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A lasting impact: how Riham helps YMCA Child Care make a difference

10 March 2020 - by Dawn Yan
Riham and her fellow George Brown placement students made a splash on our blog when they shared why they volunteer at the Y. Touched by their stories and the connections they’ve made during their time with us, I asked Riham to dive deeper into the difference she’s seen in the children and families she’s worked with.
“I think the Y makes a difference in families’ lives every day by providing a safe, familiar, and welcoming environment for kids,” Riham says. “Diversity and inclusivity are valued at the centres — I see families of different backgrounds coming in every day and everyone is always welcomed and greeted with a smile.”

“The staff not only build relationships with the kids, but also the parents,” she continues. “So the parents trust that the Y will provide remarkable care for their children. Plus, they see how happy their kids are when they pick them up after a long day.”

YMCA Child Care centres are just as welcoming and supportive for our staff as they are for kids. So, I wanted to know if Riham felt she had made a difference in the children’s lives during her placement. She didn’t miss a beat: “For sure! I like to think that I’ve made some sort of positive impact in the children’s lives every time I comfort or console them when they’re feeling upset or emotional.”

Children and educators making funny faces“In terms of their development, I’ve also taught and witnessed the children pick up simple skills from the activities that I’ve planned for them during my time here, so I know that I’ve also helped them learn and grow in that sense too.”

After listening to her story, I asked Riham if she would do it all over again, to which she responded with a resounding, “Yes! I know this is weird to say out loud because I'm only 20 right now and it’s such a long way out, but if I were a parent, I’d want to enroll my child in YMCA Child Care because I trust the place and the people here — I’ve already made up my mind.”

Until then, Riham wanted to share some words of wisdom with other students looking for the perfect placement. “If you’re looking for a place to complete your hours, definitely come to the Y. The Y is an amazing environment for students, staff, and volunteers, which makes for an incredibly memorable learning experience. In fact, I want to come back as a full-time staff in the future and I’m planning to apply as a supply staff in the summer, too!”

At the Y, we strive to leave a positive impact on children and families’ lives. Whether it's reducing a parent’s workload by providing care for their child before/after school, supporting families with financial assistance, or providing children with the support and care they need in their most formative years, we aim to make a lasting difference in our communities. Start your volunteer journey with us today by joining our talented Child Care team and helping families thrive!


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