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YMCA OF GREATER RICHMOND 2021 IMPACT REPORT
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“I CANNOT DO ALL THE GOOD THAT THE WORLD NEEDS. BUT THE WORLD NEEDS ALL THE GOOD THAT I CAN DO.” - JANA STANFIELD
DEAR FRIENDS, I am so happy to share with you the 2021 Impact Report for the YMCA OF GREATER RICHMOND. This was a year of recovery and transition as the Y resumed, adapted and expanded our programs and services to serve our neighbors. At every step, the Y has leaned in to listen and respond to the changing needs of our community. For the last 168 years, the YMCA OF GREATER RICHMOND has invested in children, families and adults in the Richmond region. From the pool to the classroom to the wellness floor, we have worked hard to create spaces where everyone feels they belong. Today, we are committed to standing alongside families in our community, in the places and spaces they need us, to offer access to the connections and support we all need to thrive. So much of this trajectory of the Y can be attributed to the sharp vision of our CEO, Abby Rogers, who took the helm in January 2021. Whether renovating our Manchester Y and Welcome Center, expanding Community Health and Social Needs Navigation or developing the Y’s Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Strategic Plan, her vision has been driven by the goal of creating opportunity for all. As outgoing Board Chair, I feel deeply confident in the bright future of the Y. I could not be prouder of our staff for their steadfast dedication and resilience. And I could not be more grateful to our members, donors and friends who continue to trust in and support this work. Nothing is impossible when we partner to continue to be Here. For Good. Be well,
GORDON FRUETEL 2021 BOARD CHAIR YMCA OF GREATER RICHMOND 3
the YMCA OF GREATER RICHMOND has been committed to community development, working with our neighbors to bring about transformational change together. Today, nearly 200,000 children and adults engage with our programs each year through our branches and community sites in neighborhoods throughout the greater Richmond area. We provide $6.5 million annually in financial assistance to children, families and adults, so the Y remains open to all. The YMCA is Here. For Good.
FROM LONELY TO LEADERS When Josh Young, Teen Director for Leaders’ Club at the Chester Family YMCA, brought his club back together in person last year he was worried. “COVID-19 was challenging. Morale was low. Teens were emotionally tired and feeling hopeless,” reflects Josh. The Chester Leaders' Club has always been a tight-knit group. Although these middle and high school teens come from different neighborhoods and schools in the surrounding area, the negative impact of pandemic-related school closures and social disruption was a common theme. In 2021, able to again meet each week at the Y, these teens shared their emotional challenges and through service projects like Community Clean-up, Trunk-or-Treat, Community Food Distribution, Y Cross Country volunteering and the Kiwanis Chester Christmas Parade, they regained their sense of purpose. The camaraderie and shared experiences have had an extraordinary effect on their mental health and outlook. These young leaders can again envision the bright futures on their horizons. Josh has seen positive changes in all these young leaders including 3 formerly quiet, timid teens who bravely stepped into Executive Leadership positions in the Fall. “They used to express to me a sense of loneliness, but now are known throughout the other clubs for their genuine spirit,” boasts Josh. “All these things they struggled with – and still do from time to time – are what drive them to be even more a part of Leaders’ Club…to make sure that other teens in our Club and throughout the Y do not feel the way they did in 2020.”
“I am so proud of them.” 7
LEARNING SKIL 10
Language barrier no match for learning to swim at the Y
Imagine having a deep fear of swimming and living in a country where you speak little of the language, when, on a hot summer day in Virginia, your children ask you to take them swimming. Should you go? What if they need assistance in the pool? How would you help? Could you even communicate on behalf of your children? This was the motivation for four brave women watching their children play and swim at the SHADY GROVE FAMILY YMCA. When Aquatics Director Autumn Floyd offered to teach them to swim, it wasn’t an easy decision to make. The women were afraid and only one could speak English well enough to offer translation. Autumn successfully coaxed them into the water in October 2021, and, despite their fears, they trusted her. They trusted that they would be safe at their Y. Autumn was patient, the women invested time and focused on her directions, and their mutual trust and relationship grew. “They learned what I was saying through body language and I too learned their sarcasm and silliness through tone and body language. We have all grown from this experience,” reflects Autumn. It is the intentionally welcoming, inclusive environment at the Y that opened this opportunity; allowing four women the comfortable space, attention and care they needed to learn a new skill that will ultimately lead to the health and safety of their entire family. These are the ways the Y lifts members of our community, meeting them wherever they are along their journey, to help them thrive. 11
NEARLY 200,000 CHILDREN AND ADULTS ENGAGED WITH Y PROGRAMS.
