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Helping During the Pandemic: How Community Centers are Serving


How community rec centers in North America are helping during the pandemic by finding unique ways to serve the needs of their communities.

Community rec centers around the nation have been forced to temporarily shut their doors to follow the guidelines of their governing bodies during the COVID-19 pandemic. But with missions that are centered on fostering community, bringing people together and providing opportunities for interaction and inclusion, many facilities are finding a way to still impact their communities.

The Metropolitan YMCA of the Oranges

The Metropolitan YMCA of the Oranges, with locations throughout New Jersey, is helping their members through their Virtual YMCA. Their childcare staff is creating ongoing fun activities for the children in their community. These activities include crafts, games, recipes and ways to stay active.

You can find their resources here.

The Tampa Metropolitan Area YMCA

The staff at the Tampa Metropolitan Area YMCA are looking to transition their Ys to support the children of healthcare and emergency response professionals, as well as other caregivers, who play an essential role in treating and containing this virus.

“We look to transition more than 20 Y locations throughout Tampa Bay to meet this critical need starting Monday, March 23,” said Matt Mitchell the president and CEO of the Tampa YMCA in a statement. “We will provide more information on the Y’s full-day school-age relief care in the coming days.”

You can discover what else this Y is doing here.

The Mandel JCC of Cleveland

The Mandel JCC of Cleveland staff is bringing their facility to members virtually. Each day, the J livestreams group X classes through their Facebook page. The J-Day Camp staff is offering a variety of virtual activities like virtual bonfires, story theater, games and dance parties. Additionally, the J created a Facebook group for families to keep their kids entertained, educated and engaged at home.

You can access their resources here.

The YMCA of Greater Cleveland

The YMCA of Greater Cleveland is helping during the pandemic by offering critical childcare centers in the community. They are offering the services to medical personnel, first responders, nursing home/assisted living employees, and children services employees. Children will participate in a variety of activities provided by YMCA staff so parents can assist the community. Registrations will be first come, first serve. Proof of employment must be provided upon first check-in.

Commonpoint Queens

The Commonpoint Queens staff, located throughout Queens New York, reinforced they are still helping their community during these challenging times. The facility is offering home delivered meals for older adults, transportation to doctor appointments and supermarkets for older adults, mental health counseling, grab-and-go meals for older adults, job placement and career assistance, and a food pantry. The facility emphasized how important it is to be a resource for others in an Instagram post, saying, “Yesterday we shared some of the resources we are providing to our neighbors in need. Today we need your support to continue to be able to provide those resources. Please donate if you can – you will be the difference in someone’s life when it matters most.”

Whether it’s through online workouts, food pantries or offering childcare, community centers have been helping during the pandemic by stepping up to continue their support to their communities. What is your facility doing? Let us know at info@communityrecmag.com.


For more resources regarding COVID-19, visit our COVID-19 Resource Page.

Taylor Brown

Taylor Brown is the assistant editor of Community Rec Magazine. She can be reached at taylor@peakemedia.com.

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