Charleston AFB, SC
The Armed Services YMCA partners closely with our Military Leaders to provide programs and services at military installations that need it most. Many of the Armed Services YMCA Department of Defense (DoD) Affiliates are located at military hospitals and provide emergency and much needed childcare for military families dealing with medical issues. We also offer youth enrichment programs like computer learning centers and youth sports. Partnering directly with our military DoD affiliates is a cost-effective, impactful way to run programs. Less overhead means we can impact as many military families as possible and help make their lives easier.
ASYMCA’s Teddy Childwatch Program
This free military program allows parents/guardians to make a reservation to have their child/ren taken care of while they attend a medical or dental appointment in the hospital for themselves or other family members. Teddy’s provides military family support by relieving the stress of finding childcare and the cost of it, and at the same time allowing military members and military spouses to focus on the doctor appointment instead of their children running all over the place. Teddy’s provides parents/guardians with peace of mind knowing that their children are being well taken care of by staff and volunteers who undergo background checks and multiple trainings. Teddy’s is also a military volunteer program where military members and military spouses can give back to their fellow military families by taking care of and playing with the children. Teddy’s volunteers provide a safe environment for children and parents and they help foster new friendships and share fellow military family advice and stories. Teddy’s has facilitated military families to be able to attend thousands of appointments each year with no childcare stress! Teddy’s staff and volunteers nurture the young children who come and allow the children to have fun and be carefree. Teddy’s helps to improve the health and well-being of the military members by providing a children’s waiting room in the hospital so that military families can go to the doctor, focus on the appointment, and take care of themselves. Supporting military families is so important to Teddy’s because we are all in this military life together and we can comfort, strengthen, help, and encourage all at the same time and in the same place!
There are Teddy’s programs on Air Force bases in South Carolina, Alaska, and Hawaii.
Our program’s greatest need is more funding. While we love and appreciate all the great donations of toys, books, puzzles, DVD’s, rocking chairs, etc, Teddy’s is used immensely and is highly valued by the military families and by the hospital that we would love to extend Teddy’s hours to match the hospital hours. We would need more funding to be able to pay our employees to run the program for longer hours.
“What y’all do is amazing for our military families. Our pregnant moms can really focus on their pregnancy and their doctors appointments because they know their child is having fun at Teddy’s. You really make our jobs as physicians a lot easier because we can focus on the needs of the patient.”
“We would not be able to help military families without Teddy’s. We have so many families struggling with depression, PTSD, sleep disorders, etc. Have you ever tried talking to an adult who is overwhelmed and under so much stress and at the same time their child is running around all over the place? Impossible. Our hospital is so lucky to have the Teddy’s programs for the military children to have a safe place to go.”
“I think this program is amazing. Why would anyone not want to volunteer at the program? It is one that truly helps military families and stops at nothing less. I am so happy to be a part of such a successful, happy, and growing program. I think Teddy’s is one of the best programs available for military families and they need to have Teddy’s on all military installations!”
“Deciding to become a volunteer here was an easy decision. I had been using the program for months, bringing in my kids on a weekly basis for my Physical Therapy appointments and also for other clinics. When I realized that the majority of people who care for my children were volunteers, I was sold. How amazing of these military spouses to volunteer their time to help other military families. I knew I needed to sign up to be a volunteer right away. It is extremely fulfilling as a volunteer position!”