A YMCA campaign in greater Saint John that allows those less fortunate to attend summer camp, among other things, is upping the ante and changing its name.
The organization is seeking $325,000 for their Strong Communities Campaign. Formerly known as the Strong Kids Campaign, roughly $300,000 was raised last year.
The money helps kids in need attend “Y” facilities like Camp Glenburn , just outside Saint John.
Officials shared the story of Carlos, a boy who attended Glenburn with assistance at first. But it was that experience, his mother says, that helped mold him into who he is today.
“Glenburn has been the foundation for Carlos’s attitude, character and drive for success,” Pip Nightingale, The Y’s camping manager told the crowd gathered for the campaign launch.
Nightingale says about 35 per cent of campers at Glenburn are subsidized each year.
The money raised doesn’t just help kids go to camp. It helps people of all age groups with more than 2,600 people receiving assistance to take part in YMCA activities last year in the greater Saint John area alone.
This year, even more money is needed because the demand is higher.
“[The funds] are constantly being used to help people going to camp, swimming lessons, using the gym,” said Jenny Bosien, the local chairperson of the Smart Kids Committee. “We don’t turn anybody away.”
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While an additional $25,000 is a big ask, seeing the result of the donations makes a big difference.
“I think if you can demonstrate the impact it’s having on our community, people are more than willing to give,” said Shilo Boucher, president and CEO of the YMCA of Greater Saint John. “And the fact that our community is a giving community really does help.”
It’s a good example of a giving community — helping those who receive to give back.
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