Here when you need us! That is one of our guiding beliefs at the Y. We have always supported youth development, healthy living and social responsibility, but last Spring, as businesses, including the Y and schools shut down, we opened our doors and immediately began providing free emergency day care to over 100 youth whose parents provide emergency services throughout the Brainerd Lakes Area. We also worked alongside isd181 and with the Outreach Program to provide healthy evening meals for the many kids and families who struggle with food insecurities every day.
Our full day programming provided a safe place for kids to have a sense of normalcy. Our counselors became experts in assisting the students and teachers as they navigated distance learning- something brand new to them all. Our full day of activities strengthened social emotional learning during an extremely challenging time emotionally for many children. All of this at no charge, so that parents who needed to take care of us all were able to show up and work- police, fire fighters, nurses, grocery store workers and many, many more.
Now, this summer, we have moved to Y Camp Vanasek and are continuing our work to develop strong and resilient youth, and to help our economy move forward by giving parents a safe and nurturing place for their kids to thrive. Here are a few remarks from our parents:
>Since signing the kids up for camp, they have transformed into better little humans. They look forward to camp every day and are excited to tell me about their adventures every evening. We are so thankful and grateful for the opportunity the YMCA give to these kids. You guys are the real MVPs!
>My daughter is having “THE BEST SUMMER EVER!!” She loves the daily activity and meeting new friends! Thank you so much for having this available to us during such a weird summer. You’ve offered a chance for social interaction and activity where so many have failed our youth at this uncertain time.
At the Y, we are here to strengthen the foundation of our community- especially in times of need. But we cannot continue this critical mission without support. Please consider making your donation which will help us continue this important work.