The YMCA Northern Alberta has kicked off a $100,000 fundraising campaign with the hopes of making March the “Month of Giving”.
Vice President of Community and Digital Engagement Michelle Hynes-Dawson says with the COVID-19 pandemic now lingering into its second year, they know the need to help is higher than ever. She believes the 30-day fundraising endeavour will help keep the spotlight on the mental health needs of those in the Peace Country and across northern Alberta.
“We wanted to be very visible right now, to let people know we are here for the community, and we are somewhere that people can go,” she says. “We’ve been serving communities through forest fires, floods, and the great depression… so we certainly know how to support people.”
Hynes-Dawson says they’re hoping to really focus on the mental health needs of those under the age of 18, as the constantly changing pandemic has likely caused a lot of anxiety, and mental health impacts.
“We have a full generation of youth that are living through the pandemic, the isolation and the mental health impacts this can create,” she says. “Our programming committed to youth in the community is extremely important to make sure that people of all ages have a place to go, connect and belong.”
Donations can be made on the YMCA Northern Alberta website. The organization works in communities throughout the Grande Prairie, Edmonton, Red Deer, and Wood Buffalo regions of the province.