NewsFeed @ Youth In Need | September 24, 2018
Lowe’s Heroes Transform Youth In Need
One unbelievable day. Months in the making.
On Tuesday, Aug. 14, 250 employees from Lowe’s stores across seven states spent 1,200 collective hours volunteering their improvement skills at three Youth In Need facilities, as well as the Crisis Nursery and a local domestic violence shelter.
Like a scene from our own home improvement reality show, Jefferson Street was covered with volunteers wearing red shirts, proclaiming them Lowe’s Heroes. By the end of the day, it was clear they were exactly that!
The volunteer project totaled more than $500,000 in facility improvements for the three nonprofit organizations. Improvements at Youth In Need included creating additional storage for the St. Charles County Counseling office and Teen Parent Program and a complete renovation of a kitchen at the agency’s central office, which will be used for Youth In Need functions and life skills education for the Transitional Living Program (TLP) and Emergency Shelter youth. Volunteers created an improved living space at the TLP group home, including an outdoor gazebo and a new art/music/rec space inside a converted stand-alone garage. And yet another crew of Lowe’s volunteers built a memorial garden in honor of Youth In Need’s beloved former President and CEO Jim Braun, who passed away in December.
All of this work was part of Lowe’s Heroes, a national program that directs monetary resources and employee volunteer time to charitable causes within the Lowe’s markets. Following their volunteer day, employees spent time sorting personal care items they then delivered to the three organizations. Youth In Need received hygiene kits with handwritten inspirational notes and boxes and boxes of personal care items.
Get more Lowe’s Heroes coverage! Check out photos from the day in the Image Gallery. Check out the KTVI news story. Check out the video Lowe’s produced for its business television network.
Pat’s Chat: The Power of Potential…
Youth In Need helps thousands of children and teens each and every year. From young children who need extra help to make sure they’re ready for kindergarten—physically, cognitively, socially and emotionally—to kids who’ve experienced trauma and need counseling—to older youth who have no home—Youth In Need is there for them. One of those kids is Natasha.
Tragically, Natasha’s mom died when she was just 12 years old. For the next few years, she lived with a half-sister in Texas. She returned to the St Louis area and lived with her dad, but the situation was difficult. She did her best to cope and immersing herself in school and sports helped. Natasha ran track at McCluer High School and was also on the swim team. Her counselor and coaches recognized her bad situation and told her about Youth In Need, so she came to our Transitional Living Program (TLP) group home. Shortly afterward, her father moved out of state and has had no contact with her since. At TLP, she was very disciplined about her school work and her health and fitness routine, and she was always willing to help out and encourage other youth to do their best and reach their goals.
After graduating from high school two years ago, Natasha went to away to college with the goal of becoming a youth minister. Like many parents around this time of year, our staff got her packed up and moved in to her dorm. And also like many parents, our staff and a wonderful mentor from our Board of Directors stay in touch frequently, helping her navigate college life and giving her support when she’s feeling overwhelmed.
Natasha has a track scholarship, as well as grants and student loans, to pay her tuition and room and board, and she works year-round to earn money for books and other living expenses. Because she has no family, Youth In Need is her home, and so Natasha returns to us on holidays and summers. As she enters her junior year at Malone University in Canton, Ohio, she is in need of a car so she can begin her internships as well as find employment off campus. She has saved $1,000 in an IDA account that will be matched to give her a total of $3,000. She lives very frugally, but has never wavered in her commitment to completing her college education.
We know Natasha will achieve her goals, and we’re so proud of her and glad we could be part of her story, which could have turned out very differently. Every youth we help has a different story at Youth In Need. Natasha is one of many, but what they all have in common is a desire to be independent and successful. Thanks to the Youth In Need’s staff, and thanks also to our Board “LinkedYIN” committee who focuses on tangible ways to support our youth as they transition into adulthood.
“Every kid is one successful adult away from being a success story.” —Josh Shipp
Youth In Need Wins BBB TORCH Award
Youth In Need is a 2018 winner of the Better Business Bureau (BBB) TORCH Awards for BBB Serving Eastern & Southwest Missouri & Southern Illinois. The TORCH Awards recognize businesses and charities that exemplify high ethics in their treatment of customers, employees and suppliers. Nine businesses and three charities are being recognized in 2018.
“BBB TORCH Awards recognize companies and charities that are committed to exceptional standards and high ethics,” said Michelle Corey, BBB St. Louis President and CEO. “These organizations have truly joined BBB’s mission of advancing marketplace trust in an exemplary way, and they are role models for other businesses and nonprofits in the community.”
“Transparency, accountability, learning and growing are all core values for Youth In Need and help define our ongoing efforts to improve services and be a better organization for staff and all of our business partners,” says Pat Holtermann-Hommes, CEO. “To be recognized as a charity that does these things is a tremendous honor for us.”
Youth In Need and other TORCH Award winners will be recognized at the BBB TORCH Awards reception and luncheon on Oct. 18, at the Chase Park Plaza Hotel.
Washers Tournament to Benefit Youth In Need
It’s a ringer! Join Youth In Need’s Young Professionals Group for its first annual washers tournament to benefit Youth In Need on Saturday, Sept. 29 at Smith Pavilion in Queeny Park. The tournament begins at 10 a.m., and the cost is $50 per teams of two. Your entry fee gets you lunch and a tournament t-shirt, too! Friends and family of players are welcome to attend. Food and drinks will be available for purchase. Register to play today!