May 6, 2020  

Your Y, in partnership with Willamalane Park and Recreation District, Eugene Rec and River Road Park & Recreation District, is launching a Water Watchers Campaign this week to encourage individuals to commit to keeping kids in and around the water safe.

It is especially important now that Oregon's weather is warming up and drowning accidents have increased in some warm-weather states as kids stay home from school due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Water Watchers Campaign urges individuals to sign a pledge declaring their commitment to watching children in and around pools and other water bodies and responding in the case of an emergency. May is National Water Safety Month.
"Water safety is always a top priority, especially in Oregon where families love to spend time outside--- in the comfort of their own yard or at any one of our state's beautiful swimming holes," says Sabrina Hershey Black, the Y's Aquatics Director. "This year is particularly worrisome because coronavirus has kept kids out of school and busy parents are trying to juggle work and parenting. When we pull out kiddie pools and inflatable pools or take trips to nearby ponds, lakes or streams, we need to make sure that children are supervised at all times."

According to the nonprofit Water Smart Tots, drowning deaths in Florida are up 70 percent compared to this same time last year. In Texas, 17 children have drowned in 2020 so far--- already one-fifth of the total drowning deaths for 2019.

Even before coronavirus sent kids home and families seeking ways to get outside without spreading the virus, drowning was the 3rd leading cause of unintentional injury death worldwide, according to the World Health Organization. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says that in 2017, drowning claimed the lives of almost 1,000 U.S. children.

The Water Watchers campaign aims to raise awareness of the preventable deaths and reduce the number of incidents this year.

Those who pledge agree that they have a responsibility to keep kids safe in and around water.  They pledge to:

The Water Watchers pledge can be completed virtually HERE. The first 250 people to sign up receive a Water Watcher sticker.

"The Y has always been at the forefront of water safety by providing a safe environment for families to be in the water together and encouraging kids of all ages to learn to swim," says Y CEO Brian Steffen. "The Water Watchers campaign is yet another way we are evolving to meet the needs around water safety, particularly as coronavirus has families seeking ways to avoid people while having fun around the water."
Y Kids' Challenge Sees New Acrobatic Rolls
Tumbling Challenge Draws Creative Rolls

We're excited to announce the winners of the
Week 2  tumbling/rolling challenge:  Y members Sam and Ben

These siblings showed off their creative rolling in response to UO Acrobatics and Tumbling star Lexi Cross' invitation through the Y Kids' Challenge. They'll receive some great Y prizes. 

Thank you to all who participated this week--- your rolling and tumbling was incredible! 
We Love Our Teachers!
This year, Teacher Appreciation Week takes on a whole new meaning. Your Y is grateful for and immensely proud of our community's teachers who have continued to educate our kids in the midst of these challenging times. THANK YOU for your dedication to the youth of Lane County. We appreciate you this week and every week!

Your Y wants to give a special shout-out to our Youth Development Staff who have stepped up to provide emergency childcare to first responders, medical professionals and essential workers. You are ROCK STARS and we are lucky you are part of our team. 
Your Y Has Made Finding Virtual Classes a Breeze!
Y fitness staff continue to bring fun and effective workout videos right to your homes! You can find recordings of workouts, instructions for virtual check-in and a link to your Y's YouTube channel.
We are so grateful that members are enjoying the Y virtually while our doors are closed. Thank you for your support!

"Thank you guys for providing these classes online. You're the best! Love you all."
--- Y member Tom

"Thank you YMCA staff. You are beyond exceptional. I am enjoying the live zoom and the videos. So appreciate you guys."
--- Y member Vanitha

Ask Your Senators to be Y Champions!
A few weeks ago, your Y asked you to take action in supporting local nonprofits by signing a petition and writing to your senators. Thanks to your tremendous advocacy, 142 members of Congress signed onto the bipartisan letter by U.S. Rep. Seth Moulton (D-MA) and U.S. Rep. Brian Fitzpatrick (R-PA) calling for support of nonprofits to be included in the next COVID relief bill.

We are thrilled at the progress, but our work is not done yet! We ask you to join us once again in advocating for the support of nonprofits like the YMCA and so many other wonderful charitable organizations. 

