September 21, 2019

Cayman Islands’ YMCA launches annual support campaign

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On April 4th, the YMCA of the Cayman Islands has 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”, funds raised provide financial assistance for all segments of the community to attend Y Day Camp, the Extended After-School Programme (EASP), Teen Leadership, and participation in the new YMCA Ropes Challenge Course. As a charitable, non-profit organisation, the Y relies on this community support each year to positively impact youth in our community, regardless of their current financial circumstances.

“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,” explained Greg Smith, CEO of the YMCA. “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 added, “there is not one social challenge we face as a community that cannot be vastly improved by instilling core values such as honesty, respect, and responsibility in our young people. Every programme the Y offers is a tool to develop these values”.

The new Board Chairman, David Watler, stated “the Y is truly humbled and grateful for the strong community support”, which he also believes is 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. 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.”

Mr. Watler added that any amount can make a difference, and 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 1600 students from public schools across Grand Cayman and Cayman Brac, while the Teen Leaders training reaches 75-plus young people between the ages of 13 to 17. The Day Camps provide a safe and well-supervised environment for over 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 stated “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 YMCA Cayman Islands’ Caring Campaign, log on to www.ymcacayman.ky, email info@ymcacayman.ky or call 926.9622.

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