In this issue: Shoes from the Heart donates new sneakers; longtime volunteer honored; and new members elected to Board of Directors.

Shoes from the Heart for Children

Whether you’re young or young at heart, there’s nothing like a new pair of sneakers to put a smile on your face! And that’s just what Shoes from the Heart recently did for a group of preschoolers. Shoes from the Heart delivered more than 40 pairs of new shoes to children at Youth In Need’s Early Learning Center – Meramec and its childcare partner Hope House. Based in Missouri, Shoes from the Heart provides new tennis shoes to children in need throughout the country. With a focus on Head Start programs, schools and foster care, Shoes from the Heart volunteers deliver shoes and ensure a proper fit for each child.

Longtime Volunteer Honored at COY

Last month’s Celebration of Youth included a surprise honor for longtime volunteer Gene San Filippo. Gene received the first-ever Quiet Hero award for his 30 years of volunteer service to Celebration of Youth and Youth In Need.

Always helping behind the scenes, Gene was famous for going door to door to St. Charles businesses to ask for gift certificates for the Celebration of Youth auction. Gene kept meticulous records and always gave the business owners a chance to increase their donation the following year. For many of those years, Gene’s volunteer partner was his wife Connie. And since her passing, Gene has volunteered at Celebration of Youth’s Wine Pull with daughter Lisa and son-in-law Joe. While the award is called “Quiet Hero,” it’s just in name, because those who know Gene know he’s anything but. Friendly to a fault, Gene always has a smile on his face and likely a good joke to tell. Congratulations, Gene!

From left: Anita Viehmann, Youth In Need Board member and former Annual Fund Director, Gene San Filippo and Gene’s daughter Lisa Hale.

Youth In Need Welcomes New Board Members

Youth In Need has elected three new members to its Board of Directors. Welcome!

Ashley Bloomer is Senior Manager at Grant Thornton, LLP.

David Noble is St. Louis Market President & Director – Community Economic Development at Midland States Bank.

Rusty Putzler is Vice President & COO at Connectria.