Fundraising Goal: $10 million 

Many are struggling with their health and wellbeing and are concerned about the wellness of our family, friends, and neighbours. The pandemic has not helped. It has reduced access to the tools we use to stay healthy and well. Our Y offers accessible and welcoming programs that support health, fitness, and wellness across all of Southwestern Ontario. 

If there is a financial barrier for you or your family, we can help with that too. Through the generosity of our donors and support from the Y, we provide financial assistance to those who need it. 

Because good health should be something everyone can access. Learn more about our health and wellness programs here.

An Important Message to Our Donors
Unlike other donation platforms, Zeffy does not charge transaction fees, so your entire donation goes directly to the YMCA of Southwestern Ontario. However, the platform does give you the option to add a tip to help Zeffy keep running its services. If you don’t want to add a tip, in the confirmation message, just choose “Other” in the drop-down menu and then enter $0.

Community Starts Here






Health & Wellness Statistics

50% of Canadians feel their mental health has got worse during the pandemic

1 in 5 Canadians experience mental illness or addiction in any given year

Adults in Southwestern Ontario are less active than others in Ontario

People living in Southwestern Ontario have higher rates of high blood pressure, obesity, and diabetes than provincial and national rates


Sources: SWAHN Community Health Profile, Centre for Addiction and Mental Health

You can promote health and wellness with a gift that supports: 

$1.17 million in financial subsidy to access health and wellness programs 

  • 450 seniors have subsidized memberships to access health and wellness programs 
  • 2,600 adults have subsidized memberships to access health and wellness programs 
  • 450 households have subsidized memberships to access health and wellness programs 

$8.83 million critical capital projects to maintain our health, fitness and aquatics centres 

The Y has been a constant for me.  I’ve been a participant, member, volunteer, and employee at different stages of my life.  My early experiences began before clear memories were even formed, in child minding while my mom was taking care of her own wellbeing in fitness classes.  I went on to taking swim lessons in the Y pool, and as I grew up, the Y became ‘the other place’ we went.  If we weren’t at school, at home or with a friend, we were at the Y.  Saturday mornings were spent taking craft and cooking lessons, and training with the swim team.  During the teacher strike in the 1990s I had the opportunity to begin developing my leadership skills through volunteering in the daycare center—even though I was only 11 years old.  I attended camp every summer, and credit CQE’s leadership development program with some of my own successes.  My first paid job was at the old Mitton Street Y in Sarnia where I worked as a lifeguard and swim instructor.  I also worked as a camp counsellor at CQE; having that experience and level of responsibility at that age has had a huge impact on my life.  

Why is the Y so important to me?  It’s a community where there’s a place for everyone to belong.  This is why I still volunteer, no longer leading week-long canoe voyages or working from the pool deck, but as a volunteer on the Board of Directors.  My own children have benefited from the Y community in child minding, with swim lessons, and through spending Saturday mornings in the gym.  So it’s important to me to ensure we preserve these opportunities and make them available to others.    

Alison, Board Member