Last year, Jason* was looking forward to a summer indoors in front of the computer. So, when his mother, Sara*, told the 14 year old that he was going to camp, he was not happy.
“He was too old for local day camps, but too young to work,” Sara says, explaining that her and her husband wanted to find Jason, who suffers from a social learning disability, something to get him involved and out of the house – then they came across the YMCA. The results were really unexpected.
After just one session at camp, Jason was a changed kid. The antisocial boy was more engaged and interested, and had goals for the future – to become a counsellor at the YMCA. “The impact was so significant we signed him up for a second session two days after he finished,” laughs Sara.
Even more significantly, the impact on Jason didn’t stop with the end of summer. On the advice of his camp counsellors, this year Jason has become involved in extracurricular activities and more organized. And he can’t wait to go back to camp.
But returning wasn’t definite. Last summer, the financial expense was a huge burden on the family with Sara picking up additional hours and her husband working six days a week to scrape together enough money. And while the benefits for Jason were immense, the entire family felt the impact. Which is why they were so thankful to receive assistance to send Jason this summer.
“The financial support is huge,” says Sara, explaining how thankful they are for the support and how she didn’t want to disappoint her son. “We may not have been able to send Jason back to camp and just one summer helped him so much.” Thanks to the support of donors, Jason will benefit from camp again.
This YMCA participant has shared his/her story, but for privacy reasons is not depicted in this photo.See all impact stories