#AlwaysThere – Aunt Mary

This post was authored by Kim Davis, one of Reach’s site managers, and is part of our year-end #AlwaysThere campaign.

Aunt Mary is my second mother. She helped raise me. Her daycare center, Aunt Mary’s Little Family, is down the street from my parents’ house. I started attending the daycare center when I was a baby.

ApparentIMG_1680ly, I was finicky and wouldn’t let a stranger hold me. But, when my mom stopped by Aunt Mary’s house to check things out, I quickly stopped crying and let Aunt Mary hold me.  She’s been holding me, literally and figuratively, ever since.

Each Day, Aunt Mary made everyone their favorite breakfast – mine was always cheese grits. Parents were always trying to live up to her cooking skills. Few did. Everyone who went to Aunt Mary’s was treated like family. She made sure we felt her love.

Aunt Mary taught everyone to spell their first word: Green. We had to spell it before we were allowed to go outside and play. And, every summer, we all got to visit Sesame Place. The biggest highlight of every trip was a single gift, a new Aunt Mary Loves Me t-shirt.


Kim’s card reads, “From baby Kimmy to adulthood, Aunt Mary is #AlwaysThere.”

I still have mine years later. All members of “Mary’s family” fight about who deserves to be called Aunt Mary’s favorite. But, I think you all should know that Aunt Mary once told me – she whispered in my ear – that it was me.

Aunt Mary has celebrated every birthday, holiday, and achievement with me. And, I am just one of hundreds. She was my preschool, and she was at my college graduation. Aunt Mary is #AlwaysThere singing, laughing, and telling me she loves me. And, I love her.

Aunt Mary’s house always felt like home. It’s where I met my best friend and learned how to read. The role she played in my life continues to inspire me in my work today. I want to be #AlwaysThere for Reach’s kids just like Aunt Mary was for me.


Through the end of the year, we’ll be sharing stories that demonstrate our year-end campaign theme: #AlwaysThere. It’s what inspires Reach’s work, and it’s what we try to be for our kids. We hope you’ll use #AlwaysThere to tell us your stories using Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.

And, when so inspired, we hope you’ll visit www.reachincorporated.org/alwaysthere to make a contribution.

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