Meet our familiesthese are their lives. The following interviews are excerpts taken from conversations the staff of the Schuylkill United Way has had with each family. Please let their stories be an example of how you can make a difference in the life of someone in need. Be inspired!
Child Development Inc.
Children: Patrick and Reiley
1) How did you get involved with Child Development?
I was living in Tamaqua with my older son Patrick and needed help. Patrick had a mood disorder which caused him to have trouble socializing, but I couldn't afford a specialized daycare. So a friend recommended Child Development.
2) How did Child Development help you?
Child Development provided a more structured setting with teachers who were supportive and understanding. Patrick always had a hard time with other kids and they knew what he needed to fit in. It was childcare that fit his needs.
3) How long was Patrick in the care of Child Development?
He was in the Tamaqua center first and then the Pottsville center from the time he was 3 until he started kindergarten at 5. My younger son Reiley who is 4 attends Child Development now.
4) What achievements have you made personally because of Child Development?
Because of Child Development, I graduated from nursing school two years ago. Because they allowed Patrick and then Reiley to go full days, I was able to finish nursing school.
I've raised my children alone for the past three years without any support. While I always worked part time, I couldn't financially afford nursing school and childcare. Child Development not only helped me financially, but with a child with special needs, it was hard for me to find babysitters. With Child Development, I felt confident and secure knowing that he was learning and cared for. It enabled me to do my job at school without worrying.
5) Where do you think you'd be without Child Development and the Schuylkill United Way?
I was having a really hard time. The only way out of the situation of public assistance, etc. was for me to work. All the financial aid in the world for schooling wasn't going to solve my problems. We were going from apartment to apartment in not the best neighborhoods. My kids never even had a yard to play in. I was completely dependent on everyone for everything.
Because of Child Development, I was able to finish school. I'm now a registered nurse at Pottsville Hospital. I was able to buy my own house, which gave more stability to my family without having to scrape by. And last year for the first time, we went on vacation.
One of the best things that happened was that I got my own insurance for my kids. Now we don't have to depend on medical assistance or anyone else. It's the small things like that that make the difference. I couldn't ask for better peace of mind.
6) Tell us about your donation from the Student Nurses Association.
Because I believe so strongly in Child Development and the United Way, I asked my fellow student nurses to contribute to Child Development through the United Way and they donated $500.