ST. PETERSBURG - Dozens of families who depend on child care might be left in a lurch. The YWCA Child Development Center in downtown will have to close if it doesn't get some funding fast.
For 17 years Bev McKelvey has dedicated her time and energy to teaching kids at the YWCA child development center.
"The majority of them have grown up to be successful and that they come back and want to show us how well they've done," she said.
Her own granddaughter is in daycare here, so she knows firsthand how painful it would be to see the center shut down.
"Our school has served such a great variety of kids that (the prospect of closing) is sad."
Many of those kids have parents who leave them here so they can go to work just to make ends meet. Little Sally was 3 months old Wednesday and going to daycare here for the first time. Her mom, Liz, is not sure what she'll do if the center closes.
"That would be huge for us," Liz said. "You know there's not a lot of daycares in the St. Pete area that can take babies that are under 1 year old so to get into the program here at the YWCA was really exciting for us."
It's because moms like Liz, teachers like Bev and most of all, the kids, that the YWCA's CEO, Yvonne Ulmer, is making this desperate plea.
"YWCA Tampa Bay has served children and families in this community for 97 years. We've touched so many lives and now we're asking for you to help us."
And she says they need that help now
"I need $50,000. ... If we're unable to make payroll (Thursday), we can't exist. The teachers will not be paid."
And this doesn't just affect a few kids. We're talking about 60 children, 55 families and 15 teachers that won't have a place to go.