Impact in Action: Mary's Story

Last updated: February 5, 2018, at 4:11 p.m. PT

Originally published: January 29, 2018, at 3:57 p.m. PT

Thanks to people like you, the Y has been here for Mary Schiechl through each stage of her life. Starting when Mary was young, she could count on the Y to be her place for health and community.

Now in her 40s, Mary's needs have changed, but the Y is still her place for support and community. Now that her kids are in elementary school, they've started inviting friends over. Some of those friends don't have enough to eat, or might not have a stable place to sleep at night. Mary could only think to take them to her safe place—the Y.

The staff at the Y saw that Mary was burning through her guest passes and was paying for kids out of pocket. The Y staff could have let her keep paying, but they noticed what was going on and worked with the kids' families to make a plan that works for the family so they could have a membership of their own. This spirit of community and inclusion is only possible because of the generosity of people like you.

"The Y has been there for me at every stage of my life, and I know it will be there in the years to come." Mary said."It has something for everyone, no matter the age, shape, gender, ethnicity, or socioeconomic status. The staff respects and enjoys children, no matter what their background is. You can’t pick the family you’re born with, but you can find a home wherever there are people who love you, honor you, and treat you kindly. For me, that place has always been and will always be the Y."

Mary's experience at the Y isn't an anomaly. At the Y, we recognize that all kids need safe places to grow and be active. We're proud to provide access to the life-changing programs and activities at the Y to all, thanks to financial support from donors, like you.

“I cannot tell you how much that has meant to me…the honor and respect we show children at the Y is pretty remarkable,” Mary said. “When we send kids a message: ‘You’re important, you have value, we believe in you,’ then they believe in themselves.”

At the Y, we're so grateful to our generous supporters that make a lifetime of important moments happen for Mary and a new Kent Y will do that for thousands of other people. Thank you.

You can read Mary's full story in the Auburn Reporter.

Locations: Auburn Valley YMCA