Josh Humberger
Christian Service Coordinator
YMCA of DeKalb County – Auburn, IN

One of the YMCA’s core values is Caring. Loving your neighbor as yourself. To show kindness and compassion. To put others first. Showing a genuine interest in others. Put on your seatbelt’s as I share how God is moving in our Y.

On December 23rd at 7:00 in the morning I witnessed something so powerful. It was seeing our team in action. So real and pure. It was our staff showing love, care, and respect. It was our staff showing what it truly means to be a Christ follower.  This email is sponsored by Kleenex.

Tom is a member of our Y. He has been coming here for years and lives alone with his dog. He is 64 years old and is usually here from 6-11am everyday after being dropped off by DART, our local transportation service. If you know Tom, you know that we are his family. I have seen our staff and members love and care for him. He has no one else. He has many ups and downs and has had an incredibly hard and rough life. What is most important is that no matter the “mood” Tom is in, we all just simply love and care for him.

This feel good story all starts with a letter. A letter written by a couple of our girls at the front desk who wanted to do something big for Tom. A  letter written to one of the greatest college football coaches of all time. A letter written and sent to the Ohio State University the week they played Michigan the last week in November.


Dear Urban Meyer,

I hope you are having a blessed holiday season. We are writing to you from the YMCA of DeKalb County in Auburn, Indiana. There is a member that is very dear to our hearts that we think you should know about. His name is Tom. He is the biggest Ohio State fan you could ever meet. He lives and breathes the Buckeyes and struts around in his “Fear the Nut” t-shirt 365 days a year.

When Tom was in his 30’s, he was in a tragic car accident that killed his wife who was pregnant with twins at the time. This has cause Tom severe head trauma and emotional instability. Tom visits our facility five days a week for multiple hours a day. He comes here to interact and converse about Ohio State. If you are anything other than an Ohio State fan, Tom will let you hear all about it! He does not have anyone in his life to celebrate the holidays due to the accident so we do our best, here at the Y, to be a family for Tom.

In writing the letter, we are in hopes that Tom’s story will touch you just as much as his witty, loving, and Ohio State fanatic heart has touched us. We have been bringing our heads together to think of a Christmas present Tom would really appreciate. We think he would just be ecstatic if he received ANYTHING from you. The smallest things can completely transform his attitude about life.

Thank you so much for your time. It would mean the world to Tom just if he knew, you knew who he is! If you would like to contact us, please feel free to e-mail us at a.campbell@ymcadekalb.org or t.harpenau@ymcadekalb.org.  

Happy Holidays, YMCA of DeKalb County Staff


I thought it was amazing these girls came up with this idea and were putting in the effort to do this. I am a big Buckeye fan but inside I was thinking, “no way is that letter going to get to Urban Myer. He is playing Michigan this week, he is dealing with a national controversy with a Heisman Trophy candidate and will be putting all his energies in the Big 10 Championship game following the Bowl Season.”

The week of Christmas. Wednesday morning the 23rd, Tom received a gift. I was able to see Tom’s eyes water up with big tears. He received a letter from Columbus.


Dear Tom:

We received word that you are a big fan. We appreciate your long time support. Be sure to keep cheering. We are counting on you! God Bless… & Go Bucks! 

(Signed in Ink) Urban Meyer, Head Football Coach


I will never forget seeing the expression on Tom’s face.  Allie and Tiffany had big smiles and told Tom they appreciated him and cared about him. He was cared for. He was loved. I was so overcome with emotion I went into the Chapel and wept.

Caring – That’s one of the key factors of being a YMCA that truly lifts up the “C”.