CORRECTION: Because of a reporter's error, a previous version of this story inaccurately described how YMCA membership dues will be affected by the COVID-19-related closure. Atchison Globe regrets the error.
With local businesses shut down during the COVID-19 pandemic, the Atchison YMCA looks to keep churning on and is looking to accommodate financially and physically.
With the YMCA being closed until at least April 26 as of now, Director Lorin Affield said he wants to help his members keep their accounts active, despite not being able to attend the facilities. He is encouraging this by offering members the option of putting their accounts on hold. Affield believes it’s the YMCA’s duty to offer any sort of relief to his clients.
"In difficult times like these, our organization’s able to pivot to respond to community needs and find ways to use our resources to offer solutions," Affield said.
To encourage people to remain dues-paying members throughout the time of the YMCA's closure, Affield said, draft fees remitted during the closure period will be counted as charitable donations, which could qualify members for tax deductions.
“For those who want to be able to continue their draft, we’ll covert those drafts — their memberships, during this time when we’re not open, as a contribution being a charitable organization,” Affield said. “When we do open up we’d be able to continue to serve the community in the future.”
Affield said the YMCA’s branch in Greater Kansas City, which the Atchison YMCA is a part of is also doing its part to help with the community, as childcare is being offered to members.
“In our association in Kansas City, they’re shifting gears and are offering childcare, because they have that component with their youth development services,” Affield said.
Another way Affield wants to assist his enrollment is by offering them at-home workout videos, which he says are available on the Greater Kansas City YMCA website.
“Some of the services that we’re providing is we’ve got some wellness videos with GroupEx instructors on our website,” Affield said. “While we’re not open, we’re able to at least offer something for individuals to continue their journey toward health.”
There is also a Greater Kansas City YMCA app that features these videos as well.
Affield extends his thanks to any of his members that are compassionate with this unprecedented situation.
“We deeply appreciate everybody’s understanding and patience obviously as we navigate these circumstances that everybody’s going through with this coronavirus,” Affield said.