2020 was a year like no other. When the year began, we were excited about potential growth, expansion, and other great ideas. But as March arrived, things changed overnight; the pandemic struck. And while many organizations closed, the Y remained open. At the time, I had no idea what the ramifications of the decision to remain open would have been. But quickly they became present by an amazing group of people rising to meet the needs of the community, each other, and this organization. I witnessed first-hand our Child & Youth Development teams build two “pop-up” child care locations within days, our branch staff move fitness equipment and activities outdoors within 24 hours, and families calling with tears of joy for the child care help so they could work or care for a sick loved one, and more.

Momentum may not always be on our side, but when the stakes are high and the issues are too important, we must move forward. By rallying together, we have the strength to survive and even thrive in a year like 2020. While this organization has taken a substantial financial loss, we have gained much more. I am more confident than ever that the YMCA of Orange County is well prepared for whatever the future brings. To all of our staff, partners, donors, members, grantees, and friends; THANK YOU for all of your hard work, support, and perseverance!

– Jeff McBride, YMCA of Orange County CEO


This team worked tirelessly to create, build, and implement a safe place for children whose parents were providing essential services to the community. In addition to the existing 35 Y sites, they developed two “pop-up” child care locations near a hospital and university to give healthcare employees the ability to work on the frontlines and have a safe place close by for their children. In every location, each staff member provided care, education, play, and social time; all while maintaining a clean and highly sanitized space.


Our health & wellness teams delivered both indoors and outdoors (sometimes switching within 24 hours) to ensure our members were able to maintain their fitness routines, have a place of refuge, and stay connected with their friends and community. Staff maintained safe and sanitary environments, offered a listening ear when needed, and had some fun while doing it.


YMCA Community Services (YCS) is a branch of the YMCA of Orange County, which provides services to members of the Orange County community that focus on emotional health and well-being. We support children, youth, and adults with special needs to promote skill-building, social opportunities, and a safe place for loved ones to know that while they are working, their child or adult with special needs is well cared for. These programs ensure that, even while they could not participate in their regular YMCA activities in person, members could still stay connected via online meet-ups which are especially important for them to maintain their social skills, life skills, and education.


The YMCA of Orange County has been featured in the news. Read or watch some of our 2020 news and media highlights showcasing our essential services, community support, and innovative approaches.