Real Stories

Client Story

Agency:  Bay Cliff Health Camp

Program:  Children’s Summer Therapy Session

Name of Camper:  Kaylin Lemire, Marquette, MI  Age 16

Kaylin Lemire has been attending Bay Cliff Health Camp since she was about 4-years-old and was referred to the camp because she had a traumatic brain injury at birth.  Her struggles in life are many, but Bay Cliff has always been there to help, and a big reason for all of her improvements.  All the therapy she has received from the camp–Speech, OT, PT, and memory skills training, has made a big difference in the development of her skills.   Her progress from the summers spent there with the staff, therapists, counselors and campers has also made a large impact on her social skills. She has become a real social-bee, unlike when she was young and shy and now loves meeting new people.  She even loves to FaceTime her friends from out-of-state after camp and gab on the phone to many of them, sometimes even to the therapists and counselors.   

Kaylin says that Bay Cliff is her second home because she’s been going there for so long.  Kaylin has even talked about becoming a staff member after she turns eighteen.   


Client Story – Big Brothers Big Sisters

Karen and Brylee have been matched since December of 2015.  Brylee was in foster care and was adopted by her foster care parents.  Her mother wanted her to have a Big Sister because she was very quiet at school, had low self esteem, no confidence and felt like she had no friends at school. 

Brylee was initially in the Big Brothers Big Sisters Girl Power Program at school.  Her mom thought she could really benefit from a Community Based match.  She was very reliant on her mom and clung to her constantly.  Brylee has mild anxiety, depression and mild ODD.  She loves to learn and gives 100% to school, but struggles. 

Since being matched with Karen, Brylee’s mother said that she can see a lot of changes in her.  She has really opened up, isn’t so attached to her mother anymore.  She has also started advocating for herself. 

Brylee’s confidence has really improved and she has learned to try new things and enjoys them such as cooking classes at the Marquette Food Coop and downhill skiing.  She is more mature and if something is bothering her at school or if she sees someone being bullied she will go and discuss it with a teacher.  She also was recently named “Student of the Month”. 

Client Story

Patty Barry applied to our Homeownership Program in November of 2017.  At that time, she and her two children, Alger and Angelica, were renting a 2 story house.  Alger is disabled, and uses crutches and a wheelchair.  Their housing situation required him to crawl into the house, and also up to his second story bedroom at night.  In addition, the family had suddenly and unexpectedly lost their husband and father seven month prior.

Patty met all the criteria to become a Habitat Partner Family, and after going through the selection process, was selected into our program.

Shortly before Patty applied to our program, a house came back into our inventory.  The house was in their preferred neighborhood and school district, and it was one story.  With a few modifications, the house would suit them perfectly. 

The house needed to be freshened up with new paint and floor coverings, a new kitchen, a new accessible bathroom, and a ramp so Alger could get into the house easily.  Patty worked side by side with Habitat volunteers to complete the renovations.

In October of 2018, the house was dedicated and Patty received her keys.  Patty and her children are so thankful and appreciative of the opportunity to become Habitat Homeowners.  Alger is especially grateful for a ramp and an accessible bathroom so he no longer needs to crawl into the house and up to his bedroom.

Client Story

I am writing this letter to express how important your program is to my family. I am a single mother of two growing children and only have one source of income. My children utilize your program after school each day. This allows me to work and bond my children up at the end of the day. It allows my children to socialize with their friends from school and have some free time in which they would not get without your program due to me working so late. We get home and jump right to making dinner and prepping for bed. your program helps my children and I have family bonding. The staff have been very helpful and staying 5 to 10 minutes after closing due to the road conditions or emergencies. your program helps me save money and allow me to be able to afford putting my kids in a sport in which O would not be able to do if I had put them in day care. I also would not be able to afford daycare without your program. Your program has helped my children grow in many ways and we value your staff greatly for the job they do. They have always been so supportive. Without your program it would make it difficult for my family. We are so grateful for your program and hope that it can continue.

Thank you,

Kattie Tinney

Client Story

This year we had a senior citizen agree to oversee our garden at the Senior Center. Our student workers take care of the garden all summer, from planting to picking, tilling and maintenance, but not many off our staff had gardening experience to help them, so productivity was low. Our volunteer Bill had been advising from behind the scenes, but this year he wanted us to have a more fruitful garden, so he agreed to oversee our student workers. He was apprehensive at first, as he wasn’t sure about teenagers and how well his instruction would be taken. But soon the kids looked forward to his teaching—the difference between a weed and a freshly started plant, how much and how often to water, and how to thin a row of carrots. During harvest time, the students could barely keep up with picking the produce in our most successful year. And our fundraiser attendees got fresh vegetables with every meal and commented on the garden every time they walked by—sometimes even to our new gardenmaster, who was proud of his accomplishment and the students he guided to be better gardeners.