YMCA Thanks Emergency Partners
Montecito Family YMCA has partnered with more than a dozen local organizations and leaders to provide assistance to the Montecito community in response to the Thomas Fire and mudslides. In collaboration with these local organizations, the YMCA was able to assist in providing childcare, mud removal, youth activities, clothes, and toys for affected Montecito residents.
Michael Yamasaki, Montecito Family YMCA executive director, said: “We are thankful to all the local organizations that helped us address the strongest needs in our community. Now more than ever, our community partners have been absolutely critical in our work to help Montecito in this time of healing.”
Many of these partners helped the YMCA support the community while the facility was inaccessible due to evacuations. These included the SB Family YMCA, Casa de la Raza, the Westside Boys & Girls Club, Hope School District, Montecito Union School, Redeemer Community Church, and the Carpinteria Children’s Project.
The YMCA also hosted additional organizations as they carried out operations to aid Montecito. The Y accommodated Habitat for Humanity and multiple other organizations that came together to clean mud out of residents homes during a weekend in February; Dr. Anne-Marie Charest taught a healing and stress management workshop at the Y that was free and open to the community; California Highway Patrol came to the YMCA’s Healthy Kids Day to donate toys to residents in the community; owners of the Ensemble Pop Up Shop, Kathleen Remy and Nikki Vyn, also attended and provided shirts and jackets to attendees; and Santa Barbara Hospice provided staff support in the healing and recovery process.
The YMCA will continue to provide support for their members and the Montecito community through their Annual Campaign, a fundraiser to give scholarships to local seniors, families, and kids who could not otherwise pay for YMCA programs and services. Through these scholarships, the YMCA can provide members of the community opportunities to gather in a safe place and participate in programs that promote physical and emotional strength.
As the fundraising wraps up and the goal has not yet been reached, the Y seeks community support. “The YMCA is not just a gym, it’s a community non-profit dedicated to supplying Montecito with opportunities that support physical, mental, and emotional health. These opportunities are funded through the generosity of donors,” Yamasaki said.
To learn more about Montecito YMCA and how to donate, visit ciymca.org/Montecito or giveciymca.org.