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“The Y never turns anyone away”

24 August 2022 - by Nicole Meredith
The YMCA of Greater Toronto is a charity, and it’s thanks to our incredible donors and volunteers that we can connect 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 change makers, sharing what inspires them to give back and what supporting our charity means to them.

Today, Matthew Farley shares how his wife’s childhood experience at the YMCA inspired his support for our newest facility at The David Braley Vaughan Centre.

Inspiration to give

“When my wife’s family came to Canada from Serbia, they didn’t have a great deal of money. The YMCA opened its doors so she could partake in sports and athletics and all sorts of activities that are very important for youth, in my opinion. That’s where kids develop, build social skills, learn real-world lessons — it’s more than a gym membership.

“I saw that again when Peter Cortellucci introduced me to the new YMCA at The David Braley Vaughan Centre. He took time out of his day to show me around. One of the things he shared that really stuck with me is that the Y never turns anyone away. If someone can’t afford a membership or program fees, they can get assistance.

“It made me think of my wife, whose family wouldn’t have been able to afford to put her in sports, if the Y didn’t have their financial assistance program. She got that chance to be part of a team, be happy, develop, learn new skills… and I think that all translates into how people live their lives. My wife went from a newcomer who didn’t have a lot, to a successful lawyer, and if there’s any part of that path that was inspired by the YMCA, then that’s pretty incredible.

“Peter also showed me how the YMCA is more than a rec centre: people can get help from the Y finding a job, with immigrating to Canada, with a lot of different things.

“In that sense, I think donating to the Y allows you to support more causes than you probably could in other cases. It’s a unique charity with multiple avenues that help people — your donation can give people opportunities to exercise, get an education, learn the language... So it’s a way to take one donation and spread it across many different areas. You know it’s helping many people as they work to overcome barriers and better their lives.”

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

Matthew Farley is the co-founder and President of Four Point Financial. He has been a licensed advisor since 2008 and comes from an extensive background working at multiple financial-planning firms over his 13-year career. Matt specializes in working alongside his client’s accountants, lawyers, and family advisors to create tax-efficient investment, insurance, and estate-planning programs. His goal for clients is to put themselves, their families, and their businesses in a better financial position for current and future generations.


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