MEGAN MORIN: HELP FOR A MOM WHO WAS FEELING ALONE
We had the pleasure of hearing from Megan Morin, who shared her Y story at our 135th Annual Meeting last week.
Good morning, everyone. My name is Megan, and I am a single mom of three children; Lyla who is soon to be 12 years old, and my twins, Jackson and Emerson, who will be 4 next week.
It has been nearly 3 months since I have been blessed with the friendships I have made with the Merrimack YMCA. I was recently asked by both Elizabeth and Kristie to share my “Y Story” with all of you today, and I couldn’t be more honored.
After four years of being a stay-at-home mom, it was time for me to return to work, as I am now the sole caretaker of my family. Going back to work for a typical mom is stressful enough, but for me, I felt that I was all alone in this process of finding a new home to live, finding a job, and most importantly, finding a safe place for my children to be cared for while I was at work.
Being a new resident of Merrimack, I was unfamiliar with the different childcare centers in the area, and very nervous about beginning the search for where I’d be sending my children. My oldest is now in 6th grade, so it’s been quite some time since I’ve had a child in daycare. I was overwhelmed with the thought of returning to work, and having to leave my youngest in someone else’s care, but several people including a nurse from our pediatrician’s office, as well as a family member who is a former teacher for the YMCA in Merrimack, highly recommended the Y to me. In fact, they couldn’t say enough positive things.
This brought me to when I first met Kristie (Kristie Perreault, assistant child care director). In late Spring, I contacted the YMCA and asked for a tour of the facility. At the time, there were several openings for the twins in the summer program, and Kristie thought this might be a great time for the twins to transition slowly from part time, throughout the summer, to full time during the school year, but it was difficult for me to make a decision to enroll the children as I did not have a job in place at that point.
In August, I received a job offer. One that I wasn’t sure I could pass up. I, again, contacted the Y, but sadly, there were no longer any openings. I explained my desperate situation to both Kristie and Elizabeth (Elizabeth Witmer, child care director), and they worked diligently to find spots for Jackson and Emerson. In a very short period of time, I had an email from Kristie letting me know that they had found not one, but two full time spots for my children. I was amazed at how quickly they worked together to welcome my children.
The next hurdle was how I was going to afford childcare. Financially speaking, having multiple children in daycare is quite an expense. I had applied for the childcare scholarship through the State of NH, but was quickly denied due to my new income. Throughout this process, I learned that expenses, not even the childcare expense itself, are factored into the equation for the scholarship; it is solely based on income. This was very confusing to me because the total cost of childcare was nearly exceeding my income. At this point, it wasn’t making any financial sense to accept the job offer, and I was feeling defeated not knowing how a single mom could ever get back to work.
I then learned that the YMCA had their own financial aid program, Y Cares. I applied, but unfortunately, it was still feeling financially impossible for me to go back to work. Time was quickly passing by, and I needed to make a decision on the job offer as my start date was just days away. Knowing my situation, and how important it was for me to return to the workforce, Kristie and Elizabeth told me not to give up, and advised that I reach out to the YMCA’s Chief Operating Officer, Joe Manzoli. Joe reviewed my situation, and blessed me with a substantial offer, allowing me to be able to move forward in beginning my new career. I couldn’t have been any more thankful for the support.
On the evening of the Open House, the night before Jackson and Emerson were to begin school for the first time in their lives, we walked into the Wildcats classroom and were greeted by Miss Maya, Miss Christina and Miss Jillian. We immediately felt at home. These young ladies could not be any more supportive of me, and are so loving and caring towards Emerson and Jackson, we truly consider them to be a part of our family.
One of my biggest concerns about leaving the twins to return to work was knowing Jackson’s struggles with ADHD; he is full of energy, and it was so important to me that he was loved and cared for regardless of his challenges. I cannot begin to explain the level of patience that these teachers have with him, and he has thrived because of it.
In just a few short months, both Emerson and Jackson have thrived so much. They’ve made special bonds with their amazing teachers (including Mr. Jack, a senior from Souhegan High School who helps out in their classroom after school), they’ve made their first friends, they’ve learned so much. At a time that I was so desperate, and felt like I had no hope, and no place to go, the YMCA gave me a chance to get my life back on track. I cannot thank the administrators and the teachers enough for all of their love and support of my family and I. You all have hearts of gold, and it gives me hope that there is still good in this world.
I am proud to be part of the YMCA family, and while I cannot say thank you enough, from the bottom of my heart, I will always try to pay your kindness forward.
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