Healthy CommunitiesSupport the YYMCA Donors

YMCA donor helps build brighter futures for unhoused youth

22 March 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 put the spotlight on these incredible change makers, sharing what inspires them to give back and what supporting our charity means to them.

Today, we’re hearing from Moti Jungreis, a YMCA donor who has seen firsthand how housing and support can truly change the lives of unhoused youth.

Inspiration to give

“My mother moved here when I was in high school, from Israel. She became a foster parent. Her house was full of kids age 10 to 20 for about 10 years. Some stayed for a day or two, some stayed for years.

“I reconnected with one of them recently. She had been on the street. She said, for her, it’s people like my mom who saved her life. She’s now a successful lawyer. There have been a bunch of stories like this, from kids who definitely didn’t have an easy journey, but changed their life 180 degrees — from not making it at all, to having a future.

“Places like the Y can be a lifesaver for those teenagers. The difference we can make by helping them get on their feet — it’s a responsibility and a pleasure to give back and help those in need.

“I want youth to know that even if they grew up in challenging circumstances, it’s not their fault — and there’s an opportunity for them to have a better future.”

Thanks to donors like Moti, thousands of young people can come to The Wagner Green YMCA, a youth shelter and drop-in centre where they get a safe place to sleep and wraparound supports to help them get back on track. Learn more about the meaningful impact our donors make every day by visiting


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