The YMCA of Metropolitan Washington was part of a major gift from MacKenzie Scott to 384 organizations across the U.S. Scott announced the gift yesterday in an authored post on Medium. The novelist and philanthropist gives $4B to 384 organizations.
Like many Y’s across the nation, the YMCA of Metropolitan Washington suffered a great loss in program and service revenue due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The donation by Scott will help remedy some of this loss, by providing the support needed to help fund programs and services that sustain communities and transform lives. These programs will continue to address food disparities, social justice issues, advocacy, senior wellness and child safety needs in the communities the Y serves.
“We are so very grateful for this grant. The funds are a lifeline to help so many during such an extraordinarily difficult time in our history,” said Angie Reese-Hawkins, president and CEO of the YMCA of Metropolitan Washington. Although YMCA branches throughout the Metropolitan Washington region were shut down for some time during the pandemic, they continued to serve communities by providing produce pickups and meals; daycare; virtual online classes; and blood drives. “When our physical buildings were closed, we were still open and serving our communities. When our buildings reopened, we were then able to address the mental and physical well-being of our communities, which was also critical,” Reese-Hawkins explained.
The pandemic has taken a large toll on one of the Metropolitan Washington region’s oldest charities. “We’ve survived recessions and crises in the past, from 9-11 to the housing crisis, but nothing has been as devastating as this pandemic,” added Reese-Hawkins.
This year, due to COVID-19, the YMCA of Metropolitan Washington further demonstrated its commitment to its mission by providing critical services while its buildings were closed. The Y was able to give 54,917 meals to local families in need, hold virtual learning labs for children in 10 locations, organize safe blood donations to potentially save over 1,500 lives, and successfully hold 2,885 tele-therapy appointments. The Y also offered virtual wellness programs and wellness check-ins for seniors. “It is our great responsibility to steward this gift in a way that allows us to meet the needs of our communities,” Reese-Hawkins said.
For more information on the Y’s programs, services, and locations, or to donate, go to www.ymcadc.org.