How the Monroe County Y is Responding to Community Needs
As we reflect on our 40 years of service in Monroe County, we've learned that our longevity comes from our responsibility to our mission. At every turn, we’ve learned more about what it means to step up and lead in challenging times and be there for those who need us most.
The mission of the Y is bigger than our building. We’re continuing to serve our community resource partners in an effort to support those affected by the novel coronavirus (COVID-19). In times like these, it’s critical that we work together as a community to lift those most impacted by health and economic challenges. As we take on additional work to meet the growing needs of our fellow community members who are economically or medically vulnerable, you can help the Y and our community by maintaining your membership dues, volunteering, and donating.
We are directing our community outreach to these critical and essential services urgently needed to support the response and recovery of our country:
Partnering with Kilroy's on Kirkwood to Purchase and Distribute Face Masks
We're thrilled to announce that we've partnered with Kilroy's on a COVID-19 fundraising initiative! Every Thursday, Kilroy's creates a one-of-a-kind t-shirt to raise funds dedicated to a local nonprofit, and they have graciously chosen the Monroe County Y to support!
Kilroy’s on Kirkwood is donating one hundred percent of the profits from their t-shirt sales during the week of Thursday, April 16-Wednesday, April 22 to the Y. The $855 funds raised were used to purchase face masks, which were distributed at the Monroe County Y to high-risk individuals, such as seniors or those with compromised immune systems. If you would like to support our initiative with Kilroy's, you can purchase a t-shirt at kilroyskirkwood.com/covid-19/.
Update: We distributed the face masks in our lobbies on Wednesday, June 10 and Thursday, June 11! Bags of five face masks were available for public pick-up on Wednesday from 8:45-11:00 am at our Northwest Y and on Thursday from 3:45-6:00 pm at our Southeast Y. You did not need to be a Y member to claim a bag, but these masks were intended for immunocompromised individuals and seniors in our community. Learn more about this initiative here.
Serving Those Experiencing Economic Disruption
Local food pantries are in desperate need of items in order to sustain their supplies. We’ve coordinated with Community Kitchen to help support their daily meal distribution, along with their Backpack Buddies program, which sends backpacks full of food home to families with children. If you go to the grocery store for essential items or have extras on-hand at home, please consider donating what you can to our upcoming food drives.
Our food drives were held at the Southeast Y on the following dates and times:
- Monday, March 30: 11:00 am-3:00 pm
- Monday, April 6: 12:00-2:00 pm
We ask that you only provide packaged goods so our team can sterilize all boxes and packaging as we receive your donation at the Y. Please place your items on the sidewalk under the awning at the entrance of the Southeast Y. While staff will be on-site to collect and organize donated items, this process also ensures we are practicing social distancing. Staff will then use kitchen-grade sanitizer (i.e. safe for food products) before handling and organizing each donation.
These are the items that Community Kitchen is seeking:
- Bottled water
- Single-serve juices, such as juice boxes
- Canned or pouch tuna
- Canned or pouch chicken
- Peanut butter
- Meal helpers (like Hamburger/Chicken/Tuna helpers)
- Fruit cups – applesauce, tropical fruit, pears, peaches, etc.
- Instant oatmeal – individual portions
- Macaroni & cheese
- Small boxes of cereal
- Easy-to-prepare food items – instant mashed potatoes, dried soups, beans, rice or pasta meals, etc.
- Granola/fruit/cereal bars
- Dried fruit – raisins, cranberries, cherries, tropical fruit, etc.
- Small bread mixes – cornbread, muffin, biscuit, etc.
- Healthy snack crackers
- Small pop top cans of vegetables
You can also donate a monetary amount directly to Community Kitchen on their website. Thank you so much for all of your support!
Keeping Connected to our Seniors
During Indiana’s Stay-at-Home Order issued by Governor Holcomb, we must all quarantine at home in order to prevent the spread of the virus. This is especially challenging for high-risk individuals and seniors who might not have access to a caregiver. Plus, it also leads to a higher risk for depression and loneliness. In an effort to help one of the most at-risk demographics for the coronavirus, we reaching out to our seniors. We’ve built a team who are actively contacting our seniors to check in with them, provide local resources if they need support, and simply offer a listening ear during this challenging time.
Learn more about this outreach initiative and watch a short video as Margie Kobow, our Healthy Hearts and Active Lives Director, delivers supplies to seniors in need.
Donating to the Severe Blood Shortage
We owe YOU a big thank you for making our blood drive such a success on September 1! Thanks to those of you who donated (15 of which were first-time donors), we collected 53 units of blood, which can potentially save the lives of as many as 159 people. We couldn’t have made the donation possible without the American Red Cross’ partnership! We look forward to working with them again soon—look out for details for another drive at the Y toward the end of the year.