NewsFeed @ Youth In Need | November 20, 2017
Annual Donor Dinner Celebrates Philanthropy
Youth In Need held its annual “Thanks for Giving” donor appreciation dinner earlier this month at City Cottage on Chouteau. More than 70 donors attended the dinner, which is an opportunity for Youth In Need to extend its sincere thanks to guests for their support over the year. In addition, four special awards are given to supporters who have gone above and beyond in their advocacy for Youth In Need. And for the second year, Youth In Need recognized the members of its Fountain of Youth legacy society. This giving society is for members who have named Youth In Need in a planned gift, or a contribution that is arranged in the present and allocated at a future date. Commonly donated through a will or trust, planned gifts are most often granted once the donor has passed away.
Congratulations to this year’s honorees!
Outstanding Community Partner
Outstanding Corporate Partner
Outstanding Individual Partner
Jon and Cara Lottes
James A. Braun Champion of Children Award
Fountain of Youth Legacy Society
Dean and Mary Krogmeier
Jim and Joan O’Neill
Pat’s Chat: Our Children
Have you seen those yard signs that read, “Drive like your kids live here?” It’s a great message and gentle reminder that we should treat all children as we would want our own children to be treated. In speaking at the recent Stand Up for Kids awards ceremony, First Lady Sheena Greitens echoed a similar message, emphasizing our collective responsibility to children in foster care, saying, “They are all our children.” Jim Braun, our beloved former CEO, instilled this in us at Youth In Need, often pushing back on those in the community that sought to draw boundary lines based on geography or other differences. Jim felt strongly that if kids and families needed us, we would do our very best to be there for them, regardless of their backgrounds, identities or life circumstances, and I heard him say many times, “These are all our kids.”
This value is alive and well at Youth In Need. Every day, I see and hear about staff whose compassion and persistence makes all the difference. As an organization, we strive to provide the highest quality programs and service environments, because our children deserve it.
Lillian Katz, an early childhood scholar, says it best: “Each of us must come to care about everyone else’s children. We must recognize that the welfare of our children and grandchildren is intimately linked to the welfare of all other people’s children. After all, when one of us needs lifesaving surgery, someone else’s child will perform it. If one of our children is threatened or harmed by violence, someone else’s child will be responsible for the violent act. The good life for our own children can only be secured if a good life is also secured for all other people’s children.”
Holiday Drive Spreads Magic of the Holiday Season
The holiday season is upon us and many generous supporters in our community are gearing up to ensure every one of the more than 10,000 children, teens and families Youth In Need serves has a memorable holiday. Many local businesses, individuals, schools and community groups will participate in the agency’s annual holiday drive, collecting items from program wish lists through Dec. 11. To learn more about this year’s holiday drive, e-mail Cody Finan, Community Engagement Coordinator, or download the general wish list.
Also back this year is the eighth annual Boatload of Toys drive with local radio station 93.7 The Bull. Radio personalities will spend Dec. 2 and 3 outside at Bass Pro Shops in St. Charles, filling boats with toys for Youth In Need. The station will wrap up the Boatload of Toys drive with its sixth annual Santa Jam concert on Friday, Dec. 8 at the Peabody Opera House. You can buy tickets online here.
Community Conversations Focus on Youth Homelessness
Earlier this month, Youth In Need held two community sessions for an in-depth discussion about what the St. Louis community is doing to assist our most at-risk youth. Colleen Condren, Regional Director of RHY (East), and Barissa Ford, Associate Director of RHY (East), assisted members of the executive management team in bringing a voice to the homeless youth the agency serves by sharing powerful stories of hope, resilience and even setback during times of crisis. Board members, donors and community partners joined the discussion to learn more about homelessness in our region and what resources are needed to ultimately end youth homelessness.
Youth In Need Receives Two RHY Grants
The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ Family and Youth Services Bureau announced its Runaway and Homeless Youth Act (RHYA) grant awards for FY2017, and Youth In Need is on the list! The Basic Center Program grant, which funds the Emergency Shelter, was awarded at $200,000. The Street Outreach Program grant was awarded at $185,000. Youth In Need is just one of 16 Street Outreach Program grantees, and the only grantee in the Region VII (Missouri, Iowa, Nebraska and Kansas) service area! Both grants are awarded annually in three-year cycles.