Dear Friends of the Y:
It has been a very eventful month at your YMCA and I want to share some great news with you.
First, we received information in the federal budget that funds will be made available to assist the charitable sector that has been hard hit by the pandemic. This is very good news and in part the result of outreach by the YMCA, YWCA, United Way and others to strengthen our sector. Although it is too early to know exactly what impact these funds will have, it is a step in the right direction toward helping service-centered organizations like the Y continue to help their communities.
The budget also brought good news for childcare in the announcement of the creation of a national childcare program that will alleviate the burden of costs for Canadian families. We were pleased to introduce a few of our childcare families to Prime Minister Trudeau and cabinet ministers to discuss the needs of parents in this regard. I and other YMCA staff from across Canada also met with Minister Hassen to discuss how the new policy will be developed and the ongoing role that the Y will play in this process. I am very proud to be able to represent the needs of our childcare families with the federal government.
As we discuss childcare, it is timely to mention our wonderful childcare staff. During the pandemic, which has provided additional challenges for everyone, our staff have performed to an exceptionally high standard, ensuring the safety of the children in their care while providing an engaging environment for them. Staff has adapted to each phase of the pandemic whether providing emergency childcare, regular childcare or school age care. They are to be congratulated!
As part of our commitment to our community, we have partnered with the LGL United Way to provide transportation to rural residents who have no other way of getting to their vaccination appointments. This is a partnership among a number of agencies and the Y is very happy to help out. Thank you to our staff who also volunteer their time to help. If you are in the Brockville area and need transportation to your vaccination appointment, please contact the United Way to book a ride. You can reach them at 613-342-8889.
On the subject of partnerships, our latest announcement has been our agreement with Providence Care to operate a new YMCA childcare centre at the new Providence Manor. This agreement will bring seniors and children together under one roof, providing opportunities for intergenerational socialization and relationship-building. It will also provide additional childcare spaces – very good news for Kingston families. Construction is expected to be finished in 2024.
The Y has a long history of seeking ways to meet the changing needs of its community and that is our strategy as we move through and emerge from the pandemic. The past year has shone a spotlight on community needs and we continue to look for new opportunities and partnerships to enhance our provision of services.
As always, if you have any comments or questions, I can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Wishing you and your family a safe and happy weekend.
CEO, YMCA of Eastern Ontario