Thanks to the generosity of local donors and support of volunteers, more children, teens and families will be able to participate in and enjoy the full benefits of YMCA-YWCA programs at a time when many families simply cannot afford the costs involved.
To date, the YMCA-YWCA Strong Kids Campaign has raised just over $100,000 towards the $200,000 goal. The month-long public campaign, which officially launched February 15, is focused on raising much needed financial support which goes directly to local children, teens and families who are unable to afford the full cost of participation in Y recreation, health and fitness activities. This includes, but is not limited to, funding a child to attend summer camp for the first time, helping a struggling teen find employment, supporting a child with a financially assisted Y membership, and assisting a struggling family pay for Y child care.
“Having a Y in our community means access to health and fitness for tons of children and youth who are never given a chance,” says Robert Bryce. “As an employee of the Y and a donor to the Strong Kids Campaign, I have seen the direct benefits of what our Y can do in this community. And as a father, I have come to realize how inaccessible programming for children and youth really is.”
“Last year, the Y Strong Kids Campaign provided direct financial assistance to over 1,300 local children and families with thousands more benefitting from programs that are supported by the funds raised,” says Allison Ramchuck, Strong Kids Campaign Coordinator. “But the need for assistance continues to grow as the needs in our community increase. Many people know of the Y but don’t realize we are a charity. Yes, we operate excellent recreational facilities and programs at both the Kelowna Family Y and H2O Adventure + Fitness Centre but we also offer youth programs and employment services, summer camps, and are one of the largest out of school care providers in the Central Okanagan.”
There are many ways to give or get involved. Over 100 children from the Y’s child care centres will walk for strong kids on the Mission Creek Greenway on April 14th. The Y’s Spin for Strong Kids and Wellness Fair will be held at H2O Adventure + Fitness Centre on September 10th and team registration begins March 15th.
To make a donation or inquire about how you can help fundraise on behalf of the Y, please call 250-764-9621 ext 306 or visit www.ymca-ywca.com.