MORE THAN 3,000 KIDS WERE ENROLLED IN AFTER-SCHOOL PROGRAMS—2 out of 3 children received financial assistance.
9,000 KIDS PARTICIPATED IN YOUTH SPORTS—15% received financial assistance.
NEARLY 500 TEENS participated Y Leaders’ and Achievers Clubs.
Social Needs Navigation helped MORE THAN 350 INDIVIDUALS.
NEARLY 5,000 KIDS WERE IN CAMP.
MORE THAN 1,200 KIDS PARTICIPATED IN POWER SCHOLARS ACADEMY—more than ever before with two
new school districts, Henrico and Goochland.
6,891 VOLUNTEERS across the Association
DONATED 48,792 HOURS OF TIME.
MORE THAN 8,000 INDIVIDUALS participated in Aquatics Programs.
142 PARTICIPANTS took part in Aging Strong and Active Adult programming.
G STARTS HERE
Mr. Marcellus Johnson
Mrs. Margaret Harris
Social isolation is a leading factor of overall cognitive decline and morbidity for older adults, and nearly a quarter of seniors in our region are economically insecure or live alone. The fellowship that seniors experience at the Y helps keep them vibrant. We reintroduced our physical activity offerings, and we were intentional about including more time and space for social connection opportunities. We are on track to return to 2019 levels of 500 Aging Strong participants through leveraging community impact efforts and remodeled partnerships to fill the gaps that the pandemic shined a light on that affect many seniors like food security, transportation and technology. Mrs. Margaret Harris participates regularly in the Aging Strong Café and is filled with lots of hope and goals for herself. She is a wife of 50 years and a crafter who teaches classes in her building. Mrs. Harris says she has raised many family members. She states that coming to “the Café is my time now” to spend time socializing with friends her own age. At nearly 70, Mrs. Harris is working closely with a reading teacher and one of our social needs navigators connected her to a speech therapist to help her complete her GED. Mr. Marcellus Johnson was in a serious car accident 6 years ago and sustained permanent lower back injuries. He asked himself, “What am I doing to help myself recover?” After several years of physical therapy, acupuncture, epidurals and drug treatment, he felt like his recovery was at a stand-still and his quality of life
was low. Then, Mr. Johnson learned that swimming could play a key role in his recovery. He began going to the NORTHSIDE FAMILY YMCA to swim. He now swims 3 days a week and feels better than ever. His friends compliment his body toning and his doctors love his improvements, especially his most recent blood pressure reading of 127/76. 17
IMPROVING LIVES THROUGH
Community Health is a pillar of YMCA OF GREATER RICHMOND’s mission work. Promoting health equity through accessible, inclusive programming is at our core…and today we are deeply committed to addressing the spectrum of interconnected needs of individuals and families throughout our region. From meeting basic needs to reducing the risk factors for chronic disease to increasing overall physical and mental health, the Y is actively convening our own dedicated leaders as well as hundreds of community partners to elevate and expand this important work.
SOCIAL NEEDS NAVIGATION The YMCA-led Help1RVA was first developed in 2018 as a collaborative of providers offering access to services in food, housing, employment, healthcare, childcare, and more; addressing basic needs that are so often barriers to health and wellness. Little did we know how important this resource would quickly become. During the pandemic the use of the YMCA’s Help1RVA system increased by 1,300 percent as community members searched for a variety of urgently needed services. Y Social Needs Navigators work every day to serve as partners and advocates through the daunting process of connecting individuals and families with service providers, preparing documents, translating information, finding transportation, and so much more.
