Tag Archives: financial

Self-Care in Times of Stress

iStock_000040737660_DoubleWith the economy shifting around us, now more than ever, is the time to focus on the well-being of yourself and your family. YMCA Calgary is dedicated to providing programs and opportunities for Calgarians to stay active, manage stress and strengthen connections in our communities.

We want to ensure that everyone has the opportunity to participate at the YMCA. If you have been impacted by job loss or other financial challenges and are unsure about continuing your membership, please talk to us about how we can accommodate you.

As always, our YMCA Strong Kids Campaign and adult-focused Opportunity Fund are also available to ensure that everyone has the ability to have a YMCA experience.

If you have questions, please contact our Membership Team or the General Manager of your YMCA location.


12 Reasons Aboriginal Programs Make a Difference

Did you know YMCA Calgary offers free Aboriginal programs and services? The programs and services are offered to people of Aboriginal background and help these folks connect with their Aboriginal roots and other people.

Here are the Top 12 Reasons Aboriginal Programs Make a Difference:

  1. Provide Aboriginal youth and families with a safe place to be together, build relationships and have fun.
  2. Provide Aboriginal youth and families with recreational opportunities several times a week. The rates of preventable diseases such as heart disease and Type Two diabetes are much higher in the Aboriginal community than the rest of Canada. Recreational opportunities can help to reduce this pattern.
  3. Helps Aboriginal people learn about their culture, history and foster positive self identity.
  4. Helps Aboriginal people feel welcomed and included in the Calgary community.
  5. An opportunity for non-Aboriginal people to interact with Aboriginal youth and families in a positive and meaningful way, breaking down prejudice and stereotypes that may exist.
  6. Provide a sense of community and belonging within schools to help Aboriginal children & youth deal with issues as a group instead of as an individual.
  7. Connect students to Elders and traditions that they might not have a chance to experience without the programs.
  8. Increase aptitude for employability skills such as communication, conflict management, leadership, team work, etc.
  9. Create balance in Aboriginal people’s lives through medicine wheel teachings, balancing mind, body, spirit and emotions at home, school and with peers.
  10. Build individual sense of identity to establish self-assurance so they can handle anything the world throws at them because they know who they are as a person, and understand  relationships with family, peers, community and the universe.
  11. Increases young Aboriginal people’s sense of ownership and encourages them to take ownership in everything that they do. Connecting ownership with the four values of YMCA and the 7 Sacred Teachings.
  12. Aboriginal people are the most marginalized demographic in Canada and YMCA’s Y7G program reinforces the notion that students are not destined to the stereotypes conveyed in popular media and school hallways.

Each of these points also help people in YMCA Aboriginal programs become more community-oriented and have the necessary tools to build better, healthy communities.


What Youth Can Learn from the Financial Crisis

Check out this article by David Paltin, Child Pyschiatrist, on the Child Development Institute website all about teaching children & teens about finances and using the recession to explain key concepts on budgeting:

“The statistics on the problem are staggering — 1 in 3 high school teens use a credit card, the average debt of an entering college freshman is $1,585. According to the 2010 Junior Achievement and Allstate Foundation survey of teen finance, 42 percent of teens who do not budget their money do not want to learn about budgeting, while 74 percent of teens say they will have a credit card by the time they enter college. Can we assume that our kids have learned anything from the recession and economic crisis, or have we missed one of the most ”teachable moments” of their lives?”

Read the full article on the Child Development Institute website.


Article: The OTHER Awkward Talk You Need to Have with your Kids

Writer Suzanna da Baca takes a look at teaching your kids about money and finances in an article on the Time Healthland website:

“When I was growing up in Iowa, we didn’t talk about money in my family. My parents valued teaching my siblings and me about saving, budgeting and earning money, but conversations about our family’s economic situation and financial decisions were rare. This was typical at the time — especially in the Midwest, so to my friends and me, money was shrouded in some level of secrecy. Later, when my family hit a rough patch during the farm crisis, we began having more open conversations about money. And while those talks were very difficult at first, it was a relief to understand more about our family’s finances.”

The article provides suggestions for ongoing education of young people on the value and use of money and savings, such as finding teachable moments in everyday life. Plus there are helpful links to other related topics.


Creating YMCA Strong Kids

We all wonder how our individual gift could ever have an impact?

YMCA Strong Kids Campaign raises much needed financial support for children, teens and families who are unable to afford the full cost of participation in a YMCA program or activity.

YMCA Strong Kids Campaign helps one person at a time, one family at a time and one program at a time. That might mean providing funds to:

  • Help a youth gain the confidence and skills to avoid isolation
  • Help a child attend day camp for the first time and meet new friends
  • Give a teen a safe place to go
  • Help a young immigrant learn English
  • Enable a struggling family to use a child care facility
  • Enable a child to make healthy choices by participating in a recreation or fitness activity

In 2012, our goal is to raise $1.4 million to help enrich the lives of more than 13,500 children and youth in Calgary. All money raised goes directly to children and youth so they can belong, grow, thrive, and lead.

Why is there a need for YMCA Strong Kids Campaign?

Research conducted by McMaster University has demonstrated that YMCA programs have a positive impact on low-income children, youth and families, dramatically enhancing their health and overall well-being, both today and well into the future. Calgary’s economically disadvantaged includes:

  • 1/5 of Calgary’s children
  • More than 50% of all single parent families
  • More than 50% of all recent immigrants
  • More than 50% of all Aboriginal people
  • Close to 1/3 of all visible minority persons

Examples of how your investment in YMCA Strong Kids is used:

  • $10/month ($120/year) enables a family peace of mind as their child attends Camp Riveredge in a fun, nurturing, and safe environment
  • $20/month ($240/year): supports a teen to participate in leaderhsip devleopment programs; building their skills, character, and self-esteem
  • $50/month ($600/year): can change a child’s life at our residential summer camp, Camp Chief Hector
  • $83/month ($1,000/year): ensures a whole family can enjoy the lasting benefits of regular physical activity at YMCA Calgary
  • $10,000 – this major gift ensures the support of much needed and fully funded programs such as Aboriginal Active Life, School Support, and the YMCA Achievement Program (YMAP)

Donate to YMCA Strong Kids Campaign

  • Give a gift online
  • Pick up a pledge card at any YMCA location
  • Mail a cheque payable to YMCA Strong Kids to 101 3 St SW Calgary, AB T2P4G6
  • Make a contribution by phone (403-781-1663)
  • Become a volunteer Strong Kids Campaign Chairperson (call 403-781-1663)

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