YMCA of Greater Vancouver Donor Impact Report for 2017 is opening…
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3,492 reasons to be thankful.

In 2017, 3,492 people came together to raise more than $787,000 to provide people with the opportunity to join a community where they are accepted and welcome––a place where they belong.

Look at what we accomplished together.

Click on images () within the map of the Lower Mainland to see stories and information.

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Jake's Transformation

This year was a particularly special year at the Woodward’s YMCA Child Care Centre with thirteen children graduating from the program ready for their new adventure in kindergarten. Jake was one of those children. When we first met Jake, he had just been diagnosed with multiple complex disorders and needed a lot of support. His mom Shelley was feeling lost as she was a single mom balancing multiple jobs and had a hard time finding the care and support Jake needed. She was worried because he was developing much slower than his peers and was impulsive and easily agitated.

Shelley found it difficult to find reliable, affordable child care. There was an immediate sense of relief when Shelley learned that the YMCA was able to provide all the support Jake needed, including nutritious meals, stability and comfort.

Over the two years that Jake was at the centre, he absolutely transformed. He was eating nutrient dense foods every day which helped him grow strong enough to receive additional support from specialists. He learned to communicate his needs and share with others. Jake went from being impulsive and easily angered to being gentle, agreeable and independent. None of this would have been possible without YMCA donors.

Jake has now been in kindergarten for a few months and is thriving. We hear from Shelley often and we're thrilled to say that Jake is making friends, learning a lot and continuing to grow and develop.

Mason and Friends Charity Classic Lawn Bowling Tournament

For the past seven years, event organizers from the Mason and Friends Charity Classic Lawn Bowling Tournament have chosen the YMCA of Greater Vancouver as their charity of choice. During that time, the tournament has helped send more than 4,000 kids to camp! Participants and event goers enjoy a fun day outdoors competing in lawn bowling with the company of others. Thank you Mason and Friends!

YMCA Community Supporters

YMCA third party supporters believe in and support the YMCA cause by fundraising and donating the proceeds to the YMCA Annual Campaign. Their passion and dedication to the YMCA inspires us every day.

A Community Comes Together

In July 2017, the Chilliwack Family YMCA closed for renovations to meet the needs of a rapidly growing community. Even though there is currently no building, the YMCA community is as strong as ever. Members have been staying active at pop-up programming sites and the Y has been continuing to build relationships and connections with local partners.


Every year, the Chilliwack Y sets an ambitious fundraising goal so all children, families and seniors have access to important YMCA programs. The 2017 goal was to raise $25,000. With the daunting task of closing the old facility and the added challenge of only having six months to fundraise, the team did not think they could meet their goal. Fortunately, they were pleasantly surprised. Staff, volunteers and community groups came together to make it happen. One YMCA member and volunteer made sure to continue his very generous annual contribution of $1,500. Another member donated his Y membership dues he otherwise would have paid were it not for the closure. And even with knowing they would soon be out of work, many staff still donated because they believe in the Y and in helping their community. In the end, the Chilliwack Y exceeded their $25,000 goal!


The new Chilliwack YMCA is set to open in summer 2018. The community of Chilliwack will have a new YMCA Centre of Community—a place that will continue to bring people together and build resilient kids and strong families.

A Camp Experience to Remember

Jackson was referred to YMCA Camp Elphinstone by his social worker. He had never been to a camp before and his family didn't think it was a feasible because Jackson has a number of developmental and behavior issues. With the help of financial assistance made possible by YMCA donors, Jackson made the trip to YMCA Camp Elphinstone on the Sunshine Coast.

The beginning of Jackson’s time at camp was difficult. He was easily irritated, would often fight with other campers and would bolt anytime he got upset. Fortunately, the camp staff was able to provide Jackson with a one-to-one counsellor named Ali, who spent the week with him. It took time for Jackson to warm up, but by the end of the week they were inseparable. “I have witnessed Jackson’s transformation throughout the week and it has been amazing,” said Ali.

After camp, Ali received a handwritten letter from Jackson: “Camp changed my life. I never thought I would have this opportunity. I made so many new friends and experienced things I never dreamed of. Thank you!"

YMCA Volunteer Engagement Team

On a beautiful sunny afternoon in August, Erneida, Helen and Shaiba from the YMCA Volunteer Engagement team swam 1,500 metres in the Kitsilano Swimming Pool to raise funds so kids can learn to swim at the YMCA. While enjoying the spectacular ocean and mountain views of Vancouver’s west side, Erneida, Helen and Shaiba conquered the challenge while their supporters cheered them on. In total, they raised almost $10,000 providing 280 kids with swimming lessons. Thank you to the YMCA Volunteer Engagement team for their passion in ensuring that kids learn to swim––a critical life skill.

