What really matters to us? Among many things, fostering belonging and connection. At the YMCA, we understand that making social connections is harder than ever.
More than 300,000 people in Metro Vancouver report that they are socially isolated. Many kids are spending after school hours alone, despite the vast majority reporting they’d rather play with friends. In addition to this, increasing diversity in the Lower Mainland population is presenting barriers to making social connections. Lastly, community support systems are failing to keep up with changing demographics and family structures.
This is why investment in building centres of community is so important. These centres of community will enable the YMCA to extend the reach of its life-enhancing programs across the Lower Mainland and Fraser Valley to help address these gaps.
Research done of YMCAs across Canada has shown us that there are many positive effects of belonging to the YMCA—people tell us they feel less alone, find it easier to make friends and have better health. Now, more than ever, we are excited to be bringing YMCAs to new communities and bring new YMCAs to communities already served. In this way, everyone has the chance to access safe, welcoming environments that are free of discrimination. People can also feel connected and engaged with their community and to each other!
We thank our donors and volunteers for believing in the YMCA and helping this vision of building healthier communities become a reality!