NewsFeed @ Youth In Need | November 2016

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NewsFeed @ Youth In Need | November 2016

NewsFeed @ Youth In Need  |  November 2016


Feel the Magic of the Holiday Season

The holiday season is nearly in full swing and the elves in our community are working hard to ensure every one of the more than 12,000 children, teens and families Youth In Need serves has a memorable holiday. Many local businesses, individuals, schools and community groups participate in the agency’s annual holiday drive, adopting Youth In Need’s programs and children during the holidays.

If you’d like to contribute to Youth In Need’s holiday drive, check out our wish list of items our programs need most. Or, if shopping’s not your thing, you can always make a cash donation to support the holiday drive here. Contact Cody Finan, Community Engagement Coordinator, by e-mail or at 636-757-9334 to learn more.

Local radio station 93.7 The Bull also is preparing to kick off its seventh annual Boatload of Toys drive Dec. 2 at Bass Pro Shops in St. Charles, where radio personalities will camp out in an RV and spend the weekend filling boatloads of toys for Youth In Need. The drive is part of Youth In Need’s annual holiday drive.

Boatload of Toys begins at 9 a.m. on Dec. 2 and runs through Sunday, Dec. 4. Special guests, fun activities and lots of holiday cheer are in store for those who visit. Youth In Need staff and volunteers will be on hand all weekend, so come by and say hi and bring a toy for Youth In Need’s programs.

The official start of the Boatload of Toys weekend is with the fifth annual Santa Jam concert at The Peabody Opera House on Thursday, Dec. 1. Join 93.7 The Bull for an intimate acoustic evening, featuring country music artists Josh Turner, Jana Kramer and William Michael Morgan. Get your tickets at all Ticketmaster outlets or online at


Annual Donor Dinner Celebrates Philanthropy

Youth In Need held its annual Thanks for Giving donor dinner on Nov. 7 at The Caramel Room at Bissinger’s. More than 80 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 first time, Youth In Need recognized the inaugural members of its Fountain of Youth legacy society. This giving society is for members who have named Youth In Need in a planned gift.

This year’s honorees are:

Outstanding Individual Partner
Erik and Carol Goldman

Outstanding Corporate Partner

Outstanding community Partner
The Employees Community Fund The Boeing Company

James A. Braun Champion of Children Award
Fran Ventimiglia

Fountain of Youth Inaugural Members
Becky Beck
Jim and Pam Braun
Jim Holterman
Fran Ventimiglia
Jeff and Anita Viehmann


Pat’s Chat: One Community, Many Strengths

One Community, Many Strengths…this is the tagline of our diversity statement, meant to reflect the many wonderful people all using their gifts and working together in service to our organization and our clients.

“Community” can mean a physical place, but it also can mean “a feeling of fellowship with others, as a result of sharing common attitudes, interests, and goals.” When I think about our Youth In Need community, it’s made up of not only our staff but also our wonderful Board of Directors and Regents, who lend their considerable gifts to our common cause, and to the donors and funders who so generously support our mission.

For our clients, for each other, and for the larger community, our Youth In Need community strives to live out our organizational values. We know it is necessary to face the sometimes harsh realities of a situation, and at the same time, remain hopeful and work actively for a positive outcome. We assume goodwill in others, and hope that they will return the favor. And we not only tolerate differences, but we also embrace them, because we know that our diversity makes us stronger.

As I often say, we will continue to stand together as one community, and we will work together for unity, equity, inclusion, and compassion.

“In the end, only kindness matters.” —Jewel


Head Start East Introduces Parent Cafés

Head Start East parents have another way to connect and learn through the program’s new Parent Cafés. Head Start East introduced the “parent café” concept at the Academy Neighborhood Center in September with a session that focused on social emotional health. A grant from United for Children provided children’s books about feelings to supplement the café’s theme. Approximately 10 parents attended the first session.

This model facilitates conversations between parents about issues related to the five protective factors that are shown to reduce child abuse and promote strong families: Parental resilience, social connections, knowledge of parenting and child development, concrete support in times of need, and social and emotional competence of children.

The goal is for parent cafés to spark new ideas and help parents learn from one another’s experiences. A second café was held on Wednesday, where three Spanish-speaking and three non-Spanish-speaking parents attended. They communicated through an interpreter and suggested holding a future event that would offer conversations between English speakers and English Language Learners so that they can practice their English.

Cafés are led by parents so they are gaining leadership skills along the way. Last year, several staff and parents completed the training to facilitate, and it’s hoped that the program soon will have enough parent leaders that they can take over the cafés by the end of the year.


Join Young Professionals for a Happy Hour

Join FLYIN, Youth In Need’s young professionals group, for an informational happy hour on Nov. 30 at Trainwreck Saloon in Westport. Learn more about the group, how to get involved and connect with other young professionals in the community. Drinks and appetizers are on us! Hope to see you there! 

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