Gaining Skills While
Giving Back

Drake University senior, Carolyn, has volunteered with YESS for almost a year as she finishes her degree with hopes of becoming a teacher. Carolyn first got involved after learning about YESS at a Drake Education Department event. What started as a way to give back and work with kids has ultimately armed Carolyn with career-based skills she can use in her future classroom.

Carolyn says volunteering at YESS has made her a stronger teacher through her experiences in working with kids of all ages, both individually and in small groups. When Carolyn comes to YESS, she is amazed at the kids' creativity and how knowledgeable and passionate they are about different topics, including a well-informed debate on whether or not to ban video games. Carolyn brings planned activities to YESS that mix fun and education, including one special project where she challenged the kids to create new countries and write laws. She enjoyed seeing how wise the youth were on very real topics. And she thanks the kids for her weekly fill of fun and belly laughter.

Thank you, Carolyn, for being a part of our team and giving back to the kids we serve each week!

Volunteers serve an important role at YESS in rebuilding trust and positive relationships with our youth, many of whom are skeptical of adults. If you or someone you know would be interested in giving of their time through volunteer service, contact Jana Daisy or visit our website to learn more.
Keeping Kids Safe in
the Community

While YESS works to provide a safe place for children under our roof, the agency also strives to help create homes were children and families are safe, healthy, and happy. One way YESS does this is through the Integrated Care Connections program (ICC), which works with children in the community who are experiencing mental health challenges by focusing and supporting the needs of the family as a whole.

David*, 7, is one little boy who has worked with ICC to help him find a brighter tomorrow. David loves art, playing outside, and Pokemon. David also struggles with severe behavioral and mental health problems. He and his brother were removed from their parents' care due to neglect and abuse and bounced from 10 different placements in three years, including group care, shelters, foster homes, and YESS' crisis nursery.

David wanted - and deserved - a stable and caring place to call home, and an 11th placement in a foster home was found for David and his brother. David's ICC team worked closely with his new foster parents, helping them find services to provide the care and support David needed to thrive, including cognitive behavior therapy, art therapy, medicine management, educational support, and in-home skill building services. With YESS' wraparound services and the support of his foster family, David has been tremendously successful in his new home. His foster parents told YESS "everyone is doing amazing", and we're excited to report that David and his brother are being formally adopted into their forever family in the coming weeks!

If you or someone you know could benefit from wraparound support, click here to learn more about YESS' Integrated Care Connections program.

*name and identifying details of the client have been changed.

Help Spread Holiday Cheer

Looking to give back this holiday season? There are many ways to spread holiday cheer to the kids and families served by YESS.

  • YESS' Holiday Giving program - support kids in shelter or families in the community through our holiday giving program. Click here to learn more or contact Jana Daisy.
  • Use AmazonSmile - select YESS as your charity of choice on AmazonSmile and a portion of your purchases made on Amazon will be donated back to YESS. Learn more here.
  • Provide safety and care - you can help provide a warm meal and comfy bed for a child with nowhere else to turn or help a family in our community find the support and services they need. Click here to donate

Team YESS Shout-Out:


Thank you to Kemin Industries for another sock-tastic Sock-tober! This year, Kemin not only doubled the amount of socks donated from last year, but they broke their 2014 record of 916 socks by collecting an astounding 1,294 pairs of socks for the children and teens YESS serves. This year was quite the "feet"!
As the holidays approach, Kemin Industries is gearing up for its 19th annual Kemin Charity Auction for its employees. All proceeds from the silent auction are donated to YESS to further support the kids and families we serve. Do you have something you could donate to the auction in support of YESS' mission? If so, contact Kristin Huinker for more details.
Upcoming Events
There are many ways to support YESS in the community in the coming months. Mark your calendar and support the kids and families we serve!

  • November 18 - New Chapters' Barnes & Noble (on University Ave) book fair. Mention New Chapters and 20% of your purchase will go back to this partner organization to provide books for YESS' library as well as other youth-serving organizations in Des Moines.
  • November 27 - Giving Tuesday is a day of giving celebrated across the nation. Keep your eyes out for YESS' Giving Tuesday challenge and how you can help bring a little more joy to the kids we serve.
  • December 13 - Professionals for Charity Toy Drive. Location TBD but stay tuned to our Facebook page!
Team YESS is Hiring!

Do you know someone who has a passion for helping kids and wants to change lives? YESS is looking for Resident Advisors to work directly with the kids we keep safe. Learn more about the position!
918 SE 11th Street, Des Moines, IA 50309 | 515.282.9377 | YESSIowa.org