We hope you will watch this video featuring Y Social Needs Navigator, Teresa Lopez de Ocanas. You will see how your support of the Y is directly moving people from crisis to thriving through her work.
Greenleigh Food Distribution
Ashland Food Distribution
COMMUNITY FOOD PANTRIES The Y is committed to serving beyond our walls. Our monthly mobile food pantries are serving 200 families in Ashland and 200 families in Chester at Greenleigh, Virginia’s largest mobile home community. ❱❱ 19
WELCOME CENTER The YMCA OF GREATER RICHMOND is opening its first Welcome Center in the MANCHESTER FAMILY YMCA. Along with nearly 30 partner organizations, the Welcome Center will offer a safe, welcoming, culturally-minded space for those new to our community, region or country. Programs will include English Language Learner (ELL) classes, legal and immigration services, parenting classes, citizenship preparation and a variety of community activities. WELCOMING BEYOND OUR WALLS Through expanded Community Health centers, individuals and families facing language, transportation, technology and other barriers can access the programs and services they need, right within their communities. The Woodman West apartment community in Henrico is home to diverse and changing populations including Afghan and other refugees. The need for culturally thoughtful, trauma-informed access to programs and services is great, and the Y has stepped in to serve. The SHADY GROVE FAMILY YMCA’s Community Engagement Director, Erum Rochester, is at the forefront of this work. Through time spent working
with residents building relationships within Woodman West, she has learned what residents need most, including enrichment programs for youth and English Language Learner (ELL) classes for both children and adults. What families need isn’t just one service. For example, families often do not know about days when schools are closed. The impact this can have on a family is great, from children waiting for the bus after their parents have left for work to loss of wages as parents scramble to find care at the last minute. The Y is there as a trusted partner to help with communication, offer childcare, and provide tutoring to give families stability and hope for a thriving future.
At the start of 2021, with many children still learning virtually in our 15 Y Student Success Centers, opportunities for social interaction and carefree play were in short supply. But, as the weather warmed, life, laughter and learning returned to our fields, camps and after-school programs. And we couldn’t be happier! It started with Youth Sports. With safety measures in place, families felt most comfortable bringing children to outdoor activities, and our fields began to fill with the sounds of cheers again. Over the course of the year, we served more than 9,000 children, 10 percent more than before the pandemic began. ❱❱ 21
After a taste of the sun and fun of spring sports, Y Summer Camp soared to serve nearly 5,000 children, 3 times the number from 2020. Kids have never been more ready to chant and dance at Opening Council, splash in the pool, cast a line in the lake and cheer at the Gaga pit. But we know that the time away from in-person classes took a toll on kids’ learning. For so many, summer was a time for enrichment and fun, but also to recover lost learning. By expanding Y Power Scholars Academy beyond Richmond City to include sites in Henrico and Goochland, the Y served more than 1,200 students with free summer academic support. These children, who were most impacted by virtual learning, had the chance to start their 202122 academic year on a stronger foundation. With a full return to in-person learning in the fall, families again relied on the Y to provide highquality, accessible and supportive 22
after-school care. Y counselors received special training in COVID-19-relevant trauma-informed care and were equipped with a new BellXcel, evidence-based curriculum that provides whole-child academic, enrichment, social-emotional learning and wellness programming. More than 3,000 students were in our care with 2 out of 3 families receiving financial assistance. With each new milestone, the Y continues to stand side-by-side with parents, caregivers, teachers, school districts and communities to ensure that our children are healthy, happy and prepared for a successful future.
OUR MISSION To put Christian principles into practice through programs that build healthy spirit, mind and body for all. OUR CAUSE To strengthen the foundations of our community. YMCA OF GREATER RICHMOND
2 West Franklin Street, Richmond, VA 23220 P 804.649.9622 ymcarichmond.org