Brittney G.

Lakewood Family YMCA

When I was asked why the Annual Campaign was important to me and what drove me to work so hard on it, I thought back to my time as a child at the Y. My dad’s work had partnered with the Y, which meant we had access to financial aid and reduced the cost to make it possible for us to become members. My mom worked as a babysitter from home so we didn't have a lot to spend. With the support of financial assistance, we had the opportunity to be a part of the Y. We had the opportunity to participate in active programs and found a place where we could all come together as a family. 

Two years ago when I was dropping my kids off at the Y, I was asked if I wanted to help out in Child Watch. I said I would volunteer 3 days a week, but it quickly turned into a job opportunity. Since then, I have worked in Child Watch, preschool programming, and Itty Bitty Camp and I have been amazed by the relationships formed with the families we serve. Families that have the opportunity to be a part of the Y because of the financial assistance they receive. Foster families that build relationships with their children during their time at the Y. During camp, we support families with a free lunch in the summer and a place where they know their kids will be safe. We get the opportunity to watch kids grow in confidence, gain self-worth, grow, heal, and gain structure and trust in others. 

Being a part of the Y means contributing to something bigger. I have never been in an organization that is this charitable and inclusive. This campaign means so much to me because these kids are my heart. The Y gives the kids the opportunity to grow, be themselves, learn what trust is, gives confidence in knowing that there will always be a place for them, and become leaders through programs here. They are why I love coming to work and why this job is so important to me.

So when someone asks me why I worked so hard, the answer is simple: The YMCA is molding our future, one step at a time.