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Employees Rally for Their Local YMCA

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On a sunny September Saturday, more than 150 Kaiser Permanente employees and physicians traded their stethoscopes and smartphones for shovels and paintbrushes to make over the Crenshaw Family YMCA. They installed nearly 3,000 square feet of new carpet and furniture, patched up the parking lot, and went through 86 gallons of paint.

The Crenshaw Family YMCA has been a pillar of the west Los Angeles community since 1951, connecting hundreds of area residents to important resources to help them thrive. Today, the Crenshaw Family YMCA offers daycare, after-school sports, and various youth enrichment programs—services that have historically been hard to come by in the neighborhood. More than 30 percent of the Baldwin Hills-Crenshaw community has a high number of families headed by single parents—nearly 32 percent.

“Without support from the Crenshaw Family YMCA, it would be difficult for my children to have the guidance, care and discipline that every child needs growing up,” said Estela Nievez, an area resident who has been active in the Crenshaw Family YMCA for eight years. “As a single mother of five, working full-time, I appreciate the convenience of having several excellent quality programs available in one location,” she said. “My children look forward to their basketball and dance programs after school, and I am amazed to see the level of discipline and respect they are learning from the coaches and staff. The Crenshaw Family YMCA has been a blessing.”

The renovation work was funded by Kaiser Permanente’s National Facilities Services department, who selected this YMCA as the 2014 site for their annual Community Volunteer Day.

“Community service is in our DNA at Kaiser Permanente,” said Georgina Garcia, executive director, Kaiser Permanente West Los Angeles Medical Center. “Since our earliest days, Kaiser Permanente physicians and employees have embraced community service as an opportunity to put their skills, knowledge and time to work enriching their communities and assisting those in need. I am honored that Kaiser Permanente’s Volunteer Day is benefiting such an important and valued community resource as the Crenshaw Family YMCA.”