Hi. Im Cy Herdee, and this is my donation center. When you donate to the Y it matters campaign, you are helping kids who were just like me growing up. Once upon a time, I was born. (great start right?) I was born on a rainy day in April 2005. My parents were happy to see me even though they had gone through a long line of hardships to get to that moment.
As I grew up I noticed I was different from other kids, I was taller, more outgoing and a bit more self aware. I grew to be loved by my local community but it was hard to keep me occupied. My parents worked their butts off everyday just to care for me and in 2010, my sister. They were getting overwhelmed because they didnt know what they could do with me over the summer. Thats when they found the Y. The first time I saw it , I was amazed. A big building with people in the windows jogging away and kids splashing in the pool. It seemed like a haven. My parents applied for financial support for my first year of day camp, and we got it. Who knows what I would be doing now if I didnt have that opportunity. It was so fun. I made lots of friends that i still have now, I found my love of singing (even though im not great), and I discovered my love of the people. This vast community of kids and counselors, working in harmony to make camp as amazing as possible.
My family moved in and out of financial favor. Some years I got the scholarships and got to stay longer, some years I missed weeks or even the whole summer. We powered through. My family has been stable for a while now, and I'm glad. In 2019, I got the opportunity to be part of the Advanced Leadership Academy here at the Y. It is a program the grooms us to be employees and leaders at the Y. I jumped at the opportunity, because it has been a hope of mine ever since I was six to become a camp counselor. This year I'm going to be an LIT (leader in training) and helping out with my counselors group. I have made it my mission to help kids who were in my type of situation. Camp is quite literally, one of the best things that has happened to me. It has opened up doors, and helped me become a warrior. Ken Okelly, the vice president of the Y Atlanta says this everytime we meet. Ken leads us in a call and response, "Who are we? (WARRIORS!) What do we do? (FIGHT FOR THOSE WHO CAN'T FIGHT FOR THEMSELVES!) WHAT TIME IS IT? (WAR TIME!!!)" I ask you , will you be a warrior? Will you come with me and fight for those who cant fight for themselves? Will you answer the call of Y it matters?
I really hope you help out with this amazing campaign to helps kids like me. We have a goal and it would be amazing if we could reach it. Thank you for reading and thank you for donating. :)
- Cy Herdee