YMCA of Eastern Ontario

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2022 Strong Communities Campaign: Your donations have made an impact! News Release

Brockville & Kingston, ON – The YMCA of Eastern Ontario is delighted to announce the results of the 2022 Strong Communities fundraising campaign – an amazing $550,000 raised on a $400,000 goal!

“I am so grateful that so many individuals have seen the impact that YMCA programs have in our region and have dug deep to support people of all ages in our community, said Rob Adams, CEO, YMCA of Eastern Ontario. “Because of these very generous donations many individuals have been helped directly in so many ways.”

The focus of the Y’s 2022 campaign was Strong Communities. Strong Connections.

The message was about the power of relationships. The need to feel part of something and be with others was perhaps never more felt than during and following the pandemic.

Donors provided the wherewithal for many in our region to able to connect with each other as well as to address other serious issues like food insecurity and the isolation felt by many teens, youngsters, seniors and families.

Impacts included:

  • Subsidies for 469 weeks of summer camps.
  • Funding of 2,268 visits and meals for the Work Hard Eat Well program.
  • Over the 11 nights that the program ran in 2022, funds allowed 698 visits to Teen Night.
  • Funding of 1,539 visits to our Teen Drop-in program.
  • Funding for seniors to attend Mobile Y 1,920 times.
  • Financial assistance that enabled 2,018 individuals to YMCA programs.

As amazing as these numbers are, they tell only part of the story. Here are just a few of the comments that individuals have shared with us. In their own words, this is what donors’ support really means to people.

Bill’s Y Story: Health and friendship

After breaking some bones and being too sedentary for too long, I could not walk 30 feet on any incline without having to stop to catch my breath. Upon joining the Y, my physical abilities were discussed with the trainer who gave me a personal exercise program based on my ability and what goals I would like to achieve. Improvement sneaks up on you. All-of-a-sudden, 15 reps are easier than the 10 you started with. My biggest benefit from coming here is the family I have joined. The class celebrates various holidays that makes you feel like you are part of a family. This family feeling is carried over by the greetings I get from the front staff when I sign in. [It] brightens my day! My biggest “mini-miracle” from this class is climbing the 10 levels to the top of Hotel Dieu parkade without running out of breath!

Andrea and Brenna’s Y story: The joys of summer camp

My daughter Brenna who goes to Molly Brant Elementary School was fortunate enough to have been selected for camp. She absolutely loved the camp from the delicious lunches that I wish I had, to the amazing councillors "Bowzer” and “Elsa." She always had new stories to tell and would be so tired from all the walks. Thanks so much again for making my daughter's summer a super special one.

Leslie and Carter’s Y story: Work Hard Eat Well

I just wanted to say thanks for working it all out [so Carter could attend Work Hard Eat Well last night]. He would have been devastated [had he not been able to attend]. Carter has been excited all day!! He is usually a shy guy and is just starting to come out of his shell so I’m really glad he wanted to attend! He has nothing but great things to say and says he can’t wait to go back next week. He comes home covered in sweat and for a little boy who normally doesn’t wanna leave his game, that’s amazing!! Again, thanks so much for making it work!! (P.S. His sister was quite happy he brought home an extra pizza sub.)

Teen Y stories: Tales of courage

The following are comments from some of the teens who attend our drop-in programs. Names have been changed to respect privacy.

  • Sid comes to the Y to sleep every day after school because he feels safe and because even a room full of teens is a quieter space than home. His uncle regularly has a lot of people over making the home very loud and he doesn’t feel comfortable. 
  • Sarah is bullied at school and has tough time at home with a big family and troubled relationships with her parents. To cope, she has adopted a tough persona. She attends the Y because she can be herself and she feels that she is liked and appreciated. Sarah is always one of the last to leave Teen Night and loves doing crafts and trusts staff enough to vent about her challenges. She hopes to be able to volunteer to work with younger children. 
  • Charlie has a difficult time at school and with fitting in socially. His guardian has a serious illness, so Charlie doesn’t want to leave her at home alone. He attends Teen Drop-in with her encouragement because she wants him to be happy and social. Charlie attends most days and spends his time having fun with close friends. He regularly comments about how much he enjoys coming to the YMCA. 
  • Amira lost her sole guardian in a car accident on a Friday and came to Teen Night that evening so she could lean into the good things in her life and not shut people out. She spent the night getting hugs and talking to staff and peers. She has been back each Friday since. 
  • Rebecca was referred to the Y by her probation officer. Her mom walked out on her and her sibling in early December, leaving them alone in a one-bedroom apartment that flooded. A staff member from Connect Youth said: “We’re supporting her to get connected to housing services, CAS, etc. I asked her today if she had anything she looked forward to under the circumstances. [Rebecca told me:] ‘YMCA Teen Night every Friday. It’s the only thing I go to for now’.”

The 2023 Strong Communities Campaign

This year’s Strong Communities campaign, which is how funds are raised to provide financial support to give more people access to YMCA programs, will kick off in spring with an announcement of the Y’s new fundraising goal and the beginning of the Send a Kid to Camp fundraiser.

Please also mark your calendars for our two principal fundraising events.

  • On August 16, we will once more partner with United Way Leeds and Grenville for the annual Gord Brown Memorial Golf Tournament
  • October 14 is the return of our popular George E. Smith Memorial Fire Truck Pull.

“On behalf of the staff and volunteers at the YMCA of Eastern Ontario, I’d like send a most sincere thanks to everyone who donated for helping us to achieve our charitable mission that is dedicated to the growth of all persons in spirit, mind and body, and to their sense of responsibility to each other and the global community,” Adams said. “Thanks also on behalf of the many, many people our donors help through their selfless commitment to others. Their desire to help makes a difference to so many!”



About the YMCA of Eastern Ontario

The YMCA of Eastern Ontario is a charity that provides programs and services to improve health and health outcomes, develops leaders, helps build social connections and provides safe, inclusive spaces for people of all ages. The Y is Canada’s largest provider of childcare with trademarked curricula and offers fitness and other specialized programs including Work Hard Eat Well, Teen Night, Teen Drop-in and Total Life Care. www.eo.ymca.ca

For media inquiries or to arrange an interview, please contact:

Colleen Gareau
Director, Marketing & Communications
YMCA Eastern Ontario