YMCAs across Southwestern Ontario 2015 Impact Report
Check out these inspiring stories told by campaign volunteers, donors and recipients!
|"Volunteering at the Y has been one of the most
fulfilling experiences of my life."
- Shawn Zettel
|“The Y helps us uncover the best version of ourselves."
- Dr. Lalitt Chawla
"Financial assistance made it possible to be
part of the Y."
- DeLano Collier
As a Manager for the County of Huron’s Social and Property Services Department, I enjoy working collaboratively with the YMCAs Across Southwestern Ontario on several child and family centred initiatives. The Ministry of Education has a vision that “Ontario’s children and families are well supported by a system of responsive, high-quality, accessible, and increasingly integrated early years programs and services…..” (Ontario Early Years Policy Framework, 2013). Our mutual commitment to this vision has strengthened not only the quality of our early years programs for Huron children and families, but has created unique opportunities for us to grow and learn together.
The YMCA offers a network of licensed Before and After School programs across our county as well as accredited summer recreation programs. These programs allow working families the security of quality child care. Together the County and the YMCA ensure families in financial need are supported in applying for fee subsidy. Children with special needs and their classroom educators have access to resources including consultants and where necessary “extra hands” in the classroom to ensure positive daily outcomes for our children.
The YMCA as well as the County of Huron are members of Kids First - a consortium of 60 Huron-Perth partner agencies and professionals with a focus on early child development. Together we support our early childhood educators by providing opportunities for them to engage in critical reflection and discussion with their peers about pedagogy and practice, supporting their continuous professional learning and growth.
And lastly, I am truly excited that the Goderich-Huron YMCA was able to launch the Youth Recreation, Arts and Sports Program last fall. This program ensures children from financially vulnerable families have an opportunity to participate in the vast network of cultural and recreational activities offered in our county. This program is a wonderful example of collective impact – several community partners including the County of Huron working together with the YMCA, sharing experience, knowledge and passion in order to build a sustainable, and inclusive system that supports our children’s health and well-being.
As partners, the County of Huron and the YMCA hold strong values around the importance of children and family. I look forward to our continued partnership and exploring new innovative and responsive ways to support our community.
Didar, Ashty & Ara
My name is Didar, and I am from Khurdistan/Iraq. Myself, my wife Ashty and my daughter Ara came to Canada 3 months ago because of the political situation in my country. We came to the YMCA to improve our English. When I first came to Canada, I was confused because of the different culture. The YMCA has helped us to improve our English language, learn about Canadian culture, and find my skills that made me shorten my path to my academic goal that I have to obtain here. They helped us start our new life here. Now I feel I am good, confident and satisfied with those many helpful people around me.”
His wife Ashty explains, “It had become unsafe for my family and I in our country. The YMCA has helped me improve my language skills. By daily participation, I discovered skills I didn’t know I had. The YMCA has helped us in different ways such as helping us fill out government paperwork and applications, presenting every service that we needed, helping us find information, providing rides to places and helping us find a job. In Canada I feel most of my rights are protected so I can live safely. I would be happy if I can get my licence to work as a Canadian doctor!