TOMS RIVER – Although so many activities are now canceled, the YMCA here is offering virtual programming.
“At the Y, we are committed to ensuring social distancing does not become social isolation,” said Peter Rosario, President and CEO of the Ocean County YMCA. “During these unprecedented times, we have created virtual content through Zoom, YouTube and Facebook Live to continue engaging with members and promote healthy living.”
This is all part of its #StayingWithUs initiative. Some of the content being produced online promotes physical activity and S.T.E.A.M. (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Math) projects for kids to complement their at-home schooling.
“Developing activities and exercise for children and families to share is changing outcomes and creating new ways to educate and promote fitness at home,” said Michael P. Ritacco, Board of Directors Chair of the Ocean County YMCA.
“We would like to extend our gratitude to the Grunin Foundation for providing us with access to Zoom accounts so that we are able to offer virtual programming to the community,” said Rosario.
Carol, a member of the Ocean County YMCA, recently said, “You have no idea what it means to us that we can still see each other’s faces. We need to thank you so much for thinking and caring for all of us in this creative way.”
The YMCA is also a contact point for a lot of local residents, and the organization has been using that contact to make sure people get what they need during this time. It has increased phone outreach initiatives to check on its most vulnerable members, Rosario said.
They are packaging and distributing meals to those in need through their partnership with Fulfill.
“The number of requests for Crisis Relief Boxes have doubled in one week,” Ritacco said. “This allows the YMCA to provide a safety net for its community’s most vulnerable populations.”
The Ocean County YMCA, which is celebrating its 50th anniversary this year, is located at 1088 West Whitty Road in Toms River. For more information, call JoAnn at 732-847-2071, email firstname.lastname@example.org, or visit ocymca.org.