YMCAs offering child care to 'essential personnel' responding to coronavirus pandemic

Thursday, March 19, 2020
News 12 at 11 o'clock/NBC at 12

AUGUSTA, GA (WRDW/WAGT) -- YMCAs across the CSRA closed their doors yesterday, but for a good reason.

The Family YMCA of Greater Augusta is distributing food to the community and even offering child care to 'essential personnel' including medical workers and first responders.

“Everybody has to do their part right now, right? Well, we thought this was something that was a place where we could do our part,” Danny McConnell, President and CEO of the Family YMCA of Greater Augusta, said.

McConnell says their part is helping provide food and childcare. The YMCA partnered with Golden Harvest Food Bank and about 60 families already picked up food on Thursday in Grovetown.

"There's a huge need there for families to be able to get a week of food or two weeks of food,” McConnell said. “And many of them don't even have proper transportation to try to get that food available to them."

So, the YMCA will bring food to them each day at one of their locations. Supplies are already stocked up in shipping containers and storage closets for the next few weeks.

At the Wilson Branch, a deep cleaning is underway as staff gets ready to offer child care for first responders and medical personnel.

Four crisis child care centers will be open each day at the Aiken County, Burke County, North Augusta and Wilson Family branches. There will be a limited number of kids in each room and staff will do their best to sanitize thoroughly.

“I'm sure they're going to be thankful, at the end of the day, we all should be thankful for what they're doing,” McConnell said. “Everybody in this community right now has to do their part, help their neighbor."

Whether big or small, the Y is ready for more boxes to be packed to make room for their new mission: helping those in need during the COVID-19 outbreak.

“Everybody in this community right now has to do their part, help their neighbor,” McConnell said.

The Y’s child care services begin March 20 from 6:30 a.m. to 7:30 p.m. Breakfast, lunch and a snack will be provided.

The Thomson Family Y will also distribute food on March 20 from 12:00 p.m. to 1:00 p.m.

If you would like to help, the Y is accepting donations on their website.

For information about child care, the Y encourages the public to ask their HR departments if they are eligible.

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