Young boy playing with a hula hoop The Homeless Health Initiative's June 2017 Family Fun & Fitness Day benefited from a new collaboration with the West Philadelphia YMCA. The threat of rain did not cause stress or dull the excitement for the event because it was held indoors at the Y. A total of 36 parents and 57 children from four shelters joined in the fun.

The Y and HHI share the mutual goal of helping families be as healthy as they can be, and the event presented many opportunities to promote that goal.

This year’s event incorporated a health fair, coordinated by Emergency Department nurse Megan Schluckebier, RN, BSN, CPEN, who is also a Community Nursing Advocacy Fellow. A total of 28 volunteers from CHOP — representing Neonatology, the Center for Fetal Diagnosis and Treatment, Sports Medicine, the Community Asthma Prevention Program, Adolescent Medicine, Reach Out and Read, the Safety Center, and Early Head Start — came to share their knowledge. Occupational therapy interns offered written materials and helped children enjoy the moon bounce safely.

With Zumba demonstrations and the moon bounce, provided by the Y, and a DJ adding excitement, attendees had a great time and got their exercise, too! Children made crafts for Father’s Day and engaged in reading activities and games with Reach Out and Read volunteers. Even our youngest guests got in on the action, playing on an alphabet mat. It was a wonderful day of fun and learning.

The YMCA staff hosted a membership table and offered a trial Y membership as a raffle item. Following Family Fun & Fitness Day, families from the shelters were encouraged to return to the Y, and several families have.

The HHI team appreciates the warmth and helpfulness displayed by the YMCA staff from early planning through the day of the event. The great partnership between the YMCA and HHI continues to benefit families experiencing homelessness.