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Centennial Stories
"These Were Wonderful Opportunities"

As long as I can remember, our family went to Wesley House. Mother volunteered regularly, and we tagged along. We always went to the mother-daughter banquet.

I went to camp regularly from the time I was seven. At 13, I became a dishwasher at camp and at 16, I became a counselor. The kids were really fun to work with. I was the girlís unit leader my last years at camp. At 22, I decided to stay in town. That year I worked as Wesley Houseís liaison to the new Head Start program. I planned field trips for the students and educational programs for the parents.

My sisters and I volunteered regularly at Wesley during our teen years. We assisted in swim lessons, riding in the back of the truck to the Y. We worked Saturday mornings at playtime and movies. These were wonderful opportunities. During this time, I was the Wesley House representative to a Methodist Youth Work camp where we built one of the cabins at Camp Merry Ledges in Indiana. Through Wesley House, I attended the White House Conference on Children and Youth as a representative of the Federation of Settlement Houses.

Ms. Helen Mandlebaum was always a role model for me. She was a wonderful friend to our family, to the extent that my sisters and I always called her Aunt Helen. Until I met my husband, I had planned to be a deaconess, like Aunt Helen. She and all of the other people of Wesley House had such a positive influence on so many people. Instead, I married a wonderful man, became a math teacher, and have two sons and daughters-in-law that I am very proud of. The recent addition of my fantastic granddaughter has been beyond belief. By the way, one sonís name is Wesley.

Thank you to all of the Wesley House family who helped make me who I am today. Please continue the good work.

Mary Joyce Inman Miller
 

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