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Community Spotlight on Rochester Area Family YMCA

During this time of COVID-19, Rochester Area Family YMCA is rising above and putting into practice its organizational areas of focus: youth development, healthy living, and social responsibility. The Y is offering childcare for Tier 2 workers’ (essential and critical care workers) children for both infant through preschool and kindergarten through sixth grade. That means people who work in the food industry, utility workers (gas, electric), transportation, and childcare–all that is Tier 2. Executive Director Virginia Kaczmarek shares how this new system of support aligns with the Y's mission while being a departure from normal operations.

How have you adapted your day-to-day business since COVID-19 began?

We’ve completely pivoted our resources at the YMCA to support our community members during this pandemic. That means life is nothing like it was before. I’m a member of a Rochester emergency response planning team which is about 30 nonprofit organizations working together to address our unmet needs to include food insecurity, childcare and finding ways to support our vulnerable community members. Our Y mission remains the same: to support youth development and healthy living. How we move forward in support of these endeavors is changing by the day. So far, our earliest focus has been on ensuring we are connecting with our senior community members as well as providing childcare opportunities for our essential and critical care workers and bringing additional food resources to community members.

What drives you to persevere amid everything going on?

I’m driven to be involved in teams that make big impact. I’m attracted to people who want to make a difference in our community. Coordinated efforts to work together, share resources, as well as, time and talent, simply inspire me to want to do more. Together we can make amazing things happen. 

What is one positive thought you’d like to share with everyone during this time?

While I am worried about our economic recovery, I am inspired by the positive changes taking place, not only in how we interact and connect but how we are all striving to work together to tackle something as big as a pandemic.

Find out how to support Rochester during COVID-19 here.