Team YESS Spotlight:
Junior League of Des Moines
Over the next three years, Junior League of Des Moines (JLDM) is making the care of teenage girls in the foster care system its community issue focus. JLDM selected this issue after multiple community conversations demonstrated a need for foster families for children of all ages, specifically the unique challenges with placing teenage girls. More than 9.700 Iowa children were in the foster care system in 2017, according to the Iowa Department of Human Services. JLDM members started volunteering with local organizations, including YESS, and the group continues to explore additional opportunities for its members to get involved and make an an impact.

Junior League of Des Moines began partnering with YESS in the spring of 2018. Once a month, JLDM members come to YESS to spend time with the teenage girls in the emergency shelter. It's a volunteer night the girls always look forward to and a fun way to relax through activities like going to a movie, arts and crafts, and Zumba classes.

“It’s been a wonderful experience, getting to meet and spend time with the young women at YESS. Whether it was dancing Zumba, doing crafts, or just talking about our day, the connection has been a privilege to experience. The young women are bright, determined, hilarious, and kind. And I am thankful that they let us into their world,” said JLDM member, Monika Owczarski.

“Through my experiences volunteering at YESS, it is clear that the staff truly care about the those staying at the facility and work hard to help them thrive,” said JLDM member, Sarah Biermann. “Volunteering at YESS has given me a glimpse into the activities taking place at the organization and the positive impact they are making in the families of our community. Amazing things are happening at YESS!”

Thank you, Junior League of Des Moines for dedicating your time to this important issue and volunteering with the kids we serve!
Supporting Kids through Wraparound Care
YESS' Integrated Care Connections program supports kids and works to help them thrive with a focus on the needs of the child and family unit as a whole. ICC's goal is to meet the unique needs of each child to help them in all areas of their life while keeping them safe and healthy in their own home.

One ICC client, John (age 11), found success in school after receiving wraparound support from his ICC team and parents. John struggled with school, being engaged in class work, and would often show aggression towards peers and staff. In the fall semester, he attended less than 15 days of school. His parents wanted him to succeed academically but needed help in finding what was best for their son.
John's ICC team worked closely with the school and his parents to figure out a way to get John engaged and decrease his aggression. Working together, John's team agreed that an alternative setting outside of his home school could meet John's therapeutic and educational needs. John was able to overcome his fear of a new school and succeed in a new environment. He also spends one day a week at his home school to keep the connection with his peers and teachers, where he acts as a peer mentor helping make copies for teachers or helping his fellow classmates in his special needs room with their work. John's principal told his ICC team that John is doing great and hasn't missed a day of school in over a month! With John's continued improvements, his ICC and school teams hope to have him transition back to his home school full time to be with his peers.

To learn more how ICC helps children and families through wraparound support and advocacy click here or call 515-557-2256
The Most Spec-QUACK-ular Event of the Year!
Mark your calendars and get ready for the 12th Annual YESS Duck Derby presented by Academy Roofing & Sheet Metal Co.

On May 4 , more than 30,000 rubber ducks will race across the lake at Jordan Creek Town Center, making a literal "splash" for kids in our community. Stay tuned to YESSDuckDerby.org for more information on how you can #Jointheflock in support of the hundreds of kids who turn to YESS each year for critical services and support.
TEAM YESS SHOUT OUTS
Pi Beta Phi Alumni Club
Thank you to the women of Pi Beta Phi Alumni Club for bringing a Valentine's Day party to YESS! Kids decorated cookies, made sand bottle art, and received a gift bag of goodies to take with them. One youth continued the Valentine's Day spirit by giving her sand bottle art to her favorite teacher - how sweet!

Rotary Club of Greater Des Moines
Earlier this month, kids at YESS attended an Iowa Timberwolves basketball game thanks to the generosity of the Rotary Club of Greater Des Moines - Evening Meetings. Not only did the Club provide tickets for the kids to see the game, but they also provided food and drink vouchers to create an all-around fan experience. This was such a fun night for the kids who attended, and the ability to provide game tickets, food vouchers, and parking passes made taking the kids easier for the staff, as well. Thank you, Rotary Club of Greater Des Moines, for your thoughtful donation!

Are you a part of an organization that would like to volunteer and plan a party or provide an experience for the kids finding shelter under YESS' roof? Email volunteer@yessiowa.org to learn more about opportunities to get your group involved with Team YESS!
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