YMCA of the Shoals is offering free child care to first responders and essential medical workers


FLORENCE, Ala. — The world is changed in ways beyond our imaginations. But through it all, we’re managing to adjust one day at a time.

Organizations like The YMCA of the Shoals are helping with those adjustments. They’re offering childcare for first responders and essential medical workers.

“We pivoted our business,” said YMCA of the Shoals CEO Lane Vines. “Technically didn’t close it, we did from a fitness perspective, but we pivoted to serve childcare.”

Vines said they reached out to local police and fire departments as well as area hospitals to let parents know if they needed childcare, The Y would provide it—at no charge.

The program has around twenty school-aged children each day. It’s been a big help for parents working long shifts.

“We’re hearing a lot of positive feedback,” said Vines. “That was really our first opportunity to step up and help the community; we’ve done a few other things but that’s been most impactful.”

And for COVID-19’s impact, “Knock on wood, right now our community has been somewhat spared; we haven’t been a hard-hit area so we were prepared to take more children if we needed to but the need hasn’t been just overwhelming,” said Vines.

As for now, The YMCA of the Shoals remains closed except for childcare. Vines said when the governor lifts those restrictions, the facility will cautiously reopen in phases.

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