The YMCAs of California are trusted community partners, which makes them an excellent choice to provide information about COVID-19 to their communities. The California State Alliance was invited to participate in two COVID-19 awareness opportunities in partnerships with the Sierra Health Foundation and the California Department of Public Health (CDPH).
With funding and technical support from CDPH and the Sierra Health Foundation, our YMCAs are providing valuable resources to their communities, informing them about full family COVID-19 vaccinations, and giving them the opportunity to become vaccinated through vaccination clinics hosted by YMCAs.
Vaccine Equity Campaign
The Vaccine Equity Campaign is a grant program through the Sierra Health Foundation focusing on bringing COVID-19 vaccination clinics and COVID-19 resources to communities that lack access to them.
YMCA Healthy Kid’s Day events have been a great opportunity for the entire family to enjoy a day together centered around leading a healthy lifestyle, and an ideal venue for YMCAs to give information to families about COVID-19 vaccinations. Some California YMCAs provided direct vaccination pop-up clinics at these events and used healthy and fun incentives to encourage families to protect themselves from COVID-19.
Within the common goals and objectives of the Vaccine Equity Campaign, each YMCA has approached the grant in unique ways for their community:
- Central Coast YMCA partnered with their public health department to host biweekly vaccination pop-up sites. They also offered testing at their local branches for families.
- Southeast Ventura County YMCA partnered with Bien Vecino, another locally trusted community partner, to host vaccination pop-up sites.
- YMCA of Greater Whittier utilized their parent communication app to reach their childcare families with information and vaccine-access opportunities.
- Sonoma County Family YMCA broadcasted a PSA through their local radio stations.
- YMCA of Superior California sent postcards to their community members with information on vaccination pop-up sites in their area.
- Corona-Norco Family YMCA reached their community through multiple pop-up vaccination booths at local events.
Through these approaches, our YMCAs have informed over 11,000 people about COVID-19. They were also able to vaccinate over 700 people.
Youth Engagement Participation Program
The Youth Engagement Participation Program is a project of the Vaccinate All 58 campaign of the California Department of Public Health, focusing on educating youth and centering their voices as leaders on safe practices to prevent COVID-19 infections and the importance of COVID-19 vaccinations based on the latest guidance.
Anaheim Family YMCA, YMCA of San Joaquin County, and YMCA of West San Gabriel Valley have utilized their summer day camp programs to engage youth in discussions around COVID-19.
In collaboration with one another, these YMCAs created 13 different lesson plans that explained transmission of germs, how to keep themselves safe from COVID-19, and involved new, innovative ways to think about COVID-19.
On top of creating engaging, dynamic lessons for their day campers, these YMCAs also provided COVID-19 prevention activities and resources at their local community events. YMCA of San Joaquin County hosted a “Tie-Dye Your Own Mask” event at their local pool nights. Anaheim Family YMCA provided families information at their resource fairs in high-need areas. YMCA of West San Gabriel Valley hosted a vaccination site to provide families with the opportunity to get vaccinated.
We are excited to share that the California State Alliance of YMCAs has renewed its partnership with the Sierra Health Foundation for a second round of funding and support for our local YMCAs. Participating YMCAs for this round are the Anaheim Family YMCA, YMCA of West San Gabriel Valley, Central Coast YMCA, YMCA of Greater Whittier, Corona-Norco Family YMCA, and Sonoma County Family YMCA.
We look forward to sharing additional updates on this partnership in the months ahead.