What does YMCA of Simcoe/Muskoka do in Barrie, Collingwood, Gravenhurst, Innisfil, Midland, Orillia, Parry Sound and Wasaga Beach? More importantly, what impact does “the Y of Simcoe/Muskoka” make? This is a great question and according to YMCA research, not one that is answered very well by Canadians.
Since I started here in May, I’ve often pondered how others—colleagues, volunteers, donors, and the public—would answer this question here in Simcoe/Muskoka. Our organization is large and provides a wide variety of services making it hard to grasp what and why we do what we do and more importantly, “the impact the Y makes.” Oftentimes, people view us from their experience with the programs or facilities that they use when they come to the Y. However, the Y is much more than that.
Recently the YMCA’s in Canada approved a new national branding strategy that will begin to roll out across the country this fall. Part of this strategy will involve a national effort to better communicate and inform Canadians about the impact the YMCA has across our country. Simcoe/Muskoka is an “early adopter” of this re-brand which will allow us to leverage the strength of our national size and scope to better inform the communities that we serve.
Some of the ways we plan to do this are through delivery of a consistent brand message, sharing our stories and celebrating our accomplishments through the use of social media, and by building deeper relationships within our communities and partners whose missions align with our own.
Communicating and connecting are going to be key for us going forward. By embracing new tools we can eliminate dated perceptions, and bring our programs to more kids and teens in more communities by reaching them in ways that weren’t available to us in the past.
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Love the goal of communicating and connecting.
Consistent, clear messages are critical! Social media – great platform to share the YMCA’s terrific community successes! Can’t wait.
Nina, thanks for the feedback! I agree, there are so many new ways to connect to our communities. One of the ways is through Twitter, it is helping me to discover the people and places of the YMCA of Simcoe/Muskoka. I really enjoy reading your tweets@NJR_Col. Follow me @RobYMCASM
MY SUCCESS: In 1998-2000, I went to to the Barrie Georgian College as a single middle-aged mother.
It was my first time living out of my own community with my 3-year old daughter. With the assistance of the On-site YMCA daycare services; I was able to concentrate on my education.
In 2000; I graduated with a 4.0 grade average; dean’s list in all 4 semesters and class valedictorian. Also, we were able to rent a room just 4 doors behind the College with a plaza on the next block and within walking distance of the transit system.
My daughter was taught swimming; computer skills; went to the Griphon Theatre to see so many shows and made some friends.
Different times; I volunteered to help the Daycare Centre with their fund-raising initiatives.
Your organization was there to help me in my time of need as the College environment; living in a new environment; having no immediate support was all very stressful.
I’ve mentioned to different people about how the daycare programs helped Shannon to grow. LOL; You should see her skills with the computer now.
On different occasions; we stopped by the Day Care to say hello and noticed a lot of changes.
THANK YOU GROVE STREET YMCA DAY DARE AND YOUR ORGANIZATION FOR BEING THERE FOR MY LITTLE DAUGHTER AND MYSELF DURING THAT TIME PERIOD.
Thank you for letting us know how you and your daughter were able participate in the programmes offered at the Barrie YMCA. Your story exemplifies how we grow together as a community. Not only does it take dedicated early childhood educators to run these programmes, but it also takes parents such as yourselves, who get involved with helping at our facilities. Congratulations on your success and thank you for sharing your story with us!