Georgia Power Foundation donates to YMCA childcare program for first responders

September 28, 2020

The Georgia Power Foundation donated $25,000 to the YMCA of Metro Atlanta to support their emergency childcare program for frontline workers across the area.  

The donation is a part of the $1 million investment the Georgia Power Foundation announced in March to support the state of Georgia in addressing the unprecedented impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic.

 “We are committed to supporting the communities where we live and work during these difficult times,” said Rita Breen, executive director of charitable giving at Georgia Power. “When childcare programs closed in the early weeks of the pandemic, we knew that we needed to step in to make a positive and much needed impact.”

As one of the largest providers of early learning and afterschool programming in Atlanta, serving more than 7,000 children annually across metro Atlanta and northeast Georgia, the YMCA was well-positioned to provide emergency childcare when schools were forced to close.

From March through June, the YMCA activated many of their branch locations to provide childcare for healthcare workers, emergency responders and those working on the frontlines. From the end of March through May, they reached an average of 1,000 children each day. The program allowed hospitals, emergency services and essential businesses to remain fully staffed in order to protect and care for the community.  

“The logistical effort for the program to happen was significant,” said Lauren Koontz, president and CEO of YMCA of Metro Atlanta. “The safety of our employees, the children in our care and their families was paramount.”

Y Day Camps gave parents the opportunity to perform their essential and frontline duties without having to stress about care for their children. The comprehensive program promoted language and literacy, health and wellness, and social-emotional. As schools closed for the summer and virtual learning ended, they continued to provide safe, educational and fun programming during the summer months through day camps and expanded to serve more than 2,500 children daily from June through August.

 “We are so grateful for our partnership with Georgia Power,” said Koontz. “In staying true to our mission to build a healthy mind, body and spirit, the Y must adapt and evolve to meet the changing needs of the communities we serve, especially during these challenging times. That is what we have always done, and what we will continue to do but we can’t do it alone. Having partners like Georgia Power means we can do even more for those who need us most.”

For 162 years, the YMCA of Metro Atlanta has worked to meet the critical needs of our communities. Today, the needs are more urgent than ever. In addition to childcare support for healthcare workers, the YMCA launched two specific initiatives that are vital at this time: expanded hunger relief programs and Operation R.E.A.C.H. to support members in high-risk groups.

To learn more about the YMCA’s COVID-19 Response, visit https://ymcaatlanta.org/community-update/.