As we head into the last few months of the year, I take this time to reflect on the work that’s been done & what’s still ahead for Texas Ys. Over the last several months, our Texas Ys have been working tirelessly to deliver our cause. We’ve made tremendous progress in our anti-hunger, drowning prevention, and advocacy efforts, but what resonates the most with me is the resiliency demonstrated by our Texas Ys and communities. One of the main reasons the YMCA exists is to strengthen the communities we serve. That means being there for our neighbors in the good times & the really tough times. We had a tangible opportunity to support our neighbors just a few weeks ago as we witnessed the devastating impact of Hurricane Harvey in more than sixty Texas counties.
Immediately following the storm, our YMCAs sprang into action to support first responders, community members, and local cities’ efforts to rebuild & restore. Despite being faced with their own major damages at several facilities, the YMCA of Greater Houston served as staging shelters for evacuees, provided housing for the National Guard, and established a pop-up childcare facility in the George R. Brown Convention Center emergency shelter. This childcare operation served hundreds of children and allowed parents the peace of mind knowing that their children were safe & secure as they began navigating the rebuilding process. Several of our Texas Ys opened their doors & hearts to evacuees and first responders by offering use of their facilities free of charge. Whether that meant a place to charge phones, grab a cup of coffee, take a shower, or simply relax with a workout, the Y was there to support.
As an Alliance, we’ve sent staff, supplies and also made a $50,000 contribution to local YMCAs in Houston, Port Arthur, Victoria and Corpus Christi to assist with their recovery and rebuilding efforts. We’ve also seen nation-wide support from our Y family & we are all incredibly thankful for the support as we work to continue to meet the needs of our communities. Texas still has a long road ahead, but the YMCA is committed to standing hand-in-hand with all Texans as we continue on this journey to restore hope and build stability. We know that we are truly stronger together.
Tony Shuman, Chair
Texas State Alliance of YMCAs