NewsFeed @ Youth In Need | September 2017
Golfing for Youth Breaks Tournament Record
Thanks to everyone who supported the 20th annual McCarthy Holdings, Inc., Golfing for Youth Benefit Tournament, presented by Centene Charitable Foundation! It was a record-breaking success in more ways than one! Not only did the tournament draw more than 300 golfers on Aug. 7, which resulted in tournament play at Whitmoor Country Club and The Missouri Bluffs Golf Club in St. Charles, but it also raised a record $160,000 for Youth In Need’s programs and services. Unseasonably mild August temperatures made for a great day on the course, followed by dinner and a silent auction that included sports memorabilia, dining experiences and electronics. This year’s live auction included an Orlando vacation, autographed guitars and baseball and hockey game experiences.
“Children are our hope for the future, but we are the hope for theirs.” —Anonymous
At Youth In Need, we are accountable to the wonderful donors and funders that entrust us to use financial resources as effectively and efficiently as possible. We’re accountable to the Board of Directors who govern and lead us, to operate with integrity and further our mission. We’re accountable to support and challenge each other and work together as a team. Most of all, though, we’re accountable to the children, youth and families, to work with them in partnership, to build on their strengths, and to deliver the best quality services we can. We also have an ethical responsibility to look at the social context which contribute to their needs. The social problems of racism and inequity are all too real and have a significant impact on the lives of our clients and our community.
Our work around diversity and inclusion has helped us understand systems of oppression and privilege. As our efforts have evolved and crystallized, we know that to be truly accountable to young people, we need to call out and root out bias and racism more explicitly.
In reflecting on the extreme examples of hatred and racism we have witnessed recently, my colleague Christie Huck, Executive Director of CityGarden Montessori School says, “I believe it is important for us not to distance ourselves from these events or to see them as something happening ‘out there,’ but to allow ourselves to feel the discomfort and horror and to reflect on where racism is showing up in our own lives and in our own institutions and communities. This is difficult, and yet necessary in order to begin to make change.”
In a similar vein, Jim Braun, our beloved former CEO, wrote a reflection last week entitled The Cancer of Racism which said in part, “I consider racism to be a moral and societal equivalent of cancer. If ignored and allowed to fester and grow, it will destroy our society…Every one of us must join in the fight to battle the cancer of racism. We must resist any inclination to deny or avoid the threat that racism poses to all of us. We must not be afraid to directly confront and call out any experiences or observations of racism. We must have the courage to look deeply inside ourselves for conscious or unconscious prejudices that might affect our attitudes toward people different from us…Cancer may be a disease that is always with us, but great progress is being made to decrease its prevalence and deadliness. Racism may also always be with us, but whether it is allowed to increase, or is confronted and brought into remission is up to the commitment, actions, and prayers of each of us.”
I have learned that it is not enough to be passively “non-racist” and that as individuals and as an organization, we need to be actively anti-racist. Change happens from the inside out, from changing hearts and minds to transforming organizations and communities. I am grateful to Youth In Need’s staff and board for the commitment and work as we continue to move forward on this journey. I pledge as a white leader of an organization serving and employing more than 30 percent people of color that we will be accountable to you.
Youth Decorate Parking Lot
Youth who are part of Youth In Need’s Emergency Shelter or Transitional Living Program participate in an alternative education program called “Our Voice.” The program offers youth skills they need to be successful while at Youth In Need and beyond. Recently, the youth used chalk to decorate the parking lot at the Scheidegger Family Center in St. Charles with positive messages of hope and love.
Christmas in July Ride Supports Lincoln County Head Start Program
Chariots of Fire Customs LLC, Iron Cross Liquor and Tattooed Lady Bar & Grill, with support from the local AMVETS chapter and Elsberry VFW post, held its fifth annual Christmas in July motorcycle ride on July 30. More than 100 motorcycle enthusiasts rode from Moscow Mills to Elsberry, where they finished with lunch and a silent auction. The ride raised $3,000, and all proceeds will support families in Youth In Need’s Lincoln County Head Start and Early Head Start program during the Christmas season.