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Friday, December 9, 2022

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The YMCA Remains Here for You

The YMCA has always been more than a building. The Y is about people—people from all backgrounds and walks of life who come together to improve their lives, nurture their families and strengthen their community. For more than a century, the Y and the Tampa Bay community have made it through many challenging times together. Historically, the Y has played important roles in helping our community endure during times of uncertainty and societal strain. The current COVID-19 pandemic is another challenge that none of us will soon forget.

In these difficult times, the YMCAs of Tampa Bay have pivoted in response to community needs, finding ways to use their resources to offer solutions to social voids and help our neighbors. During the initial months of this pandemic, the Tampa Metropolitan Area YMCA, YMCA of the Suncoast and YMCA of Greater St. Petersburg provided emergency relief care for 1,534 children of medical personnel, first responders and other essential workers, so that they can continue their focus on public health.

YMCA

In partnership with Feeding Tampa Bay and other community organizations, Ys across Tampa Bay served more than 70,000 meals to families in need. The YMCAs also hosted blood collection drives in partnership with OneBlood and LifeSouth, positively impacting 2,088 lives.

As the Y continues to serve the community through outreach services, members are welcome back in YMCA facilities to exercise while kids safely enjoy youth sports clinics, swim lessons and child watch areas. The YMCA remains committed to keeping everyone who enters their doors safe. Following guidance from the CDC and government officials, the Y requires face coverings, made appropriate social distancing accommodations and regularly disinfects and cleans to create a safer environment.

As you get back to focusing on your health and your community, the Y is here for you. The World Health Organization says at a time like this, it’s very important for people of all ages and abilities to be as active as possible. According to the CDC, regular exercise helps boost our immune system by reducing stress and contributing to a more restful sleep. Exercise also encourages us to eat more nutrient-dense foods that help us perform better during our workouts and aid in reaching or maintaining a healthy weight. Exercise has also been proven to ease anxiety and depression. All of these elements can help prevent serious or deadly complications from viruses such as COVID-19.

With all that said, the Y understands and supports those who aren’t ready to return yet. Until you’re comfortable returning, the Y will continue to offer free virtual YMCA fitness classes, youth and family activities and at-home resources for you and your family.

Depending on your location, check out www.tampaymca.org or www.ymcasuncoast.org to see how you can join a cause that benefits yourself as well as your community. And if you join by Sept. 30, there is no join fee! The Y remains here for you and the Tampa Bay community as we stay healthy together.

Lalita Llerena
Lalita Llerenahttps://www.tampaymca.org/
Lalita Llerena is senior communications director for the Tampa YMCA.

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