A Place to Belong

Giving a Family Hope and Security After the Pandemic

Naomi is seventeen years old, a senior at the Cincinnati Public School for Creative and Performing Arts (SCPA), living with her family on the West side of Cincinnati. Her family came to the United States from Romania when she was four years old. Her brother, Benjamin, has a rare medical condition and was not receiving proper care in Romania.

While her family’s home branch is the Gamble-Nippert Y, Naomi comes solo to the Central Parkway branch every morning before school. She is training for a half-marathon and eventually a full marathon in May 2022. At the Y, Naomi feels like she is part of a community. “It’s a nice environment. Everyone is friendly. It feels like family.”

When COVID-19 hit, Naomi’s family had to give up their membership due to financial difficulties. The Y staff reached out to the family this summer through a Care Call to see how the family was doing. The staff asked if they would be interested in being a part of the Re-Engage Campaign, a free 3-month membership to bring former members experiencing significant financial difficulties due to the pandemic back to the Y. After the 3 months, the family was able to transition to the Y’s Membership For All (scholarship) program. Naomi’s father, Iosif, was so enthusiastic about returning to the Y!  Naomi felt “very, very happy. It’s a huge blessing.”

The Re-Engage Campaign and Membership For All programs are only possible because of you. Thanks to you Naomi’s family can continue to achieve goals, build new relationships, and help transform their lives.

YMCA of Greater Cincinnati