Dear Valued Y Members,
We deeply appreciate your understanding and patience as we navigate the challenging and constantly changing circumstances related to the novel coronavirus and COVID-19. We are all operating in unknown territory right now, and we are working as quickly as we can to keep you updated and address your questions.
Where we are today
On March 17, Iowa Governor Kim Reynolds declared a State of Public Health Disaster Emergency which resulted in the closing of fitness facilities and many other types of businesses through March 31. Yesterday (March 26) she extended that order through April 7 and expanded it to include additional businesses. Governor Reynolds assured Iowans that the state is monitoring the situation every day, and if the closure order needs to be expanded or changed again, she will not hesitate to take that action to protect the public.
How the Y has responded
During this unprecedented national crisis, while our facilities have been closed, the mission work of the Y goes on:
• YMCA Supportive Housing Campus continues to meet the needs of one of our most vulnerable populations by providing a home and wraparound services for 140 men and women who were formerly homeless or at risk of homelessness
• We launched At Home With the Y, a vast collection of virtual exercise classes and online communities, so our members can maintain physical fitness and social connections that are more important now than ever
• Our Virtual Y also includes family resources developed by our Y Camp, child care and preschool staff professionals to help keep kids engaged and active while they’re home
• We continue to partner with organizations such as the Red Cross to assist in meeting our communities’ most pressing needs
At this time, the YMCA of Greater Des Moines is targeting a reopening date of Monday, April 13 for our six membership branches and Y Camp. This date aligns with the scheduled reopening date for Iowa schools. We anticipate operating on a limited basis at first to maintain physical distancing recommendations within our facilities. Look for additional updates as our reopening date nears. And as always, if changing circumstances dictate a change in our plans, we will let you know as soon as possible.
How you can help
We will be blunt with you: your financial support is vital to the Y right now.
The Y is so much more than a gym. We are a nonprofit charitable organization, founded in 1868 to build healthy spirit, mind and body for all. Sixty-two percent of our operating revenue is derived from membership dues; another 25 percent comes from program fees, and 13 percent from contributions. Your membership not only provides you access to outstanding fitness facilities and programs – it also makes it possible for the Y to bring together people of all ages and income levels, from all walks to life, to create stronger, healthier, more vibrant communities.
With a target opening date of April 13 for our facilities, our April membership drafts will take place as scheduled. We are asking you, if you can, to stick with the Y and maintain your active membership through this closure period. A million thanks to the many members who have reached out to us with messages of encouragement, support and love. We appreciate your generosity more than we can say, and look forward to welcoming you back to the Y.
We fully understand that many of our members are facing financial hardships at this time. If you would like to speak to a membership representative regarding your options, please email firstname.lastname@example.org. Include your contact information and the best time to call, and someone will be in touch as soon as possible.
Finally, if your circumstances allow, please consider making a charitable contribution to the Y at this time. All funds donated will be used locally to continue the impact of the Y in addressing issues such as the educational achievement gap, drowning prevention, homelessness, youth opportunity and chronic health conditions. We know that once this pandemic emergency calms and life returns to a more normal state, the community will need the Y more than ever. Click here if you can help.
For 151 years, the YMCA of Greater Des Moines has worked to build community. You are the heart of the organization, and we know how much you depend on the Y. We ask that you support each other and stay connected. Reach out to your fellow members and neighbors, especially those who may be isolated during this time.
We wish you and your family good health. Thank you for being a Y member.
Yours in the Y,
President and CEO
YMCA of Greater Des Moines
Dear YMCA Members,
The safety and well-being of our members, staff, volunteers and the broader Greater Des Moines community is our priority, now more than ever. Thank you for being part of the Y and for all you are doing to support the greater good as we all face this unprecedented health challenge.
While there have been no confirmed cases of COVID-19 at any Y facility, we need to be part of the nationwide effort to slow the spread of the virus. Therefore, we have decided to close our six membership branches and Y-Camp for 15 days beginning Tuesday, March 17 through Tuesday, March 31.
This temporary closure will have very real financial consequences, however, as we intend to continue employment for our full-time staff during this challenging time. We will rely heavily on the continued support of members, program participants and donors. Therefore, we ask that if you are able, please continue to pay your monthly Y membership dues and enroll in future programming. This will ensure the Y is able to provide services when this crisis has passed.
We continue to closely monitor this situation to determine the need for any changes to this plan and will continue to keep you updated via our website, mobile app and social media channels. If you have any questions or need additional information, please email email@example.com and we will respond as soon as possible.
Join Us Online
To help you stay healthy in spirit, mind and body during this time, we are offering an on-demand healthy living network called YMCA 360 at no charge to all Y members. Content is accessible on the YMCA 360 YouTube Channel at YMCA360.org. Content will be refreshed frequently and includes programs for kids and families.
We sincerely apologize for any inconvenience this may cause and thank our members for their patience and understanding.
President and CEO
YMCA of Greater Des Moines
Dear YMCA Members,
At the Y, the health and safety of the communities we serve has always been our top priority. In light of the most recent recommendations from the Iowa Department of Public Health and other health officials designed to mitigate the spread of the novel coronavirus, all branches of the YMCA of Greater Des Moines are implementing the following measures, effective Monday, March 16, 2020:
We sincerely apologize for any inconvenience this may cause and thank our members for their patience and understanding. We believe this is the socially responsible thing to do during this national health emergency.
The leadership team at your Y is monitoring all local, state and national developments around the clock. We will provide you with regular updates and are prepared to take additional steps as needed to safeguard the health and well-being of our members, staff and communities.
We are in unprecedented times, calling for an unprecedented response on the part of all individuals and organizations in the community. Please stick with us as we work through this challenge, so we can be here for you better and stronger than ever once the crisis has passed.
If you have any questions or need additional information, please contact your local branch or email firstname.lastname@example.org, and we will respond as soon as possible.
Every day, our members and our communities turn to the Y for support of their efforts to become healthier in spirit, mind and body. In light of news stories and social media posts about COVID-19, a respiratory illness caused by a novel coronavirus, it has become even more important for the Y to share information about what we are doing to prevent the spread of illness and protect the members, staff, volunteers and guests who use our facilities.
Safety steps we take include:
You can assist in preventing the spread of illness by following these three steps:
We are monitoring communications from federal, state and local health officials on a daily basis and are prepared to take additional steps if there is a need to alter any of our business operations. Important updates will be provided to members through our website, mobile app, social media channels and local media outlets.
Thank you for everything you are doing to help us prevent the spread of illness and maintain a safe and sanitary environment at the Y for everyone to enjoy. If you have any questions or concerns, please don’t hesitate to contact the management at your local Y branch, or reach out to me at email@example.com.
Yours in the Y,