They say our children can be our greatest teachers. When it comes to my daughter, Hope, I know this to be true.
When Hope was 11 years old, she began attending the YWCA Muskoka’s Girlz Unplugged program: a program to increase girls’ connection to oneself, others and community; develop confidence and critical thinking, along with an understanding of healthy relationships and building positive peer support. The girls do crafts, talk, laugh and have fun.
When Hope discovered the Girlz Unplugged program needed funding to continue, she jumped into action without hesitation. Making and selling friendship bracelets and holding bake sales, Hope donated all the proceeds to YWCA Muskoka. I was so inspired by my daughter’s initiative that I decided to use my own skills as an Registered Massage Therapist and small business owner to host my first annual “Massage for a Cause” – an entire day’s worth of business revenue donated to YW programs (In 2017, $1400 was raised!)
It has been a privilege to watch Hope, now age 13, grow into a young woman who is comfortable and confident in her own skin. She has discovered the value and personal rewards of giving back to her community – and so have I. In fact, I now sit on the Board of Directors for YWCA Muskoka because I feel so passionately about the work they do championing girls and women in Muskoka.
The impact on our community is immeasurable. Women have started and grown their own businesses; they’ve found a safe and supportive network; they’ve regained their footing and their voice.
In the past five years, YWCA Muskoka has given out over 40 loans to women escaping domestic violence right here in our own community. These women are now rebuilding their lives with dignity thanks to YWCA programs and, ultimately, thanks to supporters like you.
YWCA Muskoka is the only organization currently running these important services. Now more than ever it is essential for rural women’s services and programs to continue in Muskoka.
To keep our doors open, we rely on donations. If you’re in a position to give, I ask for your support: you can make a donation to YWCA Muskoka here. All donations (100%!) stay in Muskoka to help local women and children.
I believe we have a social responsibility as business owners and community members to help create the world we wish to live in – a place where we all can thrive together. Only when the most vulnerable members of society are thriving will our job be done.
Director, YWCA Muskoka