We Are the Villagers, Recipient

Consider what happens when a child becomes interested in swimming at a young age and their parents sign them up for lessons at the community pool. As they take more lessons, their proficiency and confidence begin to grow. After a few years, they are skilled enough to become a lifeguard to help protect others and save money for college—all at the same community pool where they learned to swim. Stories like this are not uncommon for many families. Participating in extracurricular activities at a young age can develop into lifelong passions. According to Cathy Mills, executive director at We Are the Villagers, those passions can help build confidence, self-esteem and attachment to the workforce—and possibly become sources of income. “These activities help support their development in a healthy way so they can be contributing members of society down the road,” she said. However, not every family has equal access to extracurricular programs for their children. According to Mills, there are many situations that families may face—a home in conflict, abuse, mental health issues, financial issues or children with special needs—that can act as a barrier that prevents equal access. How promotional apparel helps provide equal access for all children This is where We Are the Villagers steps in. The organization helps support disadvantaged families to provide opportunities for children, aged three to 16, to participate in sports, martial arts, gymnastics, music and art. Help might take the form of financial aid, such as providing equipment or paying registration fees; access to Five adults wearing branded polo shirts standing in front of a banner.technology, by providing refurbished laptops for online dance courses; or other forms of assistance, like helping navigate a tricky online registration form or providing language services to help a parent register their child for a particular program. Additionally, We Are the Villagers can provide opportunities for parents or grandparents. “Connecting the family and making them feel included in the community impacts not only the participant. Some families have the feeling that they want to give back, so many of our parents or grandparents end up volunteering,” Mills said. “In some cases, it might be the first time the parent has had the experience of working.” Fundraising plays a crucial part in providing assisting these families, and promotional apparel helps make those efforts a success. “One of our fundraising components is volunteering to run local BINGO,” Mills said. BINGO volunteers must have a white collared shirt with the organization’s logo. “That can be quite expensive for a small charity,” she said. With the help of the one by one® grant, the organization was able to purchase and distribute the necessary shirts to continue providing funding for local families in need. “Our six values are to nurture, support, inspire, motivate, validate and bring joy,” Mills said. “That is what we aim for when assisting our villagers. This is a great, cost-effective way to try to target societal issues. Participants build transferable skills, go through certifications, save money for their post-secondary education or even receive scholarships.”

For more information about We Are the Villagers, please visit https://watvnew.com/ opens in new window