YouthReach donors smash fundraising goal

Three hundred and thirty-eight children from low-income Simcoe County families will attend recreation programs this year thanks to donors who supported YouthReach at its recent fundraising gala.

Gala attendees gave $85,000, exceeding the organization’s $35,000 goal by 2.5 times.

“Recreation programs have an immediate positive impact on a child’s life,” says Jeanette Heywood, YouthReach executive director. “Our donors recognize this. I was brought to tears by the philanthropy of our supporters who were motivated to nearly triple the number of local kids we can help this year.”

YouthReach provides up to $250 per child, per year, to cover a recreation activity of the child’s choosing. Eligible activities include sports, camps, arts programs and more. Families qualify for financial support by submitting income information and a contact for an objective third party who is aware of the family’s financial challenges. Families with a household income of $50,000 and under can receive funding. Applications are accepted year-round and must be submitted before or during the activity, not after it has taken place.

“We encourage teachers, faith leaders, social workers, neighbours — anyone who is aware of a family with a child who might benefit from our program — to share the news that this local support is available,” said Heywood. “And, please, consider giving and tell others. A donation of $20 per month can help one child per year. We have the ability to help kids here at home in a really simple but profound way and demand for financial support continues to grow.”

YouthReach has provided more than 600 activity grants to local youth since 2016. The organization was founded in 2015 and achieved charitable status in 2017. YouthReach receives support from the Ontario Trillium Foundation and the County of Simcoe as part of their poverty reduction strategies.

Visit youthreach.ca for more information, to donate or apply for funding.

Photo, front row, from the left: YouthReach board and planning gala committee Chris Van Niekerk, Jeanette Heywood, Denis Galbraith, Jamie Staring, Winter Jade, Shelley Charboneau, Lori Bosco and Chris Roosand. Back row (peeking behind Jamie) Coos Uylenbroek, Dan Charboneau, Stephen Schroeter  Photo courtesy of SNAP’d Barrie Team

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