100 Fanny Road, Mountain Lakes, NJ 07046
Rosemary Linder Day RosemaryL@Lhymca.com Direct 973.507.7035 Main 973.334.2820 Fax 973.334.1308
Morris County, NJ – The Lakeland Hills Family YMCA partners with numerous organizations throughout the year to fulfill the requests of food, clothing, school supplies, Christmas presents, and much more. The Y works with multiple nonprofits to secure donations, which have increased because of the COVID-19 Pandemic.
When the Market Street Mission of Paterson asked the Y to help with their recent clothing drive for winter coats and accessories, Community Service Director Robb Elko was doubtful he would be able to receive donations on a large scale, as the Y has been accustomed to in the past.
“Our local community residents are always so generous when providing donations for the charitable causes our Y supports throughout the year. I didn’t think that in these tumultuous times people would be able to respond as they have in the past, with dozens of coats, jackets, hats, scarves and mittens, which is all part of the Winter Clothing Drive we were sponsoring with the Market Street Mission”, Robb said.
The Winter Clothing Drive was held from October 1 – 15 and the donations not only came in quickly, but they came
in by the bagful! Robb was very surprised but also very happy to see the tremendous response to help those in need. Bags of hats and scarves were dropped off to the Y, some sporting new tags indicating they were not previously worn.
In the past few months of the Pandemic, the Y has held 3 blood drives with the American Red Cross, with 2 more coming up on November 8 and December 6. They have also held weekly free food distribution boxes with fresh produce, perishables, and shelf-stable food items as well, in partnership with the Seashore Fruit & Produce Company, the Community Food Bank of NJ, and the NJ YMCA State Alliance. To date, almost 3,500 boxes of fresh food has been distributed!
The Lakeland Hills Family YMCA has also held 2 flu-shot clinics in conjunction with the pharmacy team of Acme of Denville, giving close to 150 free flu shots to all residents of the local communities it serves. The response from the community was tremendous, as the flu-shot clinics were held safely outdoors following all protocols and procedures, under the Y’s covered pavilion in a natural wooded setting which is nestled at the back of the Y’s property on Fanny Road in Mountain Lakes. This allowed individuals to feel comfortable being outside and socially distanced as each person patiently waited to receive their inoculation.
Knowing that mental wellness is just as important as physical fitness, this summer the Y held all their outdoor fitness classes free for the community. With 14 classes ranging from yoga to boot camp, each week over 170 individuals participated in the hour-long classes. Additionally, all classes were offered for both Y members and non-members, thereby providing much-needed spirit, mind and body wellness. The Y also offered free access to YMCA360, a suite of video presentations for various fitness classes, along with virtual programming from many of their wellness partners, including LifeFitness and Les Mills.
With the beginning of schools re-opening in September, the Y saw a huge need for remote learning assistance for
school-age children. As some schools went totally virtual and others went on an A/B schedule, the Y took its Kids Club afterschool programming and changed its curriculum to include
virtual learning and adding physical fitness and scheduled outdoor activities to the mix. Parents are now offered the opportunity to have their child, from any school district, attend their “e-camp & care” program onsite at the Y. This brings a great sense of relief to parents as the Y ensures each child is logged in on their laptop to attend school virtually and is there to offer assistance and homework help. Children get the academic structure they need while being in a safe, sanitized environment complete with social distancing, individual desks, and more. A flexible schedule allows children to be at the Y on certain days and times adjusted according to their school day.
The Y continues to serve school-age students in Denville, designed to help working parents in the Denville elementary schools who need supplemental care for their half-day dismissal and beyond. It conducts a program at Riverview School from 12:30-3:30pm. The program at Lakeview School offers two schedule options: One from 12:00-3:00pm and one from 3:00-5:00pm.
The Lakeland Hills Family YMCA has always been a community resource for Morris County residents, but never more so than during the COVID-19 Pandemic. It’s new President and CEO, Alex Martinez, believes that the organization’s 3 YMCA areas of focus is truly its best asset.
“Youth Development, Healthy Living, and Social Responsibility is the foundation of our Y. Parents find a safe, nurturing environment for their children, our program offerings bring families together for year-round fun, and our community service initiatives provide support and opportunities for all of us to give back”.
Alex continued, “We have the most qualified fitness and coaching staff in the industry, with technologically superior equipment and modern facilities. We are at the forefront of every safety protocol and procedure available throughout our facility, from our Infant and Toddler Care Program, Early Childhood Learning Center, our Aquatic Program, and our Health and Wellness Center.”
This fall the Y has multiple events for its members and the community: A member fitness challenge is scheduled for early November, followed by a family and community event, a Virtual 5K Turkey Trot. It has also kicked off its annual financial assistance campaign, Give a Kid the Y, to help children and families in the local community with summer camp, preschool, and more. The Lakeland Hills Family YMCA continues to be the center of the community. No other organization can impact as many, as powerfully, as the Y does every day.
For more information on the Y, please email its Director of Marketing, Rosemary Linder Day, at RosemaryL@Lhymca.com.
About the Y
Driven by its founding mission, the Y has served as a leading nonprofit committed to strengthening community for more than 175 years. The Y empowers everyone, no matter who they are or where they’re from, by ensuring access to resources, relationships and opportunities for all to learn, grow and thrive. By bringing together people from different backgrounds, perspectives and generations,
the Y’s goal is to improve overall health and well-being, ignite youth empowerment and demonstrate the importance of connections in and across 10,000 communities nationwide. *******