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“I know I’ll make a lasting and meaningful impact for generations to come.”

28 August 2023 - by Nicole Meredith
The YMCA of Greater Toronto is a charity, and it’s thanks to our incredible donors and volunteers that we can empower people with essential services, chances to better their lives, and a sense of community and belonging. Why I Give is a series designed to shine a spotlight on these incredible changemakers, sharing what inspires them to give back and what supporting our charity means to them.

Today, David Prendergast shares how his decades-long journey with the Y inspired him to give back.

Inspiration to give

“Over 30 years ago, when I started going to the gym at my local YMCA, I never thought that my connection to this charity would evolve and run so deep. I was soon volunteering as a fitness instructor and, later, to assist with fundraising. I found a real sense of community here; friends I met at the Y are still my friends today, and I continue to go to my local centre at least three days a week. It’s important to me to do what I can to help the Y continue their important work for years to come.

“I’m not sure people realize the depth and breadth of the Y’s involvement in the community. Beyond a place to work out, the YMCA takes care of our children, has numerous programs for youth, provides shelter and support for youth experiencing homelessness, assists new immigrants, helps people prepare for employment, and offers support to marginalized groups. The Y is there for our neighbours in ways too numerous to mention here."

Gifts that keep on giving

“I began to consider other ways that I could support the Y as a thank you for how much they have brought to my life. I was introduced to the idea of leaving a gift in my will to benefit the hundreds of thousands of people who rely on the Y. I loved the idea that even beyond my lifetime, I could still support this amazing charity. In addition to including a gift to the Y in my will, I have also left a gift to YMCA Sprott House: One of the first transitional housing programs for unhoused 2SLGBTQIA+ youth in Canada. That’s a program that is really important to me.

“I see a bright future for the Y as a charity that continues to be inclusive and progressive. Donations can support the Y’s critical programs and help build new centres so more people in more communities can access those urgently needed supports. In short, I know I’ll make a lasting and meaningful impact for generations to come by leaving a gift to the Y.”

To hear from other YMCA donors and learn what inspires them to give to our charity, visit


Visit to find out more about our programs, services and charitable impact.


See the many ways to give to the Y and help build a brighter future.


Find child care programs that help children and families shine.


Stay healthy, active and connected at our health and fitness centres.


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Get the job you want and brighten your career with help from Employment Services.


Settle in and light up your new life in the GTA with support from Immigrant Services.


Make new friends, hone new skills and find counselling at our Youth Programs.


Give back and shine on with rewarding YMCA Volunteer Opportunities.


Find out about our green initiatives and what we're doing to build resilience to climate change.


Light up learning at  YMCA Academy, a middle and high school for those who learn differently.