Community Success Stories YMCA Wheeling Has Impact On Children’s Lives

I was approached in February, 2018 by a grandfather of three children, he informed me his son and daughter-in-law lost the custodial rights of the three children due to heroin and he has been granted custody. He expressed to me he was on a limited income due to an injury that prevents him from working and had to work light duty every day to make ends meet. Being a working parent with two children of my own, at half this man’s age, I immediately felt sympathy for him. He said “Brian I have to work to support my grandchildren, even though I’m in pain but I have nowhere for them to go this summer and I can’t afford to put three children in day care.” He said, “I will volunteer for the YMCA as much as I can just to help offset the cost, I don’t want or expect anything for free, but any financial aid you could spare would be greatly appreciated”. I knew immediately he was in a big bind. The YMCA’s motto has always been we will never turn any child away for the inability to pay. I told him let me see what I can do for you! I took his phone number and the next day I called and gave him the news he was hoping for. I told him I will allow those children in for free. He didn’t say a word then he asked “Please don’t kid me, for free? Are you for real, free?” I replied it is our pleasure to help such a fine man like yourself and if you still want to volunteer for us we would love to have you! He said just let me know how I can help you! Since that phone call from me informing him the children may come for free, he has come down to the YMCA almost every Saturday or Sunday to help clean our facility. Since he is such a wonderful person, and the kids are so grateful, we also provided them with a family year membership so they always have a place to go and be a family! The financial assistance we receive from the United Way and other allies of the YMCA help us continue to help those in need and continue to impact children’s lives one day at a time!


-YMCA Wheeling