CHESTER COUNTY, PA —The YMCA of Greater Brandywine (YGBW), an association of eight YMCAs serving Chester County, has quickly organized several much-needed efforts in our community during this unprecedented time of government ordered closures.
“Our mission is to serve and strengthen all in our community, and that mission is even more critical now,” said Denise Day, President & CEO of the YMCA of Greater Brandywine. “We’ve been working with local hospitals and agencies to understand their needs and determine how we can best support them during this time, as well as developing additional support for our entire community.”
Addressing Emergency Childcare Need for Healthcare Workers and First-Responders
First, on Monday, March 23, two YGBW branches, the Jennersville YMCA in Avon Grove and the West Chester Area YMCA in West Chester, will begin providing childcare to healthcare workers from Jennersville Hospital and Chester County Hospital.
“Our community needs as many healthcare professionals as possible to be able to work during this time. But many have young children for whom they need to care. It’s our privilege to be able to provide exceptional care for their children so they can work without worry,” said Day.
Both branches have been undertaking deep cleaning and sanitization of their facilities since government-issued closures went into effect a few days ago.
“Because we knew there would likely be services we could offer to support our community, we began preparing our branches immediately to safely meet those needs,” said Aaron Karpas, Executive Director of the Jennersville YMCA.
As a first-responder or healthcare worker, if you or your organization have a need for childcare, please complete this form or contact Tina Rydgren, Director of Youth Development, at 610-643-9622, x2124 or [email protected].
Addressing Critical Blood Shortages
Second, the American Red Cross is facing a severe shortage of blood and is in desperate need of healthy individuals to donate immediately. As such, blood drives will be hosted from 10 am – 4 pm on Monday, March 23; Tuesday, March 24; and Wednesday, March 25 at four YMCA of Greater Brandywine branches.
Not only does the YMCA have the space to implement social distancing to protect individuals who give blood during the drives, but the American Red Cross has implemented additional precautionary methods to prevent the spread of infection, including:
- All donors are temperature-screened before being permitted into the blood drive. If bodily temperature is above 99.5°F, the donor is asked to donate another time instead.
- All Red Cross staff are asked to check their temperature before presenting to work, and will not report for work if they are showing any symptoms or test above 99.5°F.
- Blood donors are asked to use hand sanitizer before and during the donation process.
- Staff wear gloves throughout the donation process, changing gloves between every donor.
- Donor beds are sanitized between every donor.
- Medically-recommended space between donors is implemented wherever possible.
All are invited to donate and can sign up by:
- Calling the Red Cross at 1-800-RED-CROSS or Tedra Farrell at 215-687-3162
- Visiting www.redcrossblood.org and either searching by zip code for use the following codes for your preferred site:
- Kennett Area YMCA – ymcakennett, 101 Race Street, Kennett Square, Use Side Entrance when coming in to donate
- Lionville Community YMCA – lionville, 100 Devon Drive, Exton, Use Upstairs Back Entrance when coming in to donate
- Upper Main Line YMCA – UMLY, 1416 Berwyn-Paoli Road, Berwyn, Carriage House
- West Chester Area YMCA – Westchester, 605 Airport Road, West Chester, Use Back Entrance when coming in to donate
Third, the Chester County Food Bank is providing the YMCA of Greater Brandywine (YGBW) with food, which YGBW staff and volunteers will distribute to families attending YMCA childcare programs who have a financial need, as well as those receiving financial assistance from the YMCA who have a need.
Eligible individuals will be notified via email. YGBW hopes to make food available to more people, once the food is available. If you are interested in volunteering to assist with food distribution, please contact Judi Driscoll at [email protected].
Your Support Is Needed
If you would like to support the YMCA of Greater Brandywine to ensure we can continue these many efforts to support our community, you can do so here. All contributions, which are tax-deductible, are greatly appreciated and much needed to continue the work the YMCA of Greater Brandywine is undertaking.
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