YMCA of Greenwich Early Learning Center Runs Disaster Relief Drive to Benefit Puerto Rico

Preschool Teacher Jordan Rose helps unload donations from the Starwood Energy Group with assistance from his students Marlowe Ingrassia and Victoria Toni.

Preschool Teacher Jordan Rose helps unload donations from the Starwood Energy Group with assistance from his students Marlowe Ingrassia and Victoria Toni.

The YMCA of Greenwich Early Learning Center held a disaster relief drive to benefit Puerto Rico in the aftermath of Hurricane Maria.

Parents, children, and YMCA employees worked together on the effort, collecting items identified as “highest need.”

Items included canned meats, canned vegetables, chlorine dioxide water purification tablets, medical supplies, hygiene kits, diapers, flashlights, and batteries.

“This hurricane season has been one of the most devastating seasons in history. It’s painful to see our neighbors in Puerto Rico suffering so much. As one of our central initiatives is social responsibility, we as a center felt compelled to do something,” said Carly Adames, Director of Educational Programs. “The damage on the island hits especially close to home for many families and teachers at the center, many of whom have family and friends going through many difficulties on the island.”

The YMCA of Greenwich Early Learning Center shows the importance of volunteer service and helping others in difficult situations by holding a Puerto Rico Disaster Relief Drive. (L-R) Preschool Teacher Adriana Mendez, Hudson Bressler, Malcom Jean, Nicolas Ribeiro, Lauren Sanders, Gioia Judge, Henry Stuller-Zessman, Martin Berlin, Director of Educational Programs Carly Adames

The YMCA of Greenwich Early Learning Center shows the importance of volunteer service and helping others in difficult situations by holding a Puerto Rico Disaster Relief Drive. (L-R) Preschool Teacher Adriana Mendez, Hudson Bressler, Malcom Jean, Nicolas Ribeiro, Lauren Sanders, Gioia Judge, Henry Stuller-Zessman, Martin Berlin, Director of Educational Programs Carly Adames

Olga Bruce, an ELC parent and Starwood Energy Group employee, initiated a collection of over $500 worth of donated items from Starwood employees for the drive. “I am happy to have helped this local community towards a great cause.”

The donated items are being shipped off by the World Mission Society Church of God, who held drives at more than 300 organizations in 12 states along the east coast. Members of the church will be hand delivering items to households in need in Aguadilla, Bayamón, Caguas, Carolina, and Ponce. The Church of God has been recognized by several international organizations for their volunteer and disaster relief efforts.

YMCA of Greenwich CEO Bob DeAngelo expressed his eagerness to participate in this effort in order to provide relief to nearby neighbors. “Our YMCA of Greenwich was thrilled to participate in the Disaster Relief Drive for Puerto Rico.  Helping other people who need help is central to the mission of our YMCA. We are motivated and inspired by the church’s passion to help our brothers and sisters in Puerto Rico! Thank you!”

The Y Early Learning Center also made efforts in giving back to the community by holding a winter clothing drive for local families in Greenwich and also performed a winter concert at the Nathaniel Witherell Nursing. The center continues to look for creative ways to make an impact in the community and to teach children from an early age about the importance of volunteering and community service.

About the YMCA of Greenwich Early Learning Center:

Located at 2 Saint Roch Ave, The Y’s Early Learning Center has been in operation since 1988. The center provides quality preschool and childcare for children as young as 6 weeks to 5 years old. It also runs two after school programs for elementary students: L.E.A.P. (Learning and Enrichment After School Program) at Hamilton Avenue School and Family First in Education, a partnership with Family Centers. The Y ELC holds a summer-school alternative program for elementary school students, Summer Literacy Learners, for 6 weeks during the summer which targets summer learning loss prevention and builds literacy and writing skills.

Founded in 1916, the YMCA is the largest community-based membership organization in Greenwich. Part of a well-known YMCA national network, the Greenwich Y has over 5000 members and growing. Its programs in healthy living and youth development seek to serve and to nurture the potential of everyone in our community, whether or not they have the ability to pay for its programs.

To learn more about the YMCA of Greenwich, membership and its numerous wellness programs, visit: www.greenwichymca.org.