, a public health nurse and mother of a child in the program says, "This is a huge relief to know that Riley was going to be some place with people that know them, who had known them for a while and was an organization that we really trusted to deliver quality care."
KEZI also covered your Y's ability to help facilitate distance learning for children in emergency child care and spoke to Multi-Site Coordinator Maritza Ruiz, who said "We don't run like a typical school...there are short times of academic work."

The Register-Guard published our CEO Brian Steffen's Guest Viewpoint, a personal account of the recovery after flooding in Minot, North Dakota to reinforce his belief in the power of resilience, compassion and kindness in the face of chaos.
"The coronavirus has forced us to learn how a microscopic virus can bring global economies and vast cities to their knees. It is now up to us to demonstrate how compassion, something no microscope can even see, can rebuild neighborhoods, homes, families and businesses. This compassion cannot be passive. It must motivate us to sustain tangible action. Today we fight the virus by closing our doors. Tomorrow, we fight its impact by opening our hearts."
The Daily Emerald, the UO student newspaper, covered our emergency child care programs and interviewed parents accessing the care now.
"Boy, I can't imagine surviving without the YMCA right now, or all the time for that matter," said Chelsea Holland-Bak, the manager of Oregon Cardiology and PeaceHealth Medical Group cardiothoracic surgery. "I have relied upon them to help keep my kids safe and sound and occupied for the days when we're at work, and I am so very grateful for the support that we've been provided during the COVID-19 crisis, it's incredible."
(For a complete list of all Eugene Family YMCA news, please click HERE.)
Your Y turns 133 years old! 
Your Y turns 133 years old next Wednesday. Of course, it is not a celebration without YOU!
While we can't open our doors to welcome you to a balloon-filled, cake-serving party, we are doing what we do best: giving back. We'll be sending a parade of Youth Development buses loaded with some special Y treats to our coronavirus front-line workers who have been so selfless in their protection of our community.
Thank you, first responders, medical professionals and essential workers as you continue to serve our community with dedication, compassion and courage!