MAYWOOD, Calif., July 23, 2020 /PRNewswire/ -- This week, as California led the nation in COVID-19 cases and Los Angeles County led the state, the Southeast area emerged as the local epicenter for the virus' impacts.
As COVID-19 spreads, economic and social pain grows for people across the region. Against this backdrop, a group representing Cal State LA, Optimum Seismic, Inc. and the Southeast LA Collaborative stepped up this week to help the Southeast Rio Vista YMCA in Maywood meet the growing need to help area families put food on the table.
The YMCA in Maywood, which serves one of the four most distressed areas in the Metropolitan Los Angeles region, provides 7,000 free 'Grab & Go' meals each week on Monday and Wednesday to help families battling the impacts of COVID-19. The YMCA needs help to continue providing this assistance.
"COVID-19 and high unemployment are hitting people living in the communities served by the Southeast-Rio Vista YMCA in Maywood very hard," says Juan De La Cruz, Senior Vice President of Community Development, YMCA of Metropolitan Los Angeles. "The Southeast-Rio Vista YMCA appreciates the support of businesses such as Optimum Seismic, which helps us carry out our mission of building strong kids, strong families and strong communities."
"YMCA makes a significant impact throughout the Los Angeles area by serving 70,000 meals each week, delivering 6,000 bags of groceries to seniors and immigrants, and providing hygiene centers for homeless families," adds De La Cruz. "These services strengthen the foundations of our communities through youth development, healthy living and social responsibility."
The sponsor of the event, Optimum Seismic, Inc., a leading California earthquake retrofit company with facilities in Vernon and Huntington Park, donated $5,000 to support the Southeast Rio Vista YMCA along with 1,000 N-95 masks to keep YMCA workers and volunteers safe.
Optimum Seismic Chief Operating Officer Ali Sahabi urged businesses and individuals to contribute to assist with food purchases for meals provided to area residents impacted by COVID-19. Sahabi is a member of the Board of Directors of both the Los Angeles Area Chamber of Commerce and the Los Angeles County Business Federation (BizFed). He is also a member of numerous other business and community organizations.
Contributions naming the Southeast Rio Vista YMCA can be made at https://www.ymcala.org/ by clicking on Donate and going to the YMCA Emergency Community Fund.
Optimum Seismic also arranged for noted television anchor Jackeline Cacho to host a one-hour program featuring the food distribution and other services offered by the Southeast-Rio Vista YMCA.
The event was carried online during a Facebook Live digital program on Wednesday, July 22. The recorded program can be seen at https://www.facebook.com/watch/?v=292576058657316.
During the Facebook Live program, YMCA leaders and community supporters discussed the theme of "Help Us Help Families".
"The COVID-19 pandemic has been met with widespread hunger. Of the approximately 10 million residents that call LA County home, an estimated 2 million people grapple with food insecurity every day," says Los Angeles County Supervisor Hilda L. Solis, who represents the First District. "The Southeast Rio Vista YMCA in the City of Maywood is among those helping. I am grateful for their efforts to provide free grab and go meals twice a week. They truly are a beacon of hope." View statement at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QDbZ-MTa37k&feature=youtu.be.
"Together we will get through this crisis, and I am so thankful for partnerships like the one we have with Optimum Seismic," added Supervisor Solis.
Maywood Mayor Eddie De La Riva thanked the YMCA for being a "tremendous partner" for the City of Maywood and surrounding communities. He also praised its partners such as Optimum Seismic which are helping the YMCA and encouraged more companies and individuals to become involved.
"As COVID-19 impacts increase, social and economic needs have grown dramatically in the Southeast area, and Optimum Seismic is committed to helping the Southeast-Rio Vista YMCA draw attention to its programs serving local communities," said Sahabi. "We need to generate greater public awareness, financial contributions and volunteer support for the YMCA."
"It was inspiring to see so many people and organizations come together to support our Southeast families during this challenging time. We look forward to continuing to partner on similar initiatives that benefit our communities," said Cal State LA Associate Vice President for Operations and Chief Mission Officer Belen Vargas.
"COVID-19 has magnified the challenges our SELA community has faced for many years with limited or no support," said SELA Collaborative Executive Director Dr. Wilma Franco. "It is nonprofit organizations like the YMCA which continue to step in to support and meet the needs of the community. Our SELA nonprofit sector is vital to community well-being in SELA and we thank Optimum Seismic for their support of our SELA community."
"On behalf of Optimum Seismic, I want to commend the leadership of Cal State LA for their diligence and care for our local communities during difficult times. In particular, I want to express my appreciation for the active support and encouragement of Cal State LA Executive Vice President Dr. Jose Gomez."
Driven by its founding mission, the YMCA has served as a leading nonprofit committed to strengthening community for more than 175 years. The YMCA empowers everyone, no matter who they are or where they are from, by ensuring access to resources, relationship, and opportunities for all to learn, grow and thrive. By bringing together people from different backgrounds, perspectives and generations, the YMCA's goal is to improve overall health and well-being, ignite youth empowerment and demonstrate the importance of connections in and across 10,000 communities.
About Optimum Seismic
The Optimum Seismic team has been making California cities safer since 1984 by providing full-service seismic retrofit and renovation engineering and construction services on multifamily residential, commercial and industrial buildings. Optimum experts have completed more than 3,500 projects. Optimum Seismic's earthquake retrofit services include work on soft-story multifamily apartment buildings, unreinforced masonry (URM) buildings and tilt-up, non-ductile concrete and steel moment frame commercial buildings. For information, contact Optimum Seismic at (323) 678-4686 or visit OptimumSeismic.com.
SOURCE Optimum Seismic, Inc.; YMCA