To address a community need in the wake of Hurricane Sandy, the Somerset Hills YMCA and St. Mark’s Episcopal Church, in the Basking Ridge section of Bernards Township, partnered this past week to provide all day care to children who participate in the Y’s School Age Childcare program. The Y offers before and after school programs for the school districts of Bernards Township, Bernardsville, Bedminster, Far Hills and Warren.
Power outages, as a result of the hurricane, caused the closure of most schools in the Y’s service area, as well as the Y. The closures presented a challenge for working parents who rely on after school, and in some cases before school, childcare so they can work.
On Tuesday, Nov. 6, Saint Mark’s Church regained power and, immediately, leaders from both organizations mobilized to brainstorm ways to support the community and identified school age childcare as a service that would have the most positive and significant impact. Reverend Rick Morley offered the church’s classrooms and on Wednesday, Nov. 7, all day childcare was offered to Y families enrolled in the School Age Childcare program, as well as to parishioners of St. Mark’s Church. Throughout the week, enrollment was strong with nearly 40 children each day.
“This storm was unprecedented and caused great hardship on our community,” said David Carcieri, President and CEO of the Y. “We are so grateful to Father Rick and his staff in working with us to provide a safe, warm place that allowed the Y to care for the children and provide relief to working parents.”
The Somerset Hills YMCA is a charitable community service organization, rooted in Christian values and dedicated to helping all people grow in spirit, mind and body. The Y is guided by the core principles of caring, honesty, respect and responsibility.