Your Impact


By supporting this year’s YMCA Megathon, you will be creating more spaces for children, teens and families who need our support across the GTA. Read their stories below.


Meet Margaret and Gregg


Suddenly living on a single income after the dissolution of her marriage, Margaret, a mother of two, found herself struggling to make ends meet.  Words cannot describe how relieved she was when she received financial assistance to help keep her two boys, Gregg and Matthew, at their YMCA child care.


 “I was on my own, paying for the mortgage, food, transportation, not to mention asthma medication for Gregg,” she explains. “Getting financial assistance so I knew my children were safe while I worked was an absolute relief.”


Now, almost thirty years later, Margaret’s family has grown up at the Y. As young children, Gregg and his younger brother, Matthew, participated in everything from child care and afterschool programs to camps, swimming and tae kwon do lessons.

As teenagers, the boys joined Y youth programs, became lifeguards and began volunteering.


All made possible through YMCA financial assistance.


“I totally think of myself as a product of the Y,” says Gregg, now 35, with his own fitness and coaching business. “The Y helped me build a sense of community and showed me a positive, healthy environment which I try to recreate for clients now.”


The Y not only helped Margaret give her children the lives she wanted to, but had a huge impact on hers as well. After losing her job, Margaret began working at the Y, doing the interviews for others needing financial assistance.


“It came full circle,” she says. “It felt good being able to give back in the way I knew meant so much to me when I needed it.”




Meet Rob

When Rob lost his full-time job as a truck driver, he was the primary wage earner with a wife and toddler at home. Struggling to find another job, he took a part-time at the post office but was barely scraping by. After feeling like he had no real prospects, he decided to try and join the fire department.


 But he needed to get in shape first.


 Unable to pay the full membership fee, Rob applied to get financial assistance to join the YMCA of Greater Toronto. 


"I was nervous and embarrassed,” Rob explained, adding “but they made me feel at ease and ended up giving my entire family a membership. I’m not the type to use more resources, but they insisted that they wanted to support my whole family.”


So, Rob started going to the Y six days a week to prepare for his fire fighter tests and his daughter started taking swimming lessons. The Y become a family affair.


 “We would play squash, ping pong, badminton and go swimming all in one night,” he laughs.


After five years of waiting for the call, Rob finally got the call that he was accepted into the fire department. Now, many years later, he’s still thankful for the support he received from the Y.


“I couldn’t have afforded to go to another gym,” he says. “And, I wouldn’t have gotten in shape on my own. I felt like the Y gave me the opportunity, and I couldn’t waste it. It was the push I needed.”


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