Tampa YMCA Youth Relief Care Plan

In response to our Tampa community’s critical need right now and in cooperation with health care providers and emergency management, the Tampa YMCA is providing youth care relief to support the families of essential workers who are playing important roles combating COVID-19.

Through this program, the YMCA is providing health care systems with a necessary service that they would not otherwise have had during this unprecedented time when more and more people need their care. According to healthcare professionals, the YMCA is stepping up for their workers, who are already risking their lives every day, and need the peace of mind having their kids in a safe place.

Our community has a critical need to provide essential healthcare services to those directly impacted by COVID-19. At the Y, everything we do is guided by our cause to strengthen communities, and we have an obligation to do all we can to assist the families of caregivers who play an essential role in our community’s capacity to treat and contain this virus. The CDC and health officials both nationally and locally have recommended social distancing and avoiding large groups as an important line of defense in slowing the spread of COVID-19. To do our part, we are implementing additional proactive measures at a great expense to the Y. All Tampa Bay area YMCA locations were closed effective Tuesday, March 17. We are closing those locations for purpose as we will transition these centers to serve exclusively as all-day, school-age, youth relief care for essential workers to help support the children of healthcare and emergency response professionals who are playing important roles combating the coronavirus. These services began on Monday, March 23, from 7 AM to 6 PM weekdays and will continue as the need persists. We will look to serve close to 1,200 youth every day at 11 facilities throughout Hillsborough and Pasco counties.

We remain committed to helping keep Tampa Bay healthy and strong in spirit, mind and body. Children will have the opportunity to engage in constructive activities; including arts and crafts, outdoor games, and time to focus on pre-assigned academics. The Y is committed to help kids stay on grade level as a result of participation in our Youth Development programming. We will be working closely with our local school districts to provide grade appropriate academic support for these youth during out of school time. With schools closed through at least May 1st, the “summer slide” may start early this year. Providing a routine, structure, and disguised-learning games will help children maintain their learning while also enjoying socially and emotionally enriching activities. All while allowing their parents to get back to work and provide the vital services that our community needs to address this current pandemic. At the 11 Tampa Y locations, all children in attendance will receive daily breakfast and lunch, complimentary of Hillsborough Schools Student Nutrition Service.

Thanks to the incredible generosity of Florida Blue and valued YMCA members, we are able to offer these relief care services to families for just $10 per day. However, the Tampa Y continues to bear some of the heavy operational expenses required to provide this care, so we need your help now more than ever. Please join us as we work together to keep our Tampa Bay community strong. We greatly appreciate your consideration.

Full program: We will look to serve close to 3,000 youth every day at over 25 facilities throughout Hillsborough, Hernando, Citrus, Pasco, Pinellas, and Sarasota counties.

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