YMCA fundraiser aims to support mental and physical health in the community

The YMCA of Eastern Ontario has launched their Strong Communities Annual Campaign. The 2022 campaign goal is $400,000, and donations will benefit the whole community.

“Seniors living with chronic health conditions achieving better outcomes. Youngsters having a safe place to go after school. Families having opportunities to play together. Teens learning leadership skills in the Y’s welcoming environment. Individuals who are isolated, finding a place where they are supported and can make new friends. Those are just a few of the people you support when you give to the YMCA of Eastern Ontario’s Strong Communities Annual Campaign,” the YMCA stated in the release highlighting the launch of the 2022 campaign.

Research shows that when people feel a sense of belonging, their health improves – physically, mentally, emotionally and socially, the YMCA stated, noting that communities benefit too. According to the release, there’s less illness, violence and inequality and more giving and happiness.

“For more than 160 years, the Y has been in Eastern Ontario, evolving to meet the needs of our communities,” said Rob Adams, CEO, YMCA of Eastern Ontario. “The pandemic shined light on how vulnerable we can be when we lose our social networks. We have heard from so many about how their mental health has suffered from a lack of physical activity. This is why over the past two years, despite closures, we have continued to build partnerships so we can offer new programs that connect people.”

Funds raised through the Strong Communities Annual Campaign goes to programming and to the YMCA’s financial assistance program.

“It isn’t widely known that we are a charity and that donations in support of more vulnerable members of our community have real impact. One in five of our members and children in our summer camps receive financial assistance,” Abrams continued. “We believe strongly that someone’s ability to pay should not impede their access to healthy programs and safe inclusive spaces.”

People are invited to donate throughout the campaign, which ends in December, or to one of three cornerstone events: Send a Kid to Camp, which launches today; the Gord Brown Memorial Golf Tournament on August 17; or the George E. Smith Memorial Fire Truck Pull on October 15.

As part of the Strong Communities campaign, the goal for this year’s Send a Kid to Camp fundraiser is $100,000. According to the release, money raised goes directly to help local children attend summer camps. Summer camp is shown to help in a child’s development while the social and emotional aspects of summer learning are every bit as important as academic supports for success at school.

According to the YMCA, by donating today to the YMCA Strong Communities campaign, you are:

  • Helping a child learn to swim
  • Helping a teen to learn to lead and feel successful
  • Enabling a child to participate in a recreation program or in physical activity
  • Providing a safe and welcoming after-school program for at-risk teens
  • Enabling a family to access trusted, quality childcare
  • Helping a senior maintain or regain mobility and have better health outcomes

At the Y, they recognize that each person’s charitable journey is unique, and have many ways for you to give. Please visit their donation page at Canada Helps or contact the director of fund development and relationships, Amy Kirkland at [email protected] or 613.888.7109. The YMCA encourages the community to make a donation today to provide much-needed resources to people of all ages to access healthy and inclusive programs regardless of their ability to pay.

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