When we came to the Y, I was looking for my youngest son to have a safe outlet for the long summer days.  It had only been a year since his dad had left the state and had very little contact with him. His spirits were low, and I was beyond stressed with trying to figure out how I was going to be able to work and make ends meet if he didn’t have something safe to do. Not only was I a single mom after 18 years of marriage, I also found myself alone, with three kids, and zero family in a state over 1600 miles away from our home. I was used t living a middle-middle upper-class lifestyle and now I was financially destitute and just trying to pick up the pieces. The hardest thing I have ever had to do when I asked the Y for a scholarship so that Garrett could have something to do over the summer.

The Y stepped in when I did humble myself and ask for the scholarship. They never asked a lot of questions and always treated us like were a full member of the facilities. They stepped in and provided an outlet for Garrett.

Garett had a great experience with the YMCA day camp. He doesn’t come up to the Y on a regular basis, but he thoroughly enjoyed being able to participate with the camp over the summer. Garrett typically is the target of being bullied in school and out in our neighborhood. At the Y, Garrett was able to connect with a few kids and seemed to have a good time. He always looked forward to going every morning!

Garett being at the Y gave me a huge piece of mind. Him having a safe outlet gave me the time I needed to work all summer so that I could provide for my family. I knew he was in good hands. The one time there was an issue with bullying, I spoke to one of the counselors and they made sure to address it immediately. Knowing that they cared about him and his experience, gave me tremendous relief in knowing he was safe and well looked after.

The financial scholarship program is what made it possible for Garrett to attend the summer camp program at all. If it weren’t available, he would have not been able to attend at all. He would have had to sit inside alone on the days I had to work, and I would not have been able to work as often, knowing that I could not leave him alone every single day. It also helped so that my oldest two children could work as well. They ae in high school and do help me keep him as often as they can. However, due to our circumstance, they also have to provide for themselves many things that most parents are able to provide for their kids.