"I believe in the importance of people being active and its connection to a long healthy life. I have been volunteering at the YMCA for many years, starting with coaching kids’ soccer. It gave me the opportunity to mentor and encourage children and youth.
I want to pass on my values about a healthy lifestyle, community building and my faith in the next generation. I was just recently given a new volunteer position at Member services and I’m excited to say, not only can I empower
I was just recently given a new volunteer position at Member services and I’m excited to say, not only can I empower young people, I can also share this gift with all generations. My goal is to inspire others to join and open the doors for everyone to be involved with the YMCA family."
~ Moez Dhanji
Volunteers are the heart of our organization. Families, individuals and corporations give their time, talents and treasure to help us build strong communities.
"When the Saddletowne YMCA opened, my friend wanted me to join but in my culture I was brought up believing women should not exercise in front of men. I kept thinking about it so I gathered all the information and tried to convince my husband that the Y would be good for me and the kids. After many attempts, he agreed that we should try.
The staff were so friendly and welcoming. They even assisted us with membership fees and my kids’ activities. At first I didn’t have the energy to do very much but staff encouraged me to keep trying. Soon I was going to classes every day. They noticed my progress and suggested for me to take fitness courses and to volunteer. I was so happy to help others.
Because of all the activities I was doing at the Y, I decided to learn to drive and be more independent. I even got my husband to start exercising and now he volunteers too.
At first my goal was to lose weight. Now my focus is to have a healthy body and mind, and share my happiness by helping others in any possible way. We all love the YMCA. It has really changed our lives."
~ Zobia Asif
Thanks to your generosity we are able to build healthy communities for everyone to enjoy. Your donations support our Power of Potential Campaign giving opportunities for generations of Calgarians to belong, grow, thrive and lead.
"People generally believe new immigrants go through a transition phase, but I believe it is in fact a whole new beginning. We are re-born. As newcomers we are fortunate to have access to resources and organizations that work together to help us become responsible Canadian citizens.
When I first arrived I began taking YMCA Language Instruction for Newcomers to Canada (LINC). After I finished,
I wanted to give back to the community. I decided to volunteer with my former LINC teacher and take other courses to further improve my professional development. I loved my routine and interacting with students.
During this time the YMCA also helped with childcare which put my mind at ease knowing my daughter was in good hands.
It allowed me to focus and concentrate on my work.
I consider myself lucky to have gotten involved with the YMCA! Thanks to continued support I am employed as a Teacher’s Assistant with LINC and working toward certification as a Teaching English as a Second Language instructor."
~ Munazza Saeed
"At 16 years old, I was living on my own and going nowhere when YMCA staff showed me a better way.
One person hired me as a day camp counsellor, another actually let me live in her home and now I’m working in YMCA outreach programs. Each person helped me to evaluate my skills, values and self-worth. I would be a totally different person if I didn’t have the YMCA in my life. No matter what happens, I know I’ll always be connected to the Y in some way.
The YMCA helped me realize that I could positively influence another young person’s life and inspired me take Child Studies at Mount Royal University. I’m in my second year with two more to go. Once I graduate, I hope to work with at-risk youth."
~ Sarah Finn
"The YMCA aboriginal drum and dance program has allowed my family to learn about our culture and heritage while incorporating physical activity into our explorations.
Staff accepted us with open arms. Through the program we have been able to include many of the Ojibwa, Cree and Blackfoot teachings and stories into our daily lives. Drum and dance has ignited the passion in our veins and love in our heart to follow who we are."
From the bottom of our hearts – Miigwetch.
~ Stacey Dyck
"When I became a Shawnessy YMCA member in 2004 I felt it was the perfect place to raise healthy, active and social children. I had no idea just how much the Y would impact our lives.
The Y offered financial assistance for our memberships and activities. They even provided support when my marriage ended and showed incredible care, concern and respect when we experienced some medical situations.
Since our Y journey began, we’ve met many amazing people. My children have been wonderfully influenced through so many great programs and I have gained confidence, found my long lost self-esteem and I’m continually building a healthy mind and body.
The YMCA clearly demonstrated the positive role of a caring community. Life has not been easy for us but the Y made it happen for me and my children. I feel peace and hope at the Y. Staff are there for us, going above and beyond, and have become our extended family. I am so grateful for everything."
~ Monika Kaldi