Please take a moment to  SIGN ON  to this bipartisan letter to support Oregon's nonprofits. Thank you in advance for partnering with us to make a difference!
Edition No. 4 of Your Y's Stall Street Journal Available

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.

High School Seniors Deserve Special Y Tribute 
Your Y knows that graduating is a big deal! We are saddened alongside our community's seniors who have finished 13 years of education that should have culminated in a traditional graduation ceremony. While we can't make up for that day, we do want 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 for use in our newsletters, social media and Web site.

We can't wait to celebrate our community's seniors in a special way!
A Note from Y Staff Rich 
"These days, as I turn the key to unlock our Y's doors, I enter an unfamiliar building for sure. Devoid of members, colleagues, friends, laughter, familiar faces and smiles and so much more. It's surreal to say the least. I know, however, that the Y will pedal on; for the Y is not just a building, but a community of closely knit members. A community that is based on compassion, fun, support, honesty and love. The Y community will continue to thrive and provide, and our Y building will soon be full and feel like home again. Great appreciation to you, our Y community."

--- Rich, Member Engagement Specialist
A Note from an Anonymous Y Member 
One of our beloved Y members has been staying busy these past couple of months by giving back to her community. She has been volunteering with local food banks to help deliver food boxes to individuals and families in need. 

In addition to delivering food, she has helped with directing traffic in the food pantry parking lot during peak hours. Her whimsical outfit definitely adds some flare to her position!

"I was afraid my outfit would be seen as flippant, not taking this crisis seriously. But many actually thanked me for making them laugh and smile! People were really needing that."

We know many of our members are out there serving our community in various selfless ways. Thank you for making our city stronger and brighter! 
Community Resources
The City of Eugene Rec Athletics is offering two new programs to encourage members of our community to stay moving:

A Mile a Day in May All you need to do is move 1 mile every day! You can walk, run, ride, skip, hop or roll--- as long as it's for a mile! Track your activity and be entered to win prizes. Registration closes Saturday, May 9th! 

A Virtual Walk/Run/Ride 5k . During the week of May 17-23, walk, run or ride 3.1 miles. Do it on the road, on a trail, or on the treadmill/stationary bike. Basically anywhere that you can safely do the activity while maintaining a 6 feet distance between others. You get to run your own race, at your own pace, and time it yourself. 

Kids need movement too! In addition to your Y's kid workouts: Simple Drills for Kids or Families and our Kid/Partner Workout  (and next week Kids Yoga and Kids Dance), we've compiled these:
Willamalane has created an entire series of videos specifically for Families at Home: you can learn how to make the ultimate pizza, set up a kid-friendly obstacle course and sing-along to a kid's song!

Vivek Murthy M.D., Former US Surgeon General and Author of "Together: The Healing Power of Human Connection in a Sometimes Lonely World" hosts an online program tomorrow, Thursday, May 7, from 4-5 p.m. about Fighting Loneliness During COVID-19 and Beyond. He will be joined by Dr. Lucy Kalanithi for a poignant conversation on his four key strategies to weather this epidemic during this difficult time and beyond. Sign up  HERE.  
Y in the News
Eugene Weekly highlighted the Y's virtual health and wellness programs, which stemmed from our closure due to COVID-19. Despite the challenges, there have been so many silver linings.

"Dogs and cats don't care if you're teaching a group class," says Kim Miller, the Y's Director of Health and Wellness and Healthy Living. "That's one of the fun things members are enjoying: They love seeing our pets wander through."

NW 50 Plus Magazine featured your Y's own Kim Miller who offered tips and stretches that you can use on car trips to reduce pain and stress on your muscles and enjoy the ride.  

"Extended periods of sitting can cause muscles in your body, especially those in the front of the body such as hip flexors, quadriceps, chest, upper back and neck, to tighten up...It will be worth your time to break up long stretches of driving with plenty of rest stops. Stopping and getting out of your vehicle every hour to walk for a few minutes, move and stretch, and use a restroom is ideal."

The city of Eugene produced a video called "Progress Toward a Healthy and Safe Community," which included highlights of your Y's role in setting up critical child care services for first responders and medical professionals.