This will be a memorable year for many reasons, several of which we would rather forget. Fittingly, 2020 marks the 40th anniversary of the YMCA in our community. Although challenged by the COVID-19 shutdown, the YMCA continues to serve our community and is taking steps to secure its ability to serve for generations to come.

Since the pandemic forced its closing in March, the YMCA has continued to serve with childcare, summer day camp, blood drives, senior wellness checks, outdoor fitness classes, virtual fitness classes and Diabetes Prevention classes. In June we ran summer day camp and opened the pool for family swim times, swim lessons, lap swimming and individual water workouts.

Additionally, the Y is providing a Back to School Academy with all-day and hybrid full/partial-day care in a safe and enriching environment. Children ages 5-12 are provided time and assistance to login to assigned virtual learning, online school work and worksheets. They also enjoy swimming, youth sports clinics, arts and crafts, STEM programming, indoor & outdoor playtime, group activities and virtual field trips.

Beginning in September, the Y will provide access to members who urgently need our support for their physician-directed care with access to indoor fitness equipment. This service is in accordance with the governor’s Executive Order 151, and meets all requirements of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control, N.C. Department of Health and Human Services and Granville-Vance Public Health. While a written prescription is required by the executive order, the member and medical provider is not required to disclose the reason, medical information or disability.

For 40 years, the Henderson Family YMCA has been, continues and always will be about service to the community. Our commitment is to serve the needs of youth, families, seniors, health seekers and those suffering with chronic diseases as we emerge from the pandemic. Life will be different, but the Y will help rebuild relationships and restore a sense of community for all.

It all begins with the Henderson Family YMCA’s mission statement: “To put Christian principles into practice through programs that build a healthy body, mind and spirit for all.” Every decision we make and every action we take is informed by Jesus’ instruction to “love one another.”

The ability of the YMCA to fulfill this mission rests with all of us. The Y is only as strong as the support it receives from the community. It does not receive financial support from YMCA of the USA or any other corporate structure. It does not make money for any owner, franchisee or shareholder. The YMCA is a local non-profit organization supported by the people in the community. Only by our support of the Y, is the Y able to support us and enhance our quality of life.

A special thanks to those members who have stayed with us throughout the shutdown. They not only helped the Y, they made an investment in the wellbeing of their neighbors and community.

History will find 2020 a memorable year. Much that has happened has been outside of our control. Yet, what is within our control is how we respond. The YMCA is uniquely positioned to support our community as we emerge from this pandemic into a new reality where much will be different. Yet, there is great comfort knowing that something remains, like the YMCA and the dedicated board and staff that ensures its mission is fulfilled.

For more information about how the Y is serving our community or how you can help our YMCA, please contact Paul Ross, paulr@henfamymca.org or 252-438-2144.