Since 2013, Marie and her husband Dennis have opened their home to more than 30 local foster children. Law enforcement has had to yank them out of homes that are in complete chaos and dysfunction.
"Helping kids is just part of my make-up," said Marie, who retired from the Department of Child and Family Services in 2012. "We usually have three kids with us at a time, and I want to give them a good, stable environment in which to land."
Being on a fixed income prevented Marie from bringing the kids to the Y, but when she learned the Y offers free memberships to foster care children, she was thrilled. Now she can bring them to the Y where they have full access to programs like dance, swimming lessons, and leadership groups, giving them the opportunity for social and physical development.