Hamilton mom Alexandra Morales enjoyed a rewarding career as a teacher in her homeland of Colombia while her husband Jaime Montes worked as a businessman. But like so many newcomers to Canada, they couldn’t find work in their professions when they settled here six years ago with their two young sons.

To support their family, Alexandra cleaned houses while Jaime found factory work.

"We had a friend who helped us settle in Canada and she told us about the YMCA," said Alexandra, who looked into children's programming and discovered the YMCA’s high-quality summer Day Camps.  "We enrolled our sons because we loved the way the YMCA treated the kids.”

Her oldest son Steven, now 15, started as a camper and went on to become a Leader-in-Training and Junior Counselor. Steven still remembers his first day of summer Day Camp six years ago. "Everyone at the YMCA Day Camp was so nice to me.”

Nico, 8, is a day camper who loves games and sports. "Nico has become more open, and more creative, thanks to YMCA summer Day Camps," said Alexandra.

Both boys were able to attend camp over the years, thanks to financial assistance made possible through generous donations by YMCA supporters.  "Without this help they would not have been able to attend because we didn't have the financial capacity," said Alexandra.