On behalf of the Board of Directors of Youth Central and its’ members I want to take this opportunity to thank everyone who supported Youth Central whether it was with the gift of time and talents or through the generous gifts of financial support. Each gift allows Youth Central to operate as one of the leading not-for-profit organizations focused on providing meaningful volunteer opportunities to youth.
This past year presented many challenges for Youth Central. Due to the economic downturn, fundraising was down, but the demand for youth volunteers was up. There were more volunteer projects and volunteer hours than ever before! We want to recognize the staff for working so hard to deliver strong programs and support to the community and volunteers with less resources and reduced expenses. Youth Central is grateful to have achieved positive financial results during a difficult economic year.
In order to augment its financial sustainability, Youth Central introduced an annual registration fee for volunteers. Introducing a registration fee was not a decision that Youth Central made lightly. Youth Central has relied on donations to offer programming, but with the economic climate in Calgary, we felt it was necessary to ensure the long-term stability of Youth Central. Overall, the response to the fee has been positive and has allowed Youth Central to inform parents, volunteers and community partners about benefits of volunteering and involvement with Youth Central.
Youth Central continues to receive community recognition through various nominations and awards. We received the Community Hero Award from the MOSAIC Volunteers Association for an organization that makes incredible contributions to the community. In November, Youth Central was nominated for a Western Legacy Award, which is a great honour.
In 2016, the board and staff will develop a new three-year strategic plan to guide the mission and vision of Youth Central. With bleak economic predictions for the next few years, Youth Central will seek out new funding partners, expand our social enterprise, and develop creative fund raising strategies. Once again, a tremendous thank-you to the funders who make Youth Central programs possible. Youth Central is grateful for your generosity.
In 2016, Youth Central will continue to provide great service to our partner agencies, volunteers and stakeholders through unique programs. We will continue to inspire youth to volunteer and make a difference, and have their voices heard. We will continue to be the go-to agency for youth engagement. I would like to take this opportunity to thank all our wonderful staff, board members and volunteers for your amazing commitment and passion.