This is an unprecedented and unexpected time. Our thoughts are with you and your family and we hope that you are safe and well. We are grateful for your steadfast support of the Club.
Physical distancing measures and isolation have left many children and youth in our country at risk of developing or experiencing worsening mental health problems, including trauma-related stress, anxiety, depression, and loneliness. Reports of positive mental health have dropped by 20% among 15 – 24-year-olds. 68% of young people who previously sought mental health support are now experiencing significant challenges.
As the 8,000 kids and teens we support head back to school this September, your generosity will allow our Clubs to continue providing safe places, programs tailored to community need, and healthy, empowering relationships that will help young people adjust to this new reality.
Throughout this time, our Support Services staff are particularly busy connecting with children, youth, and their parents over the phone, Skype and OTN (Ontario Telemedicine Network) and, now, some in person. Most programs in this department continue to run (Infant and Child Development, Community Capacity Building, Adventure Quest and Reach Youth Support). Our staff have transitioned to using technology to provide their vital services. More of our youth members are beginning to access Raise the Grade and Youth Music Makers through virtual means.
Our Program Staff have been developing virtual programs that children of all ages can access and they have also providing parents with resources and strategies for keeping their children engaged, motivated and emotionally well at home. We have now opened a limited in person Day Camp and Licensed Child Care Services.
Finally, we have a team supporting families with the critical resources they need.
The BGC Kawarthas Foundation supports the Club with critical subsidies. These subsidies make it possible for every child in the City of Kawartha Lakes to access our programs and services regardless of their financial situation.
A recent study at a BGC Club shows that young people who participate in Club programs struggle less with academics and are more engaged in learning. They avoid risky health behaviours. They have less interaction with the justice system. They have better social outcomes.
If you have children who need us, please let us know. If you are, however, in a position to help us continue to deliver on our mission and values, then we would be grateful for your support. Your support will allow us to offer stability and continuity to families now that our doors are open. In fact, we believe, the essential work we do will be even more essential in the days ahead.
You are our stalwart supporters and we thank you for your commitment to the Club. The Club itself needs stability now more than ever. Whether you are able to make an annual gift, or perhaps join our monthly donor program, you will give us confidence that with our doors now open, we can provide services to children and families who may need additional emotional, mental and physical support to transition to the new normal they may face.
We are all in this together. Thank you for your continued support.
Amy Terrill (Executive Director) & Geoff Grier (Foundation Board President)