YMCA Community Supporters

YMCA third party supporters believe in and support the YMCA cause by fundraising and donating the proceeds to the YMCA Annual Campaign. Their passion and dedication to the YMCA inspires us every day.

The family that gets active together, stays together

When Gabrielle was 16, she was going through a tough time. She was showing signs of depression and was disconnecting from her family. Her mom was at a loss for what to do. Gabrielle started seeing a counsellor who believed getting active would help and secured funding for her through the Jumpstart program. She started coming to the Y with her mom. After some time working out together, they formed an incredible bond that continues to this day, four years later.

After the Jumpstart funding ended, Gabrielle’s mom started feeling lost again because they felt they could not afford a YMCA membership. She talked to Y staff about cancelling their membership and they said to her, “You aren’t going anywhere! The YMCA is a charity and we can help.” Gabrielle’s parents struggled with this as they aren’t used to receiving support. Her father recently became unemployed and felt embarrassed to ask for help. On the day they were supposed to come talk about their options, they sat in the car for almost an hour, unsure about whether they could do this or not. When they finally found the courage to walk in the doors, they were both relieved and thankful.

Today, you can find Gabrielle and her parents at the Langara Family YMCA often. Dad lost more than 50lbs and is no longer at risk for diabetes. Mom has proclaimed 2018 as the year she will learn how to swim and the YMCA is where she’s going to do it. When asked why they continue to choose the YMCA, they explained that the Y is not like any other gym. It’s a community they belong to and they couldn’t imagine going anywhere else.

2017 YMCA Strong Kids Highlights

3,492 donors gave more than $787,000 in donations to help people at over 200 YMCA program sites across the Lower Mainland.

The YMCA provides people with a safe place to connect, engage and feel part of their community. We bring people together through supportive, inclusive and welcoming spaces aimed at improving the health and wellbeing of kids, individuals and families at all ages and stages. When you give, you ensure that a child, teen, family or adult can access a Y program that they otherwise would not be able to afford. Your donation will benefit the whole community.

Our research shows that people who are members of the YMCA for five or more years score higher on all aspects of the community engagement index. As a result, our communities experience less illness, violence and inequality, and benefit from more giving, safe spaces that enable people to become stronger and healthier. By supporting the YMCA, you are directly helping others in your community get the support they need. Thank you for your generous support!

Learn more about YMCA Strong Kids.

Everyday Superheroes at the Walk for Strong Kids

Hundreds of budding philanthropists from YMCA early learning child care centres and YMCA Kids Club after school programs donned their favourite superhero gear and walked in the 4th annual YMCA Walk for Strong Kids. Not even the pouring rain could stop our little superheroes and volunteers from walking to ensure every kid has the chance to reach their potential!

At one YMCA Child Care site, the children proudly put their superhero capes on and excitedly soared through the neighbourhood while chanting, "Walk for Strong Kids!" the whole way. This year's YMCA Walk for Strong Kids events raised almost $35,000 for the YMCA Strong Kids Campaign. Thank you to everyone who walked, donated and cheered us on!

"M" The Magic Show

An audience of more than 500 were left amazed at “M” The Magic Show, held at the Michael J. Fox Theatre in October. The show provided an incredibly fun and entertaining experience. The crowd laughed all evening as four illusionists demonstrated different styles of magic acts. A total of $5,000 was raised for the YMCA Strong Kids Campaign that evening. Thank you to Kelvin Ng Magic for a magical night.

YMCA Community Supporters

YMCA third party supporters believe in and support the YMCA cause by fundraising and donating the proceeds to the YMCA Annual Campaign. Their passion and dedication to the YMCA inspires us every day.

Building Confidence in Youth

Helping youth grow up healthy and engaged in their community is a priority for the YMCA. Through the YMCA Youth Leadership Development program (YLD), our youth leaders are challenged to build relationships and develop skills in a fun, safe and supportive environment. Over 850 youth participated in YMCA Youth Leadership Development programs in 2017.

Lisa has been participating in Surrey’s YLD with the help of financial assistance. Even though she has participated for three years, she has never attended the annual Youth Leaders Conference at YMCA Camp Elphinstone. She describes herself as introverted and shy and often feels like she doesn’t belong. Spending a few days away from home surrounded by people she doesn’t know was very intimidating and, although she wanted to go, she could never build up the confidence to register. After a little encouragement from past participants and YLD staff who shared stories and photos of past conferences, Lisa made the courageous leap to attend.

Because of the warm environment created by the staff and volunteers, it only took a few hours for Lisa to feel comfortable and make friends. She was smiling and laughing before you knew it and even performed in the talent show at the end of the conference. After the conference, she said, “I will carry everything you have taught, given and experienced with me for the rest of my life. YLD has forever changed my life for the better.”