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United Way of Thunder Bay Celebrates International Youth Day with $14,000 Donation

Thunder Bay, ON, August 12th, 2020- Today, in celebration of International Youth Day, United Way of Thunder Bay is recognizing local youth with grants to seven community projects. The organization is announcing a $14,000 donation through the Youth 4 Community Fundraising & Granting Initiative (Y4C Initiative).

Throughout the year, five high schools have been participating in the Y4C Initiative by raising funds through several different activities, including sports tournaments, bake sales, staff dares and Halloween fundraisers. Together, students from across the city came together to create change and help make issues of poverty in the community #UNIGNORABLE.

The organization and students from the Y4C Committee created this video!

United Way of Thunder Bay is providing the following Y4C Initiative 2020 grants:

Children’s Centre Thunder Bay – $2,500 – Overcoming Anxiety – Anxiety Psychoeducation Group Counselling: This anxiety workshop is a new service that will provide youth with a unique group treatment opportunity in a safe and encouraging environment.

Community Arts & Heritage Education Project (CAHEP) – $2,500 – Cooking Together Virtually: A group of ten Lakehead University International Students (ages 19-24) who couldn’t return home due to the COVID-19 pandemic, will get together virtually to share cooking skills and build connections.

Community Clothing Assistance Mission – $1,000 – COVID-19 – Youth HOW Experience: This program offers hands-on work experience. Youth will gain skills, confidence, and experience in several aspects of the retail industry such as warehousing, inventory control, retail display, physical plant maintenance, and customer service.

Evergreen a United Neighbourhood – $1,000 – Evergreen Music Program: Area youth work with other knowledgeable and experienced young people that mentor them in how to DJ, and learn how to use a music system to plan concerts and neighbourhood events. The funding will support a new music system for the organization. The Y4C Initiative funded Evergreen’s first system almost a decade ago.

Hammarskjold Fire Council – $3,500 – Building Stronger Bridges: Fire Council is an Indigenous Student Voice Council that is committed to promoting cultural events, advocacy, activities and partnerships. The donation will fund drum group visits to the school and a Spring Powwow. It will also support a Cultural Retreat at Kingfisher Outdoor Education Centre.

Our Kids Count- $2,500- Youth Group: This 12-week program focuses on various topics of interest received from a number of youth in the Windsor neighbourhood. Workshops will provide information on self-esteem, healthy relationships, goal setting, art and nature therapy, ending racism, budgeting and financial management, resume building, eating healthy, exercising, and mental and sexual health.

Wake the Giant – $1,000 – Wake the Giant Music Festival, Decal Program, Amazing Race & DFC Experience: Wake the Giant continues to work toward creating a more welcoming and inclusive city for Indigenous people by providing education and resources to help combat racism in Thunder Bay, while bringing together Indigenous and non-Indigenous people and artists from across the country. The funding will support welcoming events and activities for Indigenous students travelling to Thunder Bay from remote First Nation communities.

“An investment in youth is an investment in our community. Each recipient project focuses efforts on creating an opportunity to empower youth to play a role in their own future – programs that include mental health support, employment growth, building connections, after school supports and creating a more welcoming city where all youth feel included,” says Albert Brulé, Chief Executive Officer of United Way of Thunder Bay. “United Way of Thunder Bay remains committed to giving youth the support they need to fuel a great start on life, do well in school, and reach their greatest potential by ensuring they can access life-changing supports.“

High Schools that participated in the Y4C fundraising efforts included Dennis Franklin Cromarty High School, Ecole Secondaire Catholique de La Verendrye, Hammarskjold High School, Westgate High School and St. Ignatius High School. A Student Committee selected which projects would be funded. “Youth 4 Community was an opportunity for me and other students to learn about issues that youth in our community are faced with. It brought students from different schools closer together and empowered us all to build connections around an initiative that we raised funds for as a team,” says Kiana Naser, Committee Member of Y4C Initiative.

International Youth Day is also an opportunity to raise awareness and understand the different barriers that young people face. “When young people can create change and make their voices heard, they help build a better community. Young people are leaders and United Way of Thunder Bay we will keep supporting our youth to build promising futures,” continues Brulé.