By the time Mandy drove up to the West Family Y, she was out of options for herself and her son, Jonathan. The difficult life they had been sharing resulted in behavioral problems for Jonathan that made things even worse. Multiple moves, family conflict, cancer surgery, and financial gaps had taken a toll on them both. Mandy had started a new job where she excelled. To keep it, she needed affordable childcare for Jonathan. Mandy’s previous experience applying for assistance had been so humiliating that she dreaded the idea of asking again. Mandy approached the front desk, not realizing how supportive her experience at the Y would be!
For several months prior, Mandy had tried unsuccessfully to manage Jonathan’s behavior through counseling and other youth programs. However, within one week of participating in a Y summer day camp, Jonathan’s negative behavior stopped! Positive experiences at the Y, including earning a green wristband at the pool, helped them both navigate this new chapter of their lives. The Y became a place of safety, achievement, and fun for Jonathan and his family.
It is not easy for Mandy to share her difficult past and challenging present circumstances with others, but, if she can encourage others in need to step forward, it is worth it to her: “Had I been too scared to ask for help, Jonathan might not be the little boy he is now. No mom should be afraid to ask for help.”