With students heading back to school this week, it’s more than just their teachers who will be welcoming them for the new year. Just down the street from the high school, Marcy Hill will be opening the doors wide at The Door Youth Centre.
She’s joined The Door’s small team to create more programming for local youth. “I’m coming to prepare some new and exciting activities at The Door, so that we can start up fun things like March Break camps and PA Day activities,” she says.
Many young people in the community—and their parents—will know Hill from her work with YWCA Muskoka, facilitating Girlz Unplugged, Girlz Choice, and Boys Quest programs.
She’s excited to carry on that work in a new way. “I’ve spent the last 20 years creating relationships with the youth in Huntsville,” she says. “I feel like it’s time to move into a place where I’m attainable, where kids know that they can connect with me… They’re going to be able to come for lunches and visit, they’re going to be able to come and see me after school, there’s going to be that accessibility that wasn’t there before.”
Hill says The Door is more than an outreach centre; it’s a hub for youth in the community. “I think it’s a safe space for kids of all all ages and all beliefs to have somewhere they can come and find adults that they can trust and that they know are there to hear them.”
She plans to develop leadership and mentorship programs, giving kids the skills to be a positive influence for others, as well as connecting them with people in the community to help them explore and develop their passions.
“I have an opportunity to find some people, people that I’m connected with already, who I know have a desire and a heart for these youth and to plug them all in,” says Hill.
I think great things are going to happen. We have so many people in this community right now that have so much to offer our youth, who can just light them up.
She also wants to create opportunities for one-on-one interaction with older generations. “Grandparents aren’t always in their life and we know that we have a huge need with the elderly to have connections. And there’s that mentorship that happens through that connection organically.”
She also wants to hear from the community what needs The Door can help to meet.
The Door is about creating healthy connections with kids in Muskoka, “so that we can help foster their future in a healthy direction,” adds Hill. “I think there’s some misconception [about The Door]. Yes, it’s Christ-based and there’s people there who are believers, however, it is the most welcoming, accepting, open space, and the majority of the topics are really just about building relationships.”
Her new role will also include fundraising for the non-profit organization—she essentially has to raise enough to cover her salary and programming materials.
“[The Door] runs strictly from donations,” Hill explains. The best way to support the organization, she says, is with small, regular monthly donations which allows them to plan ahead, knowing what funds they will have available. “It’s exciting and people are generous. There’s such a flexibility to meet the needs of what our community wants from us versus a grant that we have to follow specifically [for programming].”
James Hunt, Executive Director at The Door, says he’s excited to have Hill on board. “It’s such a good fit. It’s going to be great to be able to do more in the community with kids. I’m really looking forward to this next season.”
So is Hill.
“I’m stoked. I feel like everything that I’ve done up until this point has created and prepped me for this,” she says. “It’s a fantastic feeling. I feel like I’m walking into a space where I’m very needed, and I’m ready.”
For more information or to learn how you can support The Door, visit huntsvilleyfc.ca.
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