Supporting essential workers



Supporting essential workers


From healthcare workers to grocery store employees to bus drivers, essential workers are keeping our region safe and healthy right now. But with kids home from school and many childcare facilities closed, parents need a safe place to send their children so they can continue to work.


With support from a United Way emergency response grant, Gateway Region YMCA is helping essential workers and their families by:


  • Operating four emergency childcare centers across the region.
  • Keeping the kids engaged with games, exercise, homework help and more, all while practicing social distancing.
  • Providing a safe place for more than 224 kids, with capacity to serve more, and enough teachers to give personalized attention and supervision.



What your support means


For essential workers, these emergency childcare centers are more than places for their children to spend the day.
“When my son Danny’s* daycare closed, we thought we wouldn’t be able to find anywhere else for him to go during the day. His mom and I both have essential jobs. We are so happy we found the YMCA emergency childcare center. Getting him registered was very easy. Since starting, Danny has had a blast and looks forward to going to the Y every day. He loves his new friends, and the staff are extremely friendly!” – Justin*


“I was overwhelmed with the shutdown of schools and the new social distancing guidelines. I didn’t anticipate that so many friends and family would be unwilling to be around me or my child, and I felt isolated.” – Stacey*, nurse practitioner


“My husband and I are both essential workers in agriculture and automotive logistics and supply chain infrastructure. Without the YMCA providing emergency care for our two young sons, we would not be able to continue working.” – Jennifer*


“As a single mom with no family members nearby, I would have had to take a leave from my job when schools closed. I lost my second job due to restaurants closing so working at the hospital is my only source of income. Having somewhere to take my child so that I may continue to work was imperative.” – Tracy*


*Names have been changed for privacy.



We’re all in this together


This is just one example of the critical work being done in our community right now. In the coming weeks, United Way will continue to stand by our region, helping with both critical disaster relief and long-term recovery efforts.





  • Learn more about our response efforts.
  • If you or someone you know is in need of assistance, dial 2-1-1 or visit to get connected to local resources.
James Taylor
James Taylor