2020 Y Champions

YMCA Ambassadors

The YMCA of Metro Atlanta makes a significant difference in the lives of 250,000 individuals in our communities, every day. That’s why we are proud to come together as a team to support the YMCA and its response to COVID-19.

So much more than a gym, the Y develops vital programs and services for ALL people in Metro Atlanta to reach their full potential. As a charitable nonprofit, the Y relies on donations from people like you and me. During this time of crisis, the YMCA is stepping up to fill vital needs in our community. Mobilizing staff, facilities, and partners, the YMCA has launched two core initiatives: hunger relief for children who relied on school meals and seniors who face increased isolation at home and childcare for critical frontline employees. Through these essential services, the YMCA can reach those who need them the most during these difficult times, ensuring our community stays healthy and safe.

As the YMCA continues to expand its COVID-19 relief efforts to best serve the community, it projects increased funding needs as they continue to play this important role.

Childcare for Frontline Employees:

The Y is one of the largest providers of early learning and afterschool programming in Atlanta, serving more than 7,000 children annually across metro Atlanta and northeast Georgia. As most early learning and afterschool programs have closed in response to COVID-19, the YMCA is providing childcare for children ages three months to 12 of essential hospital staff, first responders, and frontline workers (law enforcement, firefighters, grocery store workers, etc.) who must continue working.

The YMCA launched the program on March 23 for school-aged children and on March 30 for early learners at select locations. The Y currently delivers this program at seven locations; it has expanded quickly in response to the need. To date, more than 1,400 families have registered their children for the program.

The comprehensive program promotes language and literacy, health and wellness, and social-emotional support to increase the well-being of participants during this stressful time. Based on guidance from the CDC, the YMCA is taking extra precautions to ensure the safety of children and staff and working with philanthropic partners to ensure that the cost of the program is not a barrier for frontline workers.

Hunger Relief:

The Y has played a significant role in meeting the needs of food-insecure families in our community for years, serving more than 30,000 families annually before the current crisis. In the face of COVID-19 challenges, the YMCA is leveraging its existing programs and strong partnerships to support 6,000 families weekly through hunger relief efforts.

As of May 1st, the Y provided 82,202 meals since launching the program on March 20:

  • Beginning March 16 as a result of COVID-19, the Y expanded its hunger relief efforts. In total we have provided 33,425 free snacks and dinners at YMCA locations for children under the age of 18 (Arthur Blank, Villages at Carver, Carl E. Sanders, South Dekalb, Wade Walker, Tull-Gwinnett, Andrew & Walter Young and Covington).
  • Since March 26th, over 1,985 snacks and grab & go meals have been served to children in our Head Start programs from four of our Early Learning Centers - Chattahoochee, Dean Rusk, Morgan County and Greene County.
  • This week marked the seventh week of Y staff sorting and packing back packs at The Villages of Carver Family Y and the second week of adding the Carl E. Sanders Family Y as a second packing location; in all, over 4,455 back packs (feeding a family of 4) for families at eleven of our Y locations (Villages at Carver, Andrew & Walter Young, Arthur Blank, Carl E. Sanders, Wade Walker, East Lake, South Dekalb, Tull-Gwinnett, Fowler, Dean Rusk Early Learning Center & Chattahoochee Early Learning Center) as well as partners like the Boys and Girls Club, Atlanta Housing Authority, and senior citizens living in the Villages at Carver.
  • Collectively the McCleskey-Northeast Cobb Y and Northwest Cobb Y have packed 4,108 back packs supporting Marietta City School students and families from low-income apartment complexes across Cobb County.
  • In the past four weeks, the Cowart Family YMCA, in partnership with the City of Brookhaven, has packed and distributed over 9 backpacks at Briarwood Recreation Center and Dresden Park.
  • Each week and throughout COVID-19, the Robert D. Fowler YMCA staff and members provide weekly groceries to 15-20 low-income families.
  • Camp High Harbour at Lake Burton is partnering with the Northeast Georgia Food Bank, providing urgently needed manpower and facility space to receive and sort 24,000 pounds of food this week.
  • In partnership with the Atlanta Falcons Youth Foundation and Empire State South, 500 meals were provided between East Lake YMCA and Andrew and Walter Young YMCA.
  • The Northwest Family and Northeast Family YMCAs in Cobb County are proud to be partnering with the Atlanta Braves on its Home Plate Project. Over the next six weeks Led by Chef Pete Smithing, the kitchens at Truist Park will prepare and create 4,000-6,000 meals each week to partner agencies, including the Y which will distribute the meals to individuals and families in need within our

As school systems scale back their daily hunger relief efforts, demand for the Y’s programs continues to increase, and the YMCA is quickly expanding to meet these needs by providing more meals and backpacks of food each day. The goal is to ensure that all families and communities the YMCA serves have enough food to eat during this crisis and beyond.

YMCA Ambassadors Board:

The YMCA Ambassadors Board is a diverse group of young advocates of the YMCA whose purpose is to advance the vision of the Y of Metro Atlanta by engaging and cultivating a pipeline of young leaders to build awareness and expand access to the YMCA. This is accomplished through: Service, Outreach, Fundraising, and Enriching.  

Please watch this great video on the YMCA's service:



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