Our COVID-19 Response

Published 03.26.20


Dear California community members:
So much has changed for all of us in the last ten days since we shared our first general update on California YMCAs responding to the COVID-19 pandemic. Our imperative to stand united as Californians in the face of our challenges is more evident than ever. Above all else, we stand with you in doing everything we can to stop the spread of the coronavirus, making necessary sacrifices to flatten the curve, and committing to do so as extensively as is required for the health and safety of all.
Our YMCAs have closed all facilities and standard operations. We have had to make and operationalize numerous difficult decisions that affect our members, our staff, and our communities. We have made these decisions with careful consideration, while having to respond to a rapidly changing set of circumstances.
Many of our YMCAs are providing emergency childcare for essential personnel in partnership with hospitals, grocers, and other essential service providers. We are closely following federal, state and local guidelines to ensure the health and safety of the children, our staff and the families we are serving. Additionally, many of our YMCAs are providing meal distribution services in partnership with school districts, following guidelines for health and safety closely.
For our fitness members, many of our YMCAs are rapidly expanding virtual fitness class offerings. In many cases, these offerings are being extended to the general public as a service to our greater communities. Many virtual classes and engagements for children and seniors are being presented as well.
YMCAs have served California for over 160 years, including during times of war and outbreaks of disease. The common thread for our service has always been to rise to the challenge and respond to the specific needs of the moment. As we stated in our first update, how we do that may change, but why we do it will not: we are stronger together.
In that spirit, we welcome partnerships to tackle this challenge together. We have a committed, connected network of YMCA professionals across the state with a broad range of knowledge and skills. We have facilities from border to border with the potential for creative application during this challenge. We have a network of thousands of members and volunteers throughout California who live and breathe their love for their communities every day.
We remain steadfast in our commitment to stand with Californians to provide an enduring space for wellness, community, and essential services. We are here with you.
In gratitude,
Kris Lev-Twombly CEO,
California State Alliance of YMCAs
Ronnie Stone CEO,
YMCA of Southeast Ventura County Board Chair,
California State Alliance of YMCAs