No YMCA membership help for family with stay-at-home mom
Photo: Video by fox4now.com
BONITA SPRINGS, Fla. - Is a stay at home mom a job?
A Bonita Springs mom is questioning the local YMCA's policy on awarding membership aid to families - based on family dynamics.
Bonita Springs mom Nicole Hellard, 30, wants to know why the 'Y' doesn't consider being a stay-at-home mom a full time job - after a request for some membership assistance was denied because she's not working outside the home or going to school.
"Well I say I don't work but I do work," she said. "Allie is my full time job. "Her milestones are my paycheck. When she says 'I love you' - that's my paycheck. When she says 'good night momma' - that's my paycheck."
What doesn't stack up to Nicole - is why the 'Y' denied her request for help. A letter from the 'Y' shows she was denied because both adults in the home aren't working or in school.
"I was fully expecting to pay something, I wasn't expecting to get a free scholarship," she said. "On the application, they even asked me if I would be willing to volunteer my time and I said yes."
Nicole wrote a letter - expressing her family's financial need - along with her husbands pay stubs for proof. The family qualifies for other forms of public assistance.
She was hoping to get Allie into some family-friendly, healthy activities for the summer.
"That's what I was looking for," she said. "It was really just an outlet for her and I to have some time to do something healthy for us - something that's close by, in our community."
A spokesperson for the YMCA tells us, they are looking into it and will try to remedy the situation.
"Our policy is not to turn away anyone in need. We do have certain standards for scholarships, but special exceptions are often made on a case-by-case basis, and this likely is one of those special cases. Our area president, Cole Peacock, will personally contact Mrs. Hellard to resolve the situation so her family can take part in Y activities. As a non-profit organization, the Y is here to support our neighbors and scholarships for needy families is part of our mission." -Mischa Kirby, Director of Communications & Marketing, YMCA of Southwest Florida
Colleen Hogan, reporter