The Ottawa-Gatineau Youth Foundation (OGYF) announced today a $250,000 commitment to provide more than 1,650 vulnerable young people with a camp experience this summer.
The data is overwhelming. The needs of young people in our community are pervasive and ever-changing because of the COVID-19 pandemic. Investments in critical youth programs that address the social, physical, educational, and mental health impacts of the pandemic are needed now more than ever.
Supporting and engaging young people now will be crucial to ensuring the long-term success of this generation. Experts say that for many young people ages 8-18 years, summer camp will be an opportunity to experience safe, outdoor, physically active, mentally engaged, emotionally connected learning of lifelong skills, among peers, away from screens, in over a year!
The OGYF, between 2015 to 2020, granted more than $1.6 million to charitable organizations who offered summer camp opportunities. The funding provided was used by camps to provide subsidies to mitigate any diversity, inclusion, and equality barriers a young person might be facing in terms of accessing a summer camp opportunity.
Bell and Biggs are helping to lead Foundation efforts to increase its capacity to support charities offering Summer Camps. To date, $100,000 has been raised towards these efforts thanks to its Celebrity Cup Tournament participants, the Danbe Foundation, Canada Life, and individual donors. Beginning today, Aries Contracting, a highly reputable industry leader in both Ottawa and Gatineau, will match, dollar-for-dollar, the next $15,000 in donations to the Ottawa-Gatineau Youth Foundation to support summer camps.
The OGYF will accept applications from registered charitable organizations who have a history of delivering summer camps to young people living in the National Capital Region through their website from April 27 until May 23. A committee of OGYF youth ambassadors, staff, and board members will evaluate applications and make final funding decisions by June 14.