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The Journals are the premier publications for high-quality, hyperlocal news and advertising in Monmouth County, New Jersey

May 13, 2020

YMCA Responds to Vital Community Needs During Coronavirus Outbreak

Courtney Dunphy, of Fair Haven, gets a thumbs up for giving blood at the Red Bank Family YMCA.

Though the YMCA of Greater Monmouth County had to close its doors to members in the wake of the coronavirus, the nonprofit continues many vital programs and outreach services.

“The Y’s doors may be temporarily closed, but our hearts are open, and we will continue to respond to the emerging needs in our community,” said YMCA President and CEO Laurie Goganzer.

In addition to virtual fitness classes, here are some of the ways the Y is serving kids, adults and families across greater Monmouth County during the COVID-19 health emergency:

Emergency Child Care – The Y is providing a safe place for children of essential workers at the Freehold Family YMCA from 7 am to 6 pm, Monday through Friday for children 3 months to 13 years old. Families do not need to be YMCA members to enroll. The Y received state approval to temporarily reopen the licensed child care center exclusively for children of essential workers.

Telehealth Counseling – Children, teens and adults in need of outpatient behavioral health services, including mental health care and addiction recovery, can now connect with the Y’s caring clinicians by phone or video conference. The shift to telehealth for confidential counseling sessions ensures continuity of care for current clients, including 1,000 public school children who normally meet with clinicians in their schools.

Food Collection and Distribution – In response to a growing number of people facing food insecurity, the Y is hosting drop-and-go food drives for local food banks and distributing crisis food boxes on behalf of Fulfill at the YMCA Freehold Borough Community Center and Bayshore Family Success Center.

Blood Drives – There is a severe blood shortage due to canceled blood drives. The Y is hosting blood drives for the American Red Cross at its health and wellness centers in Freehold, Old Bridge and Red Bank. Red Cross employees follow thorough safety protocols, and in response to COVID-19, additional precautions are being made.

Baby Pantry Collection – The Y is collecting packaged diapers, baby wipes and powder baby formula at its Baby Pantry at the Bayshore Family Success Center in Leonardo.

Volunteers – Local residents are welcome to join the Y’s Togetherhood volunteer initiative and support the food collection and distribution activities. Anyone interested in volunteering should visit ymcanj.org/togetherhood.

For more information about the Y’s emergency child care or telehealth counseling, visit ymcanj.org. If you would like support the Y’s outreach efforts by making a donation, visit ymcanj.org/donate.