Dear YMCA Members and Community,

These are scary, uncertain times, but I am filled with hope.

I sit down on Facebook (a little less now, because I’m soaking in the extra time with my family), and I see so many wonderful things happening in our community. I see neighbors coming together to support their local businesses. I see teachers banding together to not only provide resources for their own students, but to gather and distribute art supplies for children, and teach online classes, or reading bedtime stories, from their homes. I see schools and local restaurants doing whatever it takes to make sure that students have breakfast and lunch every day.

I see kindness towards strangers, and people reconnecting with friends. I see families spending time together, watching movies, trying new recipes, and getting outside to play.

I see a celebration of our strength and kindness. Our togetherness. And I see walls built by politics and other differences start to fall. We need each other, now more than ever. 

Here at the Cortland YMCA, our doors have closed, but our hearts are open. Our mission is greater than the four walls that surround us. We’re working with community leaders to find a way to continue meeting the needs of our neighbors, and we’re finding innovative ways to offer health and wellness classes, youth programming, and community resources through Facebook, Instagram, and our website. We’re reaching out to members, and letting them know that we’re thinking of them, trying to relieve the strain of social distancing.

Last week, we sat down for a state-wide meeting of all YMCA leaders, discussing how the Y can continue to offer support and hope in trying times. There are some amazing things coming your way. (Maybe you’ve noticed some of them, like the free fitness classes offered through other YMCAs shared on our Facebook page.) We walked away from that meeting with a sense that, no matter what the next few weeks or months bring, we’re all in this together.

What are we doing during this shut down? We’re generating new ideas to better serve our community, from exciting youth programs to community outreach opportunities. We’re working with other Cortland area organizations, brainstorming ways to continue care for vulnerable populations in our neighborhoods. We’re trying to find ways to bring our community together, even from the safety of our living rooms.

We’re still changing lives, even if that looks a little different right now.

We hope to open again as soon as possible. Our original estimate was April 1st, but none of us knows what the next few weeks will bring. The only thing we know for sure is that we need your help.

During this time, we are asking that you stay with us. Not as facility members, but as cause-driven members. As we find new ways to respond to the needs of our community, and new ways to keep our community moving forward with their wellness goals, we need your support to make sure that our Y not only survives this crisis, but is strong for years to come.

We realize that not everyone can afford to keep their memberships active at this time. If that’s you, please email us at ymca@cortlandymca.org, and we will adjust your membership, adding a one-month hold (and extending that out as needed). 

If you can continue supporting our mission (thank you!), you don’t have to do anything. We’ll continue with your regular monthly draw. 

As a valued YMCA member, we invite you to stay healthy, active and informed by utilizing our virtual classes and family resources at http://www.cortlandymca.org/covid-19-updates/. By STAYING WITH US, you will also be helping us to provide these meaningful services to our community during these toughest of times.

Thank you for your ongoing support and please take care.

Sincerely,

Margo Upson
Membership and Marketing Director