For more than 150 years, North Carolina YMCAs have been there when our neighbors need us most. During times of war, economic depression, catastrophic storms and now this pandemic, our Ys stepped up to fill the gap in service to our mission and purpose to strengthen communities.
The emergency services that the Y provides in crisis are not sources of revenue, but rather expenses. These services were made possible by generous donors and members who converted their membership dues to charitable donations to serve those in need.
As a fiscally responsible nonprofit, YMCAs have had to furlough more than 10,000 hard-working staff across the state, and eliminate many positions altogether. Our ability to continue to serve and strengthen community is at risk, as our members increasingly face their own economic challenges. Canceled memberships sharply hamper our ability to serve—and, in some instances—to remain viable.
While some Ys have taken advantage of federal relief efforts, the largest YMCAs were not eligible for funding. Federal relief that Ys did receive will run out mid-June—likely before gyms are permitted to open in North Carolina.
As our Ys continue to support efforts to flatten the curve statewide, our nonprofit YMCAs will need the support of our legislators, our corporate partners, and our members to continue to be able to serve our communities.