Anna's Story | West Suburban YMCA

Anna's Story: The Chance to Participate

Dec 24, 2019

"My family moved to Newton three years ago when my husband took a job as a post-doc with a minimum NIH pay scale. At the time, we were still in the process of applying for permanent residence and I was not allowed to work. Since my husband is our only source of income, it has been hard to register our kids for activities.

When I was looking at the sports programs at the West Suburban YMCA, I was surprised to find out about its financial aid program. After applying for financial aid, the Y staff gave us a very generous aid package on our membership fee. This has been a big help throughout these hard years of trying to figure out how we can engage our kids in social and training activities, like those offered at the Y. Although we primarily come for swim lessons, our reduced-fee monthly membership gives us the freedom to come to the Y for many different activities without financial burden. We are grateful til this very day.

After some time at his job, my husband had a slight increase in salary that put us just above the lower threshold of the financial aid requirement. Despite the increase, we were worried about losing the youth membership for our kids because our disposable income was still not enough to cover the membership fee. However, the Y worked with us, listened to our needs, and gave us the grace of continuing their lessons with the SAME discount for one additional year.

The financial aid also helped my older son, Joshua, to attend Camp Pikati for two summers. He loves camp because the design of the activities are smart and well-suited for his talent and energy level, and the counselors are kind to him. I remember last summer, Joshua was playing on a wooden table when he suddenly hit his head and fainted. The camp counselor called the ambulance with abundant caution and followed up with calls to make sure Joshua was okay. Luckily, Joshua was able to recover quickly. The counselors at Camp Pikati dealt with his emergency in a responsible and honest way, which made me trust them very much.

Now, I’ve just gotten my permanent residence with my husband, and I am finishing up my master study at NEU. I believe that soon I will be able to happily donate to the West Suburban YMCA to push forward the love and compassion of this organization. I am confident my donations will help children and families like us, and I feel fortunate to be involved in the YMCA community!"

The chance to learn an instrument, play on a sports team, or enroll in swim lessons shouldn't be limited to only those who can afford it. In 2019, we allocated over $246,000 in financial aid to program participants. If you would like to provide all members of our community the opportunity to enrich their lives with a class or activity, consider a gift to our Annual Fund.