2020 Community Impact

Date: February 17, 2021

As we begin 2021, it is my greatest wish that you and your families are safe and well. A new year offers an opportunity to reflect on the previous 12 months both personally and professionally. What did we learn? How did we grow? Where did we fail? What success did we enjoy?

2020 was a very challenging and uncomfortable year for our communities, members, volunteers and staff, but I am quick to remember that growth is usually uncomfortable. That is also true for organizations. 2020 required our staff, volunteers, and donors to see needs, invent new ways to serve, and move quickly to help others. Please take a look at the reverse side of this letter to see how our Y family served our communities in many different ways – ways that we were not used to. Yes, it was challenging and uncomfortable, but our volunteers, staff, and donors grew to a capacity that we could not have comprehended 12 months ago. I am so proud of our Y family, their dedication and creativity, generosity, and commitment to serving others. Thank you for making thousands of lives better.

Now we look forward to 2021 and how we will grow our service and impact even further. We will, of course, continue to offer the high-quality youth development, healthy living, and outreach programs and services that our communities need and expect from the Y. We will also continue our quest to end chronic homelessness in Bridgeport. But we are becoming a different organization. An organization that is reinventing itself to effectively meet new and quickly changing needs and wants. This is how we are changing to be bold, dynamic, impactful, and sustainable today and in years to come:

  • We will invest more fully in our volunteers and staff with special attention to developing our future leaders.
  • We will recommit ourselves to creating a culture that is diverse, inclusive, and anti-racist.
  • We will reimagine Y membership. Traditional facility membership will be maintained, and new groups who may be interested in topics such as community service and social justice will be welcomed and engaged.
  • We will learn from our expanded community outreach during the pandemic and create a Togetherhood program welcoming new partners and community volunteers to meet the most immediate human needs with a special focus on addressing hunger and food insecurity.
  • We will reduce our dependency on our Y facilities by offering programs and services at other community sites. We will use the new non-facility branches serving the Hamden, North Haven, and Valley communities as models to develop best practices for programs and services to be offered in community centers/swimming pools, schools, churches, colleges/universities, and public parks.
  • We will identify and adopt best practices that will improve the environment, reduce our dependence on fossil-fuel based energy, and reduce our impact on climate change.
  • We will develop and invest in technology that strengthens the value of membership and supports the Y’s virtual programming.

I invite you to join me in this great cause – To put Judeo-Christian principles into practice through programs that build healthy spirit, mind, and body for all.

Yours in health, David Stevenson President & CEO