iMove for United Way Launches

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iMove for United Way Registration Now Open

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United Way/Centraide Windsor-Essex County wants the community to get up, get moving, and challenge themselves to be physically active as part of a new virtual fundraiser called iMove for United Way, focused on supporting youth mental health. Registration opens Monday, February 8, 2021.

The pandemic has been particularly hard on young people, with children reporting some of the largest declines in mental health compared to other populations.[1] iMove for United Way is a virtual fundraising event that focuses on the importance of physical activity and mental health. iMove for United Way invites people to set achievable fitness goals, like moving for 200 minutes or more. The cause hopes that while being active and collecting pledges to support the mental health of vulnerable children and youth across Windsor-Essex, they’ll be helping their own mental health as well.

This event is for everyone. Whether you run, walk your dog, practice your yoga moves, or dance in your living room, the goal is to get moving for mental health. All activities are meant to be done solo or with family members in your ‘bubble’, with pandemic protocols in mind. Physical activity, whether indoors or out of doors, is still encouraged, even under current COVID-19 restriction. Event organizers don’t want to see people gathering together unless its via Zoom or virtual means like social media.

iMove for United Way replaces iClimb, one of United Way’s signature events affected by the pandemic. In past years iClimb drew over 2,000 adults and students to climb the steps at the WFCU Centre. This year, adults and students can still connect through a virtual platform that can be used for fitness tracking and fundraising.

Registration is now open online. To participate make a $20 minimum donation. ($20 adult, $5 elementary and high school, $10 post-sec.) However, everyone is encouraged to fundraise more than the minimum and reach out and challenge others once they’re registered, proceeds supporting local mental health and wellness programming for children and youth. Event pledges will be collected until March 14, 2021.

“Not everyone who needs mental health support is receiving it,” says Lorraine Goddard, CEO of United Way Windsor-Essex County. “The programs we invest in aim to put prevention and wellness first, so that kids aren’t falling into crisis. We also support counselling services for mild to moderate mental health issues. Last year we helped more than 500 kids ages 7-24 and calls for support are climbing this year.”

Mental health supports are delivered through United Way’s On Track to Success, WE-STEAM and Virtual Learning programs, and local after school programs and counselling programs delivered through Family Services Windsor-Essex. All these programs have adapted their services to support children and youth ages 7-25 during COVID-19.

Check out the video below to learn more about the impact of the On Track to Success program or visit the event site to learn more about the impact of a gift to these programs.

Many local businesses and organizations are stepping up to create on-demand activity videos to help people move for mental health from home. Stay tuned in the coming weeks to learn more about people who are supporting this cause and stories of hope and success.

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