Celebrate With Us!
Centene Charitable Foundation presents Youth In Need’s 30th annual Celebration of Youth dinner and auction on Saturday, March 18, 2017, at Ameristar Casino Resort Spa. This year, we honor former Board member, supporter and champion for children Don Kalicak, Mercy's Vice President, Regional Development.
Help us celebrate!
Pat’s Chat: 525,600 Minutes
The song Seasons of Love from Rent tells us that there are 525,600 minutes in a year. How we spend our minutes is how we spend our life, right? As I reflect on 2016 and look ahead to 2017, I thought about how many of those 525,600 minutes each year that all of you spend in service to Youth In Need, and what that must add up to collectively. It's profoundly humbling and deeply meaningful to think about the sheer amount of time that our staff, board and supporters devote to our mission, and the tremendous impact that work has on the lives of so many children, youth and families.
Viktor Frankl, a psychiatrist who survived a concentration camp during the Holocaust, wrote a book about finding meaning and being responsible to something greater than ourselves, which is often at odds with our culture that tends to be more about the pursuit of individual happiness. While we all want to be free from stress and worry, research shows that having purpose and meaning in life increases overall well-being and life satisfaction, improves mental and physical health, enhances resiliency and self-esteem, and decreases the chances of depression. People who primarily seek meaning versus happiness often find great value and joy in giving to others as opposed to receiving gifts. That defines Youth In Need staff and supporters, who use their tremendous strengths and talents in loving service to others.
From the bottom of my heart, I wish each of you a wonderful and meaningful 2017, and hope each minute, hour, day, week and month is filled with love.
"Five hundred twenty-five thousand six hundred minutes
How do you measure a year in the life?
How about love? How about love?
How about love? Measure in love."
LensCrafters Donates Eye Exams and Glasses
The LensCrafters located in West County Center recently donated nine eye exams and eight pairs of glasses to Street Outreach Program and Transitional Living Program (TLP) youth.
Danielle Harper, a Youth In Need Street Outreach Worker, was getting an eye exam at LensCrafters when the doctor doing her exam asked her where she worked. When Danielle explained that the worked primarily with homeless youth, the doctor asked if the youth would be interested in eye exams and glasses, which are part of the company’s annual outreach to nonprofit agencies. So Danielle and the Outreach team transported five Outreach youth and four TLP youth to LensCrafters for exams. Eight youth received new pairs of glasses and immediately began taking selfies, and LensCrafters even provided lunch to the group.
“The whole experience was really positive,” Danielle said. “The staff at LensCrafters were amazing. They were joking around with the youth and helping them find glasses. There was so much laughter and talking. As a staff person, it was really great to see our youth being respected.”
Holiday Drive Spreads Magic of the Season
Many local businesses, individuals, schools and community groups participated in Youth In Need's annual holiday drive. Not only did these groups adopt programs and children during the holidays, but they also volunteered to collect and sort toys for Youth In Need’s programs. This amazing generosity resulted in $135,000 in holiday donations and financial support for our programs!
In addition to the wonderful organizations that worked to fill many program wishes, Youth In Need also received a donation of 600 new coats from Soles4Souls and St. Vincent DePaul Ascension Conference and 40 coats from DaVita Dialysis for the children and teens the agency serves. Craftsmen Cares donated 70 bikes (assembled!), helmets and locks to Youth In Need’s holiday drive as well.
Also back this year was the seventh annual Boatload of Toys drive with local radio station 93.7 The Bull. Radio personalities spent the past weekend outside at Bass Pro Shops in St. Charles filling boatloads of toys for Youth In Need. The station kicked off the weekend with its fifth annual Santa Jam concert at The Pageant on Dec. 1.