Family Church lends helping hand to YMCA
For the past several years, the Family Church on Winterberry Drive has opened its doors to the YMCA in times of need.
Recently, preschool and after-school kids were bussed directly from school to the Family Church because the city was working on the water system on Sand Hill Street, where the Y is located.
"Sometimes they call us at really short notice and ask if they can they use the building. Whenever possible we accommodate them," said church administrator and property manager Shawn Hurtley. "We have a good relationship with the Marco Y."
Stefanie Pepper, youth development manager at the Marco Y, expressed how using the Family Church helps the parents and families who would otherwise have to get a babysitter or stay home from work.
"For them to take a day off work is very difficult," said Pepper. "The Family Church has always opened their doors for us and opened their arms to us."
Many kids who attend the Y program have families that work at hotels or restaurants on the island and picking their kids up at the church is convenient.
One mom picking up her daughter said, "This is great."
"I don't have to get another babysitter because the Y is closed or any other situation and that my daughter can be here and it is safe and it's nice for them to be here," said Claribel Arroyo.
With the number of kids programs, the YMCA has outgrown its capacity, especially for the after-school age program.
"That's why we are building the Youth Development Center," said Pepper.
In the past the after-school kids were in a small clubhouse on the YMCA property.
"While its being built the church has allowed us to utilize their academy building. It's worked out beautifully for us. When the Y got their new data conversion system the church also trained the YMCA adult staff how to use it," said Pepper.
"Overall the church has been a really great partner not only for our youth but in the technology as well," said Pepper. "We are there for the community and the Family Church has also proven to be there for the community."