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With the current state of society living in uncertainty due to the coronavirus pandemic, two rec centers saw a chance to spread compassion.

The Soundview Family YMCA, a branch of the Central Connecticut Coast YMCA and the Ben Callahan Sports and Fitness Complex (BC2), both located in Branford, Connecticut, teamed up to help their community through Operation Compassion.

Operation Compassion is set up to provide free delivery of healthy, fresh groceries purchased in the community to seniors, first responders and medical professionals in their service area. The partnership was created to help the seniors and healthcare workers within the towns of East Haven, Branford, Guilford, North Branford and Madison.

“The Y is so much than a place to swim and workout,” said Matthew LaPrino, the executive director of the Lakewood-Trumbull YMCA and the Soundview Family YMCA. “It is our social responsibility. The Y is temporarily closed to the public, but it is our mission to build a healthy spirit, mind and body for all.”

Members and other community members can email grocery order form to soundviewinfo@cccymca.org or call the Y to place their orders. Orders are open Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays 9 a.m. to 12 p.m. Orders are delivered on Tuesdays and Thursdays by placing the groceries near the front door, so no social distancing rules are broken.

LaPrino said the response of Operation Compassion has been great.

“We just launched the program on Monday April 13th, and we take orders three days a week,” said LaPrino. “Immediately after sharing our program in email an adult immediately called the Soundview Family Y to thank us for this service. She was looking for a grocery store that could do home delivery because her health is compromised.”

Operation Compassion was created to shine some light during this difficult time. Even though your doors are closed, doesn’t mean you can’t continue to serve. While times may be tough, your community need you now more than ever.

“The Y and BC2 sports are more than just recreation centers,” explained LaPrino. “The Y is so much more than a place for people to exercise. It is the lighthouse that shines out to the communities guiding the way.”

Taylor Brown

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

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