We Are Strong Kids – Annual Giving Campaign

The YMCA of Kingston would like to thank LiUna Local 183 for their generous donation of $10,000 towards our annual Strong Kids campaign. This money will benefit youth- focused programs which will help build strong kids, strong families and strong communities! Thank you again LiUna Local 183!

We at the YMCA of Kingston would like to thank the Shea Family, the owners of the new McDonald’s ® restaurant on 705 John A. Macdonald Boulevard, for making the YMCA of Kingston their charity of choice during their Grand Opening. January 5th -11th, $1 from every Big Mac sold went towards YMCA programs such as youth recreation, swimming lessons and subsidized YMCA memberships. Thank you again for your generosity.

Donate now and support YMCA of Kingston Membership Subsidies

Today we celebrate the amazing effort and outstanding achievements of the 'We are Strong Kids' Campaign! Our annual fundraising effort engaged hundreds of new donors and partners. Watch the the end to see final $$ raised! Special thanks goes to our fund-matching partners The Estate of Larry Gibson & Homestead Landholdings and our new friends at LIUNA Local 183 for their first ever gift in support of the YMCA.

Posted by YMCA of Kingston on Wednesday, October 11, 2017

In 2016, 2030 individuals, 40% of which were children, depended on contributions from generous people like you in order to participate in programs at the Y. We need your help to continue with delivery of valuable programming contributing to the health and wellness of participants. Caring donors like you ensure no child, youth, family or senior is unable to access programs at the Y due to an inability to pay. Our financial assistance program contributed $266,000 in financial assistance last year with a projected increase to $297,000 for 2017. You may take great pride in knowing your generous gift to the YMCA ensures financial assistance programs create safe, inclusive environments, accessible to all. Please help children to follow their dreams through your support with us today.

We have two caring partners from our community, Homestead Land Holdings Limited and Estate of Larry Gibson, who have offered to match all new and increased donations up to $25,000 during the 2017 campaign running from August 15 – October 1, 2017. This means that every dollar you invest with us will be tripled.

Donate now and support YMCA of Kingston Membership Subsidies

Abi Tripp joined the Y Penguins Aquatic Club more than 10 years ago. She was given a chance to become part of the largest swim team of its kind in Canada. She spent countless hours in the water, being coached by Marathon Swimmer Vicki Keith, leading her to accomplishments in competition that she’s been dreaming about for years. Last Summer, Abi competed in Rio on Team Canada in the Paralympics. At 15 years old, she reached for her dreams and achieved.

She brought back patience from her time in Rio. She raced for 10 days; learning what she does best and staying focused. Her world class athletic experience showed her how capable people are with all the different abilities.

“There are people from all over the world with different abilities. It was really cool being there and see how much people could do with their bodies and really push themselves to their full potential.”

Abi is a leader on the team. New Swimmers can look up to her for an example of how far they can take the sport. She is the first to say that she’s still young and has lots to learn, but she’s always eager to share her knowledge with younger Penguins Swimmers. She loves supporting her fellow teammates and watching them improve their skills.

Abi knows that some swimmers at the YMCA only have access to the Penguins and other YMCA programs because of the generosity of others. She believes it’s because of generous people in our community that YMCA aquatics programs can exist. The importance of these people the background making sure that programs like the Penguins exist does not go unnoticed.

The YMCA makes dreams possible for kids every day. From making friends and building a community, to sharpening their mental and physical skills, We build Strong Kids, every day. And we can’t do it without the generosity and support of our community. 1 in 4 YMCA strong Kids and their family couldn’t be here without Donor support. Your gift ensures they have access to the YMCA and its life changing programs and services.

In 2016, Lev and his Mom, Christyna, moved to Kingston from Toronto. Christyna, a single parent, was to begin her MBA studies at Queen’s University in January of the following year. She knew her son needed a place he could be comfortable and safe before he started at a new school. Christyna approached the YMCA of Kingston. Her visit and meeting with Y staff, resulted in the groundwork for their new life in Kingston.

“Everyone knows of the Y, but I had never been a member so had no idea of the scope of services available. Somehow I knew it was the best place to go and I was not wrong. Now I don’t know what I’d do without the Y, its’ staff and services.” Christyna says.

Christyna believes that the people at the YMCA are one of the best parts of Lev’s day-to-day experience. The real-life role models available to Lev give him the guidance and support that he needs to continue to grow with confidence. Because of donor and partner support, Christyna and Lev can balance a hectic and challenging life together. The YMCA offers a safe and engaging place for Lev to grow and play while Christyna has both the time she needs to study and the facilities available to recharge her batteries; leaving her the energy and time to invest in herself and her family.

“When a complete stranger is willing to support you, it’s amazing because that support could have gone to anyone and the donor is asking for nothing in return. Sometimes you don’t even think you’re worthy of support. I didn’t know where to go or what to do. The generosity of others can often mean the difference between being able to do something and not being able to doing something – and the generosity of this community has been a deal-maker for Lev and me. It’s been inspiring” says Christyna.

Without donor support the YMCA could not deliver the life-changing programs and services that make our community what it is. From Childcare to adult wellness, the generosity of donors and partners is what makes the YMCA of Kingston such an important part of Christyna and Lev’s daily life.

