Tom Scott was a generous man who saw the good in everyone he met—including each and every person he worked with in his 32 years as a parole and probation officer.

A big-hearted man who passed away in 2020, Tom helped his clients in any way he could: giving rides, sharing his family’s home phone number, and providing food for those who couldn’t afford it.

His son David remembers a day when his father was dropping him off at Jefferson Elementary School, and a woman called out, “Tom, Tom!” Dave asked who the woman was, and his father replied, “She works with me, she’s a client. She’s a wonderful lady, but she loves to steal.” Dave was little then, but his father taught him a big lesson: a person can have personal struggles and foibles, and still be a good person. This was how his father saw the world.

To honor Tom’s legacy of giving people a second chance and a helping hand, Tom’s family has created the Thomas H. Scott Endowment Fund for YMCA Youth and Family Services.

This new endowment fund will give a second chance to youth and young adults facing homelessness, eviction and unemployment by connecting them to life-saving resources. With an endowment gift, the donation is invested, and the investment earnings support the Y’s programs year after year for generations.

North Minneapolis held a special place in Tom’s heart. He joined the Harold Mezile North Community YMCA and went there to exercise almost every day for decades until the branch changed its services. All three of Tom’s children—Jenell, David, and Paul—grew up going to swim lessons on Saturday mornings at the North Community Y. After swimming, Tom and his wife Diana they would bring the kids to Milda’s Café for eggs.

When Tom retired he began to go to the Blaisdell YMCA which was closer to the Scott family home. All of his and Diana’s grandchildren took swim lessons every year at the Blaisdell Y. Upon Tom’s passing in 2020, son Dave was going through his father’s checkbook and discovered that his dad had donated to hundreds of organizations in $5 or $10 increments. Tom couldn’t say no to any opportunity to help. His donations added up to more than $10,000 each year. Yet his family knew which organizations their dad loved the most, because to those, including the Y, he gave hundreds of dollars.

“The Y played such a big part in his life,” Diana said. “When we sat down to talk about where we should give money to honor Tom’s legacy, it was the natural thing to choose the Y.”