Our Royal Oak home, like so many others in Oakland County, experienced devastating damage from the August 2014 flood. On August 11, rain steadily filled our street, then our back and front yards, and finally invaded our basement. For our family, the South Oakland Family YMCA was a haven. At first, we came to satisfy our most basic needs and used the locker rooms to shower ourselves and our 3- and 6-year-old children. The staff and fellow members were sympathetic and generous, and we all commiserated about the local destruction.
The Y also worked fast and generously to provide members with practical and timely assistance. The Y distributed $25 Home Depot gift cards to help members tackle the financial strain of their clean up and rebuilding. Flood buckets were offered to victims, providing gloves, masks, detergents and trash bags so families could get through daily life in our battered homes. We were using those supplies at a rapid rate, at a time when basics, such as garbage bags and bleach, were sold out at all local stores. These thoughtful gifts saved us money and time.
For our family, this Y went above and beyond community outreach and helped us in a very personal way. Our daughter’s 6th birthday party was scheduled to take place in our backyard just 2 weeks after the flood. Our yard, however, was a soggy, muddy mess, and even if the yard was in order, in the days prior to the party, our family room was stripped down to the subfloor, we still had dehumidifiers and air movers throughout the house, and the odor left from the flood was overpowering. It was no place for 20 6-year-old girls.
With only a week left before the scheduled event, I decided to ask if the Y rented out space for parties. To my relief, my inquiry was met with encouragement and enthusiasm on the part of the Y staff to make Caitlin’s party happen. The staff not only accommodated our group with less than a week’s notice, but they went out of their way to facilitate a smooth set up, even on a Sunday, and gave us full access to furniture and equipment at no charge. At a time when everything in our lives was spinning out of control, the Y allowed us to throw our daughter a fantastic birthday party. The South Oakland Y has been like a home-away-from-home to me since we first joined 5 years ago, but in the days after the flood, I felt especially welcome and well-cared for here. I continue to be overwhelmed with gratitude to the people that make up the South Oakland Y.
- Meghan P.
Meghan and her family's story is just one example of the many lives positively impacted by the South Oakland YMCA over the years. To find out more about the amazing impact South Oakland has click on and view the teams below. Sign up to join a team and support your community by fundraising. Donate to one of our featured iniatives to make programs to more accessable for the children who need them most, the children of metropolitian Detroit.We have the ability to change hundreds of lives for the better but it can only happen if we work together.
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