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(May 20, 2020 8:10 PM) I have been reflecting on the tremendous community support we have received and how thankful I am.

We receive calls almost daily from members and current and former staff, asking how they can help. Volunteers are making 6-10 daily deliveries of meals and personal care items to people who lack transportation. We could not serve so many people without their help. We recently announced a pop can/bottle drive to raise money for our Strong Kids Strong Communities annual campaign – and the response was immediate. Our members have such big hearts, and I am moved by their generosity.

We were just awarded a $5,000 grant from the Jackson Community Foundation and the United Way of Jackson County to support our COVID-19 relief work. We are so appreciative of this grant, which will enable us to continue our meal and emergency needs distribution well into summer. This grant is particularly meaningful to our staff, which is working hard each day, to know there are people and organizations willing to invest in the Y and enable us to do more.

In particular, I would like to recognize Megan Hunt, our Executive Program Director. She is running our student meals distribution program with Jackson Public Schools and is also preparing to launch our summer day camp. There are many unknowns about camp at this time, but she and Lindsay Wood, our School Age Coordinator, are receiving guidance from the CDC, Y-USA and the American Camp Association to ensure the safety of participants and staff. We know families are eager to sign up for camp, and as we await further guidance, we are working to plan a fun, memorable program that gives a chance to reconnect with their friends. We will share information through our social media and website as soon as it is available.

While we are eager for camp and the reopening of our Y, we are thankful that we can serve the community during this challenging time. Along with Healthy Living and Youth Development, we are committed to Social Responsibility, and we are proud to make a positive difference in Jackson.

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