Summer at YESS means talent shows, reading programs, volunteer projects, and more!
Artwork displayed during the 
Summer Talent Show

I'll Rise Up

I'll rise up
I'll rise like the day
I'll rise up
I'll rise unafraid
I'll rise up
And I'll do it a thousand times again

"Rise Up" by Andra Day

These song lyrics - and so many other powerful songs - echoed through the halls at YESS during our Summer Talent Show earlier this month.

Each one of these shows is special. They highlight the amazing musical and artistic talents of children living in our shelter and give the team at YESS an opportunity to celebrate the kids' hard work. This month's show, however, went above and beyond to create an "awards show" theme. 

From the decorations to the snacks, we rolled out the red carpet to make every kid feel like a star.  Thanks to generous donations from the community,  the kids were also able to look extra special for the event. Formal dresses, suits, and some extra help with the girls' hair from volunteers helped each child look as important as the staff at YESS know they are.

You can listen to just a few of the performances and see some of the amazing artwork displayed during our recent show - just click here!

Summer at YESS

Summer  is a special time of year for kids - full of backyard barbecues, trips to the beach, summer camp, and other fun activities.  With up to 60 children living under YESS' roof each day,  however, these opportunities aren't always available for the children we keep safe.

While it can be difficult to provide kids in shelter with the summer they deserve, our community steps up to help us make the summer fun!

Volunteer groups from Nationwide, Wells Fargo, Deloitte, and other local companies visit the shelter throughout the summer months to play games, shoot hoops in the gym, and spend time getting to know the kids. Other groups provide special activities, like the American Planning Association's " Kidtropolis" map-making activity and the Contributors Breakfast Club's upcoming fishing day. Even a special meal, like the one served by Bankers Trust volunteers, can brighten a summer day for a child in shelter. 

To keep the kids learning during the summer months, the kids also attend half-day classes and participate in a Summer Reading Program.  Our library volunteers coordinate this program every year, helping with everything from logging the number of hours that a kid reads to helping a child find the perfect book to get lost in for a few hours.  

In addition to volunteers, we can't provide the basic safety kids need and the summer activities they enjoy without friends like Ramsey Subaru, RBC Wealth Management, Professionals for Charity, OK200, and the many other organizations that host fundraising events or collect contributions to help kids in our community.

Please consider giving back and making the summer months a little easier for children living in shelter. We can only provide these activities with help from friends like YOU! 

Check out our Art Therapy and Library wish lists

Volunteer Spotlight: Pat & Carolyn

As Unit Mentor volunteers, Pat and Carolyn spend time each week with pre-teen girls living in our shelter. They often make crafts, cook meals, and play games as a way of getting to know the girls.
Pat first started volunteering at YESS four years ago, bringing crafts for the girls to work on. "It's an easy way to get involved with the girls and get to know them better," she said. "Crafts seems to give them a distraction and helps us build a bond working on it together."
Carolyn joined Team YESS about a year ago, and quickly became a regular volunteer on the pre-teen girls' unit as well. She brings games and activities, and the two volunteers work together to provide fun experiences. "We cooked Mexican food with the girls one week. I go with them to the gym or to the park. We take the lead from the girls as to what they like to do."
" Pat and Carolyn are always coming up with creative and fun projects to do while they are here," said Jana Daisy, YESS Community Activities Manager. "The girls are excited each Wednesday to see what these ladies have in store!" 
Volunteers like Carolyn and Pat are so important to YESS' mission!  If you would like to learn more about being a Unit Mentor or the other volunteer opportunities at YESS, click here or contact Jana at .

Human Foosball League 2017

It's time to "play it forward" for kids in crisis! Do you have what it takes? 

A limit of 30 teams will compete in this year's tournament, moving side-to-
side on life-sized foosball courts and hoping to score the 2017 HFL tournament trophy.  A tailgating atmosphere, team uniform competitions, and networking opportunities are all in store for this one-of-a-kind event. 

Event partner opportunities: This event isn't possible without support from local organizations and community leaders. If you would like to learn more about partnership opportunities and the many benefits of being an HFL sponsor, email

Team registration: Our tournament bracket fills up quickly, so secure your spot now! Visit or our event registration page.

Extra Support for Families

Do you know a child struggling with mental health concerns? Or a family who needs support to get back on track? Connect them with caring support at YESS Hope Hall!  Our staff work with kids and families throughout Central Iowa to improve their quality of life and achieve successes that once seemed out of reach. 

We help kids and families in the community by providing:
Outpatient Counseling
When a child or family is experiencing a difficult time, our counselors can provide new perspectives and  specialized treatment. We work with families experiencing a variety of concerns including divorce, depression, bullying, substance abuse, and mental health diagnoses. Our staff also specialize in helping those who have survived traumatic experiences. 
Behavioral Health Intervention Services (BHIS)
When a family is struggling with their child's behavioral or emotional disorder, this skill-building program helps kids make healthy and positive choices. Our BHIS professionals meet with families in their own home to build practical skills that improve day-to-day life, such as conflict resolution, communication skills, and coping skills. 
To learn more, visit our website or call 515-557-2256 

918 SE 11th Street, Des Moines, IA 50309  |  515.282.9377 |