(Port Royal, May 4, 2020): Like the rest of the world, the Beaufort-Jasper YMCA of the Lowcountry is pivoting to do what is best for the community at large during the COVID-19 pandemic. On March 23, 2020, following SC Governor McMasters mandate the YMCA closed our facility to member use and has solely focused on new community needs which include operating a grab-and-go community meal program and Emergency Personnel Kids Camp. Bank of America Merrill, a long time YMCA supporter, is assisting the Y in providing these basic needs by generously providing a $10,000 grant to help with a portion of the operating costs of these programs at this unprecedented time.
These included providing childcare for medical professionals and first responders so they need not worry if their children are in a safe place, as they care for our Beaufort-area neighbors affected by the Coronavirus. In addition, to providing this Emergency Personnel Kids Camp the Y is also operating a grab-and-go community meal program for local students age 18 and under in conjunction with the Beaufort Count School District.
“We truly appreciate the Bank of America Charitable Foundation and Merrill for their donation to the Beaufort-Jasper YMCA of the Lowcountry,” said Kaylin Garst, YMCA Executive Branch Director. “With their support, we were able to quickly respond to these immediate needs in our local community, even in the midst of this pandemic. These programs not only strengthen our community when we need it most, but they shine a light on the critical work the Y does when we receive support from terrific partners like Bank of America Merrill.”
“As we collectively navigate this health and humanitarian crisis, we recognize that the private sector can play a pivotal role to help communities in need like Beaufort,” said Mark Munn, Charleston/Hilton Head Market President for Bank of America. “The Beaufort-Jasper YMCA of the Lowcountry is the perfect partner for these efforts because of their work to provide relief directly to the community through needed meals and child care for frontline personnel.”
The Grab-And-Go Meal Program is open to our entire community located in the parking lot of our Y. Anyone age 18 and under can receive a full breakfast and lunch including juice and milk Monday to Friday from 9 am to 12 pm. Since the beginning of this service, The Y has provided over 2,000 meals to our community. Additionally, to ensure that these children have access to books, the Y provides them with free books daily, (all age appropriate books) to keep.
The Emergency Personnel Kids Camp is available for children ages 4 to 12 years old and takes place from 6:30 am to 7:30 pm, Monday through Friday at the Wardle Family YMCA in Port Royal. We are offering extended hours compared to our regular day-camp programs, in order to meet the needs of these first responders as they work shifts of 10+ hours per day. All program participants receive three healthy meals per day during the program.
About the YMCA: The Wardle Family YMCA was charted in 1990 and opened its doors in June 1996. The YMCA is a locally autonomous non-profit organization made up of voluntary membership that is open to individuals of all ages, race, religion, incomes and abilities. The mission of the Beaufort-Jasper YMCA of the Lowcountry is to put Christian principles into practice through programs that build healthy spirit, mind and body for all. The Beaufort-Jasper YMCA of the Lowcountry currently serves approximately 12,000 individuals annually through the programs and services provided in Beaufort and Jasper counties. beaufort-jasperymca.org
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