Opinion: YMCA can answer child care needs

Article content continuedIn the midst of this transition, the non-profit sector plays a critical role. It deli

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In the midst of this transition, the non-profit sector plays a critical role. It delivers programs and services to youth and adults in need and that may not otherwise be available. Like other non-profits in the city, the Saskatoon Family YMCA is struggling right now and we need support to continue an almost 120-year record of providing needed community programs and services. We intend to continue to be around for another century to meet the changing needs of our community and, with your help, we can be.

Many people in Saskatoon think of the YMCA as a place for swimming lessons, day camp, or fitness classes. Certainly those are excellent features of the YMCA. However, there’s more to our YMCA.

Did you know that one of our greatest contributions to the city is in the form of services we provide to families and children right in their neighbourhood? Throughout the first six months of the pandemic to date, the YMCA has continued to offer and keep open four childcare centres as part of an essential services strategy. We are fortunate that we can do this work now. We look forward to connecting with more families as we start to offer childcare in Brighton later this fall.

The YMCA is also a valued partner in the school systems and offers highly acclaimed before and after school programs in 11 schools. The programs are excellent and we work hard to align our safety practices with our school partners to ensure our staff and children are safe. Parents regularly tell us how much they value YMCA programs and services.

We do need your help, and that help will help us to help others. We foresee an even greater need in our immediate future as the pandemic hovers over our community. We need people to re-activate their memberships, new members to join, donations to our Strong Kids Campaign, and enrolment in our childcare programs.

More than anything else, we need people to understand that the support they give to local non-profits builds a stronger, more vibrant community.

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