Katy, Texas (September 25, 2013) – One of the things that Brian Haines loves about the Katy Family YMCA is the financial help the Y provides to individuals who can’t afford the full membership rate, or maybe they need help in after school child care, or being able to send their children to one of the youth programs at the Y.
“We want to insure that individuals or families who want to utilize YMCA programs get help when they need it.” This financial assistance is made possible through generous donations to its Annual Campaign and fundraising events, such as the Turkey Dash, which collectively raised $385,000 last year.
Haines is the District Vice President for the YMCA, with an office at the Katy Family YMCA. As a YMCA employee for over 23 years, Haines has worked at five YMCAs in the Houston Area. Haines also grew up participating in programs at the YMCA. A graduate of Clements High School and the University of Houston, Haines has been married for 19 years and has two children.
There is financial assistance available to those that want to become a member or a program participant but maybe don’t have funds available at the present time. “We look at income, size of family and circumstances that might be affecting their lives. We ask that they present a tax return so we can ensure the assistance is getting to those in need,” says Haines.
The amount of assistance is based on a sliding scale. “Some might get 10 percent assistance; others might get 50-75 percent.” Sometimes the individual or family situations don’t fall into the measurements of the sliding scale; Haines and the YMCA scholarship coordinator take a special look at the request. Sometimes additional levels of assistance are given due to other things affecting their life.
Haines gives some examples of some recent situations that were presented to Katy Family YMCA.
“We had a situation where a family had relocated to Houston. The husband moved the family into a hotel on the promise that a house was being bought, and then he abandoned the family in the hotel and left the city. We had a mom without a job who had to go search for one. In that situation we were able to offer after school child care at reduced rate so she could interview, then work and not stress out about where her kids were going after school.”
Child care is one of the more popular programs at the YMCA. “There are a lot of single parent families that are working to just make ends meet, and child care is not affordable. We provide a healthy, stable environment after school by providing child care scholarships for a family in need. They just need a little help.”
Another recent story is a family where the husband was a high earner and lost his job. One of the children was struck with an illness about the same time that required a lot of medical attention. The parents felt guilty because there was so much going on with the sick child, and that the other child was missing out on opportunities that most kids have. “We were offered a recreational outlet for the other child, to give him something to look forward to. We were able to help the family with reduced rates, membership and programs.”
Haines says these types of stories go on and on. All of the funds raised each year goes to local families that just need a lower membership rate, need before and after school child care, or to be able to attend summer day camp and any of the other programs the YMCA offers. “One hundred percent of the funds raised in our service area, stay in our service area, with no dollars being used for overhead.
The Katy Family YMCA is one of the largest YMCAs in the country with 7,600 memberships, serving around 21,000 people at any given time at our facility. Adding all the programs, special events such as the Turkey Dash, Fall Festival or Healthy Kids Day, the Katy Family YMCA serves another 29,000 people throughout the year. Haines likes to tell people, “Don’t worry. The Katy Family YMCA can help.”