From staff reports
Since South Carolina Governor Henry McMaster’s mandate on March 23, the Beaufort-Jasper YMCA of the Lowcountry’s facility has been closed to member use to focus solely on new community needs during the COVID-19 pandemic.
These needs included operating a grab-and-go community meal program and Emergency Personnel Kids Camp.
Now, Bank of America Merrill, a long-time YMCA supporter, is assisting the Y in providing these basic needs by generously providing a $10,000 grant to help with a portion of the operating costs of these programs at this unprecedented time.
These included providing childcare for medical professionals and first responders so they need not worry if their children are in a safe place, as they care for our Beaufort-area neighbors affected by the Coronavirus.
In addition, to providing this Emergency Personnel Kids Camp, the Y is also operating a grab-and-go community meal program for local students age 18 and younger in conjunction with the Beaufort Count School District.
“We truly appreciate the Bank of America Charitable Foundation and Merrill for their donation to the Beaufort-Jasper YMCA of the Lowcountry,” YMCA Executive Branch Director Kaylin Garst said. “With their support, we were able to quickly respond to these immediate needs in our local community, even in the midst of this pandemic. These programs not only strengthen our community when we need it most, but they shine a light on the critical work the Y does when we receive support from terrific partners like Bank of America Merrill.”
“As we collectively navigate this health and humanitarian crisis, we recognize that the private sector can play a pivotal role to help communities in need like Beaufort,”Mark Munn, Charleston/Hilton Head Market President for Bank of America, said. “The Beaufort-Jasper YMCA of the Lowcountry is the perfect partner for these efforts because of their work to provide relief directly to the community through needed meals and child care for front-line personnel.”
The Grab-And-Go Meal Program, open to the entire community, is located in the parking lot of the Y. Anyone age 18 and younger can receive a full breakfast and lunch, including juice and milk, fom 9 a.m. to noon Monday to Friday.
Since the beginning of this service, The Y has provided more than 2,000 meals to the community. Additionally, to ensure that these children have access to books, the Y provides them with free books daily, (all age-appropriate books) to keep.
The Emergency Personnel Kids Camp is available for children ages 4 to 12 years old and takes place from 6:30 a.m. to 7:30 p.m., Monday through Friday, at the Wardle Family YMCA in Port Royal. Extended hours are offered in order to meet the needs of these first responders as they work shifts of more than 10 hours per day. All program participants receive three healthy meals per day during the program.
The Beaufort-Jasper YMCA of the Lowcountry serves approximately 12,000 individuals annually through programs and services provided in Beaufort and Jasper counties. Learn more at beaufort-jasperymca.org.