YMCA's coronavirus response compares to measures taken during WWII

The organization's campaign highlights some of the extensive steps taken to help combat COVID-19.

The YMCA of the USA has fully mobilized its resources in the battle against COVID-19 in a way not seen since the Second World War. 

The non-profit organization’s "Stay With Us" campaign, created in partnership with 160over90, highlights the work being done to assist those affected by the coronavirus in various ways.

Essential services provided by the organization during this time include child care, shelter, meals for kids in need and outreach to seniors who are most vulnerable.

According to Valerie Barker Waller, chief marketing officer and senior vice president of the Y-USA, these services are the core to the organization's mission.

"The ‘Stay with Us’ tagline had already been used by Y leaders in the past, so it almost felt like a no brainer to adapt that and help the whole country realize that the Y is more than just a great pool or an affordable community gym," said Waller.

In Cincinnati, Y staffers are going out to check on seniors who may need aid or who may be living by themselves.

"For them, the Y is their home away from home," added Waller. 

She said that the Y also partnered with the mayor in Chicago to provide beds for people who are homeless. "And in another city, a Y across the street from a hospital opened itself up as emergency child care for essential medical workers," she told Campaign. 

This is the first time the nonprofit’s resources have been used so extensively since WWII, and before that, durinf the 1918 Influenza Epidemic, which infected roughly a quarter of the world’s population.

"Our current CEO has worked at the organization for more than 40 years, and he can’t remember a time when we had to mobilize to this extent," she said. 

And the Y didn't sit on its hands. The organization worked hard to launch the campaign in about a week's time.

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