YMCA begins yearly fundraising initiative

| 05/05/2019
CNS Local Life
YMCA teen counsellor in training with campers

(CNS Local Life): The YMCA of the Cayman Islands last month launched its 10-week, annual fundraising campaign to provide access to the variety of youth character-building programmes they provide. Also known as the “Caring Campaign”, the funds raised provide financial assistance for all segments of the community to attend Y Day Camp, the Extended After-School Programme (EASP) and Teen Leadership, and participate in the new YMCA ropes challenge course.

The campaign officially kicked off 4 April. “Every year, the Y relies on the generosity of individuals and businesses to support our work and provide programmes and services, especially for those who require financial assistance,” said Greg Smith, CEO of the YMCA, in a press release. “Each donation, however big or small, has an impact in the life of a child. The community has been very supportive of the Y, which provides affirmation that we are addressing challenges that resonate with many people. Beyond fundraising, the Y uses this time of year to share the message of not just what we do, but what we stand for, which is at the heart of all we do.”

Smith said that there is not one social challenge the community faces that cannot be “vastly improved by instilling core values such as honesty, respect and responsibility in our young people”, adding, “Every programme the Y offers is a tool to develop these values.”

David Watler, new YMCA board chairman, said that “the Y is truly humbled and grateful for the strong community support”, which he also said was a result of focusing on the most pertinent issues of our society.

“We look forward to continuing our mission to inspire youth, build character and strengthen community,” Watler added. “We want everyone who supports the Y cause to know they are making a sound investment in our community, and we accept the responsibility that comes with it to maximise the return.”

Any amount donated can make a difference, Watler said, adding the entire volunteer board of directors and staff of the Y contribute to the campaign. “We have many part-time staff who don’t make a large salary, but still support the campaign because they see first-hand the results the programmes have on our youth. Setting aside the cost of a cup of coffee once a month can help send a child to camp or teach them to swim, having a powerful impact.”

The EASP is a partnership with the Ministry of Education, serving up to 1,600 students from public schools across Grand Cayman and Cayman Brac, while the Teen Leaders training reaches more than 75 young people between the ages of 13 and 17, the YMCA said. The day camps provide a safe and well-supervised environment for more than 750 kids during summer and school breaks, plus the new ropes challenge course is helping individuals improve critical communication, team-building, trust, planning and problem-solving skills.

One parent who has benefited from the annual campaign donations said, “Financial assistance from the Y has allowed my daughter to participate in the most rewarding spirit/self-esteem building and skill learning opportunities that any child would benefit from in so many different ways. The impact of each of the team leaders and counsellors has offered her a complete sense of belonging.”

For more information about the Caring Campaign, go to the YMCA website, email info@ymcacayman.ky or call 926-9622


Category: Community, Local News, Service Organisations, Youth

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