On September 11, 2001 Manhattan Youth responded quickly to tragic events that plunged Lower Manhattan into chaos. We organized the first community meeting for 1,000 people on 9/15 even though our offices were in the "hot zone," our pool was destroyed, all of our schools were closed, our evening recreation center was shut down, much of our staff was displaced, and our pier was taken over for debris removal. We dispatched our staff to our kids' temporary school assignments across the city so children would see familiar after-school faces, we organized informational meetings, arranged transportation in and out of the restricted area, and provided necessities to people whose homes were cut off from the outside world. We received national recognition for our efforts.
Since 9/11, we have worked hard to meet the needs of resurgent residential neighborhoods in Lower Manhattan. Children from nearly 2,000 families choose from a wide range of sports, swimming, academic enrichment and arts programming. We raised $12 million to design, build and outfit our new Downtown Community Center, which opened in June of 2008, and in 2011 we returned to the newly-reconstructed Pier 25 to provide recreational activities and healthy food concessions.
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Manhattan Youth is Lower Manhattan's largest provider of quality childcare to families, regardless of their ability to pay.