Saying Katie’s happy is something of an understatement. With her cozy winter boots on we took a chance to sit down and learn more about a remarkable young woman and one of her favourite places in the world.

Katie isn’t new to the YMCA. She’s been coming here for the last three years and spends her time happily swimming with her family and dancing in the group fitness studio. Traveling on her own with the Kingston access bus, Katie finds her way to her favourite dance fitness classes a few times a week.

Katie loves that instructors are engaged and talented; teaching different kinds of moves and making it fun. “Jazz lines, Zumba, 5, 6, 7 Sweat are my favourite dance classes,” Katie says emphatically when asked what she loves the most about her time at the Y.

Katie is the first to say that her life is better because of the time she spends at the Y; always taking the time to chat with the staff, volunteers and other members, she feels comfortable and welcome. “Just stuff,” she tells us when asked what she chats about. “I like saying hi to all the staff.”

Though she doesn’t remember her first visit to the Y, she knows the feeling she gets when she arrives. The YMCA is a vital part of Katie’s weekly routine because of the people who make it a community. Without financial support from donors and community partners, the YMCA could not offer the programs and services it does; financially supporting those in
need would not be possible.

Without the help and generosity of donors, Katie wouldn’t have the happiness she has today. A gift to the YMCA in support of our financial assistance programs makes you a part of something wonderful, welcoming, and happy.

Dave grew up in Stratford, Ontario. He had a good childhood. He and his brother had a local pool and though winters were hard, spent time tobogganing and at the arena watching local hockey teams. Dave played basketball and was pretty active in cross country running, baseball and other sports during high school.

As an adult, he had to keep his weight up to be strong enough for heavy work. As a warehouse worker and driver he was 337 pounds at his heaviest. This resulted in high blood pressure and cholesterol and put him at risk of diabetes. His doctor referred him to the cardiac rehab program at Hotel Dieu. His weight was just too much for his worsening

Once he completed the rehab program he was told that Ys hearts at the YMCA could help him maintain and further his progress. The trainers at Hotel Dieu thought the Ys hearts program was the best option for me for moving forward. “The warm ups were the same and I was monitored and supported the same way. I could push myself in the gym and feel comfortable doing it.” Dave recalls of his first few months in the program.

As he started getting more comfortable he could start doing other programs at the Y. Going to and from Y’s hearts he could slowly add other programs that could fit into his routine. “With all the different activities that I’m doing here, I don’t think I’d be as healthy as I am now. I’d stiffen up and my arthritis would get worse and I wouldn’t be as healthy.” All the trainers have helped him build his confidence. Their enthusiasm has been a huge support for Dave.

Like 1 in 4 YMCA members, Dave’s membership is subsidized annually to what he can afford. Living on a fixed income means that without the support of the community, programs like Y’s Hearts wouldn’t be available to him.

The financial assistance programs at the YMCA are only made possible by the generosity of donors. With the support of the community, Dave is moving again–able to walk down the street and spend time with his nieces and nephews and give back to the community that has given him his life back.

In 2006, Larry Gibson was diagnosed with cancer. As a philanthropist and astute planner, Larry executed direction for planned giving with his estate, directing gifts for the largest impact to the community. Trustees for the Estate of Larry Gibson knew that matching gifts would ensure the greatest impact and have placed their gift with YMCA of Kingston for a second year. We are greatly appreciative of the continued confidence the Trustees have placed in the Y.

Homestead Land Holdings Limited matching gift, directed by noted Kingston philanthropist Britton Smith, represents faith and commitment with the work the Y delivers in Kingston. Founded in Kingston in 1954, Homestead Land Holdings Limited has grown to become one of Canada’s largest and most respected landlords. The founding principles of the company are to provide residents with affordable, secure housing with a standard of care in which residents are treated like family members, which align with the core principles of the Y: Caring, Honesty, Respect and Responsibility. Mr Smith and Homestead Land Holdings Limited have been generous benefactors to the YMCA of Kingston since 2001.

The YMCA is committed to strengthening the foundations of our community. Helping people develop a healthy mind, body and spirit and inspiring a sense of social responsibility is the cornerstone of our legacy of caring. The Y is more than just about getting people active. It’s about creating a community that is healthy, where children, teens, adults, families and seniors, are working together to create a place with a sense of belonging.

With over 10,000 members at our three locations, the partnership with Homestead Land Holdings and Estate of Larry Gibson to match your donation, is a resounding commitment to the value our services represent in our community.

We hope you will take advantage of this amazing offer to triple your donation with us and permit children and youth the chance to learn, play and belong at the Y. When kids feel connected in a nurturing environment, they grow to become stronger, healthier and productive members in society.

Please support the YMCA of Kingston with your gift by October 1, 2017.

Thank you for the hope and inspiration your gift provides.

Donate now and triple the impact of your gift!

The YMCA of Kingston, a community-focused, registered Canadian charity #108225418RR0001, was founded in 1856 and has been dedicated to strengthening our community in spirit, mind and body since inception. As a charity, we champion values of inclusiveness, caring, honesty, respect and responsibility. Our impact in a community is only achieved through the loyal support of patrons and donors. Please pledge your support today to permit the YMCA to continue delivery of essential programming in Kingston.