Portrait of Pam and Rogers Kirven

Why I Give to the Y: A Donor’s Story

When Pam and Rogers Kirven met four years ago at the Y, they were both going through major transitions in their lives. Pam was going through a divorce, and Rogers had lost his wife of 35 years to cancer a year earlier.

And while both of them were dealing with overwhelming personal losses, they received critical emotional support from their Y connection, and in Pam’s case, financial support through the Y’s Scholarship Program. Pam and Rogers eventually met, fell in love, and married a year later.

“We both appreciate things so much more because of what we went through,” says Pam. “We talked about it and realized we wanted to help others who were at that point of crisis in their lives. We decided to focus on single mothers who were dealing with either divorce or the death of a spouse. These losses are all-consuming, affecting all areas of life. That’s how Women in Transition came to be.”

Women in Transition was designed to provide a support network for single moms and their children during this time of transition. The program consists of bi-weekly meetings during which mothers and their children come to the Y to exercise, relieve stress, and gain support. Participants attend a 13-week improvement program of their choice - Financial Peace University, Grief Share, or Divorce Recovery - all programs delivered exclusively at Dr. P. Phillips, Roper, and Winter Park YMCAs.

“It’s important that we give back to people in a way that creates positive life change,” explains Rogers. “Individuals need guidance and support during moments of crisis, and the Y is the perfect facilitator for this kind of program. “The Y is already a place where single moms and others go to be among friends and feel good. It’s a seamless fit.”