YMCA of Greater NY asks 'What's Your Y?' as they push for donations amid pandemic

NEW YORK (WABC) -- The YMCA of Greater New York has been hit hard by the pandemic. They're asking "What's Your Y?" as they request help in raising at least $5 million by the end of the year.

"I first began going to the Y when I was in 3rd grade for basketball clinics," said Ryan La Barrie, YMCA member.

Shooting hoops hooked La Barrie on his neighborhood YMCA. But lately, it's the Y's young leadership program that's upping his game. Now, he's teaming up with ESPN's Jay Williams to help to raise awareness and funds for the Y.

So many non-profits are struggling, among them, the YMCA.

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"We have suffered devastating losses, $100 million in revenue, and that's half of our annual operating budget," said Sharon Greenberger, CEO, YMCA of Greater NY.

Greenberger says all 24 branches pivoted to offer learning labs for school-aged children, homeless services were increased, and back in March, it launched virtual programming.

But many revenue streams evaporated. The YMCA now hoping to raise $5 million by the end of the year.

"The need for connection and health and wellness outlet has only increased in the last several months," she said. "And when we can come together we are as strong as we can possibly be."

As for 16-year-old La Barrie, he's grateful for what the Y continues to offer.

"I've never seen an organization that's given so much to people of all ages whether that's going online, or Instagram Live, doing Zoom workouts, or teen programs virtually and still have a fun time," La Barrie said.

While many people may still think of the Y as a place to swim or workout, the hope is that New Yorkers realize the depth and value of this organization.

You can find more information on how to give here: https://ymcanyc.org/give

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