The Y was built on the foundations of giving and volunteering. Each year, hundreds
of volunteers and donors generously share their time, talent and treasure to help
improve the lives of people in their communities. The impact of their contribution
cannot be overestimated - their generosity makes great Y stories possible. Here
are just a few…
Philippe and Yohan
Philippe is a teen who arrived from Romania and found a community at the Downtown
Y centre’s Youth Zone. In the Zone, where the philosophy is “Come as you are”, teens
from all cultures and walks of life come together to exchange, play ping-pong, chess
and other games. They also participate in basketball, kick-boxing and outdoor outings.
It is a safe place to have fun and relax and also to learn to respect others. "I
love all sports, says Philippe, but break-dancing is my favourite!"
Yohan, a volunteer, is proud of his young friend’s progress and encourages him.
With his warm and friendly smile, Yohan is a reassuring presence for the youth.
“I make sure that everything runs smoothly, but still take time to have fun”. It
is thanks to the generous support of donors to the YMCA Strong Kids Campaign that young people like Philippe
and Yohan can fully benefit from the Youth Zone and learn from each other.
At 13 years of age, Sheila was failing in school and feeling rejected by her peers.
She was slowly but surely closing in on herself. To help break this isolation, Sheila’s
mom signed her up for the Homework Club at the Hochelaga-Maisonneuve Y centre. Against
all odds, Sheila went to try it out, and even chose to continue going. The Y is
now like her second family. She succeeded at school and then began volunteering
with younger kids in the Homework Club. She is now an active participant of the
Y’s Young Leaders program and participated in a life-changing exchange to Nicaragua.
Thank you to the volunteers and donors who make the Homework Club possible!
160 stories for 160 years of history!
YMCA members, participants, volunteers, staff and friends tell their Y story. Click here.