The YMCA is more than just a gym—for many, it’s a beacon of hope, a safe haven, a place of community and so much more. This is why the work that we do is so important and we are incredibly proud of it.
As a charity that seeks to make an impact in our communities, we are eternally grateful to our donors and volunteers. So many of our life-enhancing programs are in operation due to the generous gifts made by our donors. But that’s not all. At the Y, we want to ensure that everyone is able to meet their full potential. With that in mind, we believe that cost should never be a barrier. That’s why we also offer financial assistance to those of our members and program participants who need it.
Did you know that we offer financial assistance to 1 out of every 5 members at the Chilliwack YMCA? This includes people of all ages and backgrounds—with children and families seeing the most need.
Currently, around 200 children learning how to swim at the Chilliwack YMCA alone are able to do so because of the financial assistance they receive. But they don’t only learn swimming skills; they learn important life and social skills, make new friends and have the support of a welcoming community.
This was especially true for one of our young YMCA members who was able to find belonging and connection. Rahel and her family were newcomers to Canada. And like many who make the journey from their home country to start a new life, they found that adjusting to a new country with its different language, culture and customs very difficult.
They didn’t have a support network when they arrived and did not feel as if they belonged. Unfortunately, the culture shock was too much for Rahel’s husband. After a few months, he decided to leave Canada and go back to their home country.
Rahel was left alone with her son Thomas who became very distressed and depressed when his father returned to their home country. She recognized right away that her son needed some support, an opportunity to make friends and feel a sense of belonging.
She turned to the YMCA and was ecstatic to find out that she could get a YMCA membership, which included free continuous swim lessons, thanks to the YMCA Strong Kids Campaign. “It really helps my son get his mind off of our family problems,” she shared when asked about her experience with the Y. “He gets the chance to socialize with other kids and be active!”
Rahel and Thomas’s story is just one example of the many ways in which the YMCA Strong Kids Campaign makes a difference for our members. And it is all thanks to those who generously give—both time and monetary gifts—that we are able to continue supporting those who need it.