Sept 15: Volunteer Day of Action
Have you been cooped up in your home office? Get some fresh air while refreshing our courtyard. With COVID shutting down our volunteer program and reducing our staffing, our courtyard has become a bit unruly and overgrown. Help give our kiddos a comfortable courtyard by joining United Way's Day of Action on Tuesday, September 15.

YESS Video Featured During National Convention
YESS is the official Safe Place for Central Iowa because of our relationship with National Safe Place and QuikTrip. In August, we attended Safe Place's annual conference, Focus 2020, where this video was featured. This clip follows a young girl, Jamie, after she ran away from home. Jamie learns about Safe Place, Respite Care, and therapy. Watch the video here.
Breaking Ground in 2021
We are beyond excited to announce a new project soon to be in bloom. A healing garden will provide our kiddos with a tranquil place for reflection or just to find peace and quiet. Fit with raised planting beds, an outdoor classroom, cozy seating, a shady nook, and musical instruments, this interactive garden will be cherished by many kids for years to come. Help grow The Garden by donating today.
Much-Needed Furniture Upgrade
Our hearts are filled with gratitude to True North and Saxton for their donation and time. Thank you to True North for the furniture upgrade and thank you to Saxton for transporting this heavy furniture to YESS. Pictured above is YESS' CEO, Leisa Fox, as she describes the impact of the donation. Check out the full donation video here.
$10,000 Golf Outing
During their 70th annual company meeting, Affinity Credit Union presented YESS with a $10,000 donation. These funds were raised during their annual charitable golf outing. Our hearts are grateful for their invaluable support. Thank you so much.
Respite Care
During this uncertain and stressful time, our Respite Care unit has become a safe haven for many kids. Hope Hall provides families with a safe place for children to spend up to 72 hours, at no cost, when there is extreme stress or a crisis situation at home.

Children and families who turn to Hope Hall Respite receive a private living space and services like mental health assessments and case management.

We are seeking an AmeriCorps VISTA volunteer to serve a one-year term. Tasks include:
  • Develop a volunteer infrastructure for our organization
  • Develop creative volunteer recognition programs
  • Fundraising and grants management
  • Create a marketing plan

Anyone Got a Crystal Ball?
Leisa Fox, CEO
“Great leaders are the ones who think beyond 'short term' versus 'long term.' They are the ones who know that it is not about the next quarter or the next election; it is about the next generation.” – Simon Sinek, The Infinite Game
Todd Christy, our CFO, and I spent time last week filling out an 86-question survey predicting our future in a post-COVID environment for United Way.

What do you anticipate will be the long-term impact? The short-term impact? How will COVID impact the way you deliver services? The list went on and on…  
Between us, we said, “let me get my crystal ball” about 8 times. While some questions were impossible to answer accurately, it did offer us opportunity to pause and reflect on the possibilities. Thanks to our amazing and committed staff, we do powerful work for our kids. Every day, our therapists, our residential advisors, our skills-based counselors, they all make a world’s difference to the kids in our care. Even when the world is so uncertain.  
As we survive these next months as life begins to “normalize,” I ask you to cast your vision on the future. Not this winter, not next spring, but a year from now, three years from now, a decade, because the impact of COVID will reverberate forever. This young generation will be impacted for the rest of their life, some more than others. Our goal is to more easily identify these kids, provide quick access to our services, and then deliver solid, proven outcomes that will positively impact them.
I so appreciate all you do to “change lives by protecting children and empowering families.” The future is amazingly bright for organizations like ours who are taking this time of chaos to reset, realign and rethink their operations. Please trust that this is happening. This tireless work will ultimately position YESS as a leader and partner in building an Iowa where all children thrive in a safe home. Your patience and support as we navigate the unknown is appreciated more than you know. Thank you for all you do for our kids.