CEO Updates

6.17.2020

The past several weeks have been challenging as we watch anger, fear, frustration, and outrage grow across our nation. Some displays have been positive, while others have turned negative. However, the overall message is clear: Enough is enough. We must change. We must do better.

The YMCA has long been a place where people of all races and backgrounds come together. In fact, the mission of our 175-year-old organization is: “To put Christian principles into practice through programs that build healthy spirit, mind, and body FOR ALL.” The original bible verse that the YMCA was founded on is John 17:21: “That they all may be one.”

Although a focus on diversity and inclusion has long been a key priority in our strategic plan, we must do more. We must do our part to end racism and bigotry. As a white male, there is no way for me to understand the racism that African Americans have faced and continue to experience today. However, I can listen, and I can stand beside my friends as we stand together for equality.

 

At the Y, we have long strived to be the Third Place in our communities. However, this term means more than ever before. We believe we can be a place that instills hope. A place where all people come together and are supported as we all strive to reach our fullest potential.

We are beginning to have conversations and are listening to our staff, volunteers, and members. We want to learn what we need to do to truly become the Third Place in our communities, where all are welcome, and people are not treated differently because of the color of their skin.

A PLACE FOR ALL

There is no place for hate in our organization. The YMCA is well equipped to stand up and help end systemic racism once and for all. I believe our mission calls us to act, and we will.

Respectfully,

Adam Klutts
President and CEO

PREVIOUS UPDATES

5.15.2020 Thank you for staying with us! Because of your continued support as a sustaining member, we can continue to provide much-needed services in our community. As a reminder, your membership dues contributed during our facility shut down period will be counted as a tax-deductible charitable gift to the YMCA. Without your support, our essential services would not be possible. Following the Governors guidelines laid out in the Forward Virginia Plan, your YMCA will begin to move into Phase 1 on Monday, May 18. In Phase 1, we will be expanding our child care services from essential workers to all working families. We will also begin to offer outside exercise options, including on-site group exercise classes with a limited number of participants. Please see our website for important details regarding phase I. Plans are in place to reopen our facilities cleanly and safely when permitted to do so. We are now better prepared to do this, thanks to the nearly 6,000 members who responded to our reopening survey. Your feedback was essential to our planning. When we reopen, we will follow all local and federal guidelines and will open in a phased, safe manner, keeping your health and safety as our top priority. We have been busy installing sneeze guards at our welcome centers, developing a paperless registration system, re-organizing our equipment and facility to ensure proper physical distancing. We have deep cleaned all our facilities, and new cleaning procedures and supplies are on hand and ready for use. Although we do not have a date yet for fully reopening our Y’s, we are ready, and our members will be the first to know! Know that we miss you and look forward to welcoming you back soon.  And remember, the health and safety of our staff and members is our top priority. Thank you for staying with us! The YMCA of the Virginia Peninsulas has been serving our community for over 120 years, and we are here for good!

Our mission is to put Christian principles into practice through programs that build healthy spirit, mind and body for all.