Win 4 Kids Finalist- London Youth for Christ

Youth_for_Christ_-_12000_winner.jpgYouth for Christ (YFC) provides an After School Program for approximately 100 kids grades 5-8, and offers a shuttle from four community schools to the program.  

YFC is located in an area of the city that has been hit hard with unemployment and poverty. The organization helps youth meet their basic needs but also to come along side families and work together to break the cycle of poverty, to build capacity and to foster community ownership and sustainable development.

Each day, the youth take part in group games, physical activities, have homework support, learn kitchen skills and are provided with healthy snacks. Sometimes, the youth are able to take part in activities outside of the Centre such as bowling, skating, sledding and swimming, which all foster a well-rounded, healthy and active life style.

The City of London recently endorsed YFC in support of the construction of an indoor skate park. The skate park will provide young people with an opportunity to learn appropriate skate boarding skills as well as keep them physically active year round.

The funds from Win 4 Kids will support equipment costs such as helmets, wrist pads, knee pads, skate boards, long boards, etc. The funding would also be used to enhance the current physical activity programs that are taking place on a daily basis in the gym. It would allow for a wider variety of activities as YFC is in need of new exercise mats, basketballs, volleyballs and floor hockey sticks.

Linna Nguyen, an Associate at GoodLife Fitness nominated the YFC program. She says, “YFC is truly a place in which youth can discover their true potential.”  She continues, “This program offers inner city kids a place to learn, grow and become the best they can be.”

This is an opportunity for kids to come together to have fun, be physically active, have healthy snacks and be supported in a loving and empowering environment where they see hope, potential and a bright future.  

TESTIMONIAL

I’m a single parent of two children aged ten and twelve and am enthusiastic about the opportunity to share my experience with Youth For Christ and why you should vote for YFC. I sent my two children to YFC after searching London for a place that offers a program that fits my children's needs. There are not many facilities that tailor to tween age groups. YFC welcomed my children with open arms. The staff at YFC are attentive and plan creative fun packed activities.  When I pick up my children they always have a big smile and this is very comforting since I work an eleven hour day. I feel secure knowing they are safe and happy.

- Stacey, mother 

 SOCIAL MEDIA

Twitter Handle: @YFCLondon

Facebook Page: Facebook.com/YFCLondon

Website: www.yfclondon.com

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The Confidence to Try #FEELGOODFRIDAY Lukas is a 10-year-old Raptors fan who plays basketball with his local chapter of Special Olympics, but it wasn’t that long ago that he was afraid to join a team. Lukas is an outgoing kid who likes to make friends and has always been very active. But his early experiences in organized physical activity were not positive. One of his biggest challenges with autism is struggling to follow directions in large groups. He was often told he was doing things wrong and even that he would embarrass the team. “These negative comments deflated his confidence, and he became afraid to try new things,” explained his mom Lisa. When he was eight, Lukas took part in the Sports of All Sorts program at the Geneva Centre for Autism. The supportive environment in the Sports of All Sorts program, funded by a GoodLife Kids grant, was a real game-changer for him. Constant encouragement and positive reinforcement gave Lukas a safe space to explore new activities without a fear of being judged. With one-on-one support he played basketball, baseball, tennis, and golf. “We’re so glad to make physical activity a regular part of Lukas’ life and we’ve found ways for him to continue practicing at home,” said Lisa. “We bought a tennis net for the backyard, and now that he’s not afraid, he loves to go to glow-in-the-dark mini-putt with his dad!” As Lukas turned around on the basketball court to wave to his mom, he gave her two big thumbs up and her eyes welled up with tears of joy. “Watching him enjoy himself, I’m overwhelmed with happiness and pride,” she shared. “He has talents! But most of all, he has regained a belief in himself – that he CAN do it – and that is so powerful.”

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