Statement from Kevin Washington, President and CEO of YMCA of the USA, in Response to Release of COVID Relief Legislation

YMCA of the USA is pleased Congress has reached agreement on new COVID relief legislation that will support priorities important to struggling communities across the country. However, we remain disappointed and frustrated that Congressional leaders continue to overlook the urgent need to adequately support many of the larger nonprofit organizations that are providing vital services in metropolitan communities.

Since the beginning of the pandemic, our nation’s nonprofits, large and small, have been on the frontlines, helping our struggling communities and ensuring that our neighbors have what they need to get through this challenging time. Nonprofits have done this work in the face of tremendous financial hardships of their own, brought on by operational disruptions, decreases in donations, revenue losses and insufficient support from the federal government.

I am proud to say that despite our challenges, YMCAs continue to step up to meet the most pressing needs of their communities. Y staff – part of the essential workforce keeping our nation safe, secure and healthy – show up day after day to provide child care to parents who must go to work, feed families experiencing food insecurity, shelter individuals experiencing homelessness and much more. But without additional support from Congress, more layoffs and closures can be expected – and communities will suffer even more as a result.

There are some positive and helpful provisions in this package, like the extension of the $300 universal charitable giving deduction through 2021 and increased support to child care providers. However, Ys employing over 300 staff across wide geographies are still unable to access the Paycheck Protection Program or any of the forgivable loans that have been offered to other businesses and nonprofits.

While we are glad Congress was able to compromise on a relief package to help Americans, including relief for nonprofits could have saved the government money in the long run and exponentially expanded the services delivered by these organizations, increasing the support available to our communities as they work to recover from this crisis and thrive once again.

We sincerely hope Congress will prioritize all our nation’s nonprofits in future relief packages.

Monday, December 21, 2020

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