Making Spirits Bright

T he countdown to Christmas is nearly complete. For kids in shelter, this time of year can be particularly difficult. Their lives have been turned upside down and the holiday season will look very different this year. Thanks to the generosity of our community, however, we are making spirits bright for kiddos in our care.

Generous donations ensure every child in shelter has a safe place to lay their head and presents to open on Christmas day.  Volunteers have been wrapping presents, serving special meals, and spending time with kids who cannot be with their families.  The team at YESS "decked the halls" with holiday decor and will share a special meal with the kids as well. 

Altogether, these efforts truly transform what it's like to live in shelter during the holidays. "To see their faces light up with the gifts they receive makes the holidays pretty magical around YESS,"  said Katie Kamienski, Chief Operations Officer.  " Without a doubt at Christmas time, our kids know that there are people out there who care about them!"

The acts of kindness from our community this time of year are too great to list. But we can say thank you.  Thank you for remembering the children at YESS during this hectic holiday season. Thank you for knowing that even a small act of kindness can make a difference in a child's life.

As you enjoy the traditions that make this time of year special, please continue to remember the children at YESS. They find joy during a difficult time because of support from friends like you.  Happy holidays, and thank you for being by YESS' side as we keep kids safe - all day, every day!

Spreading Cheer  Outside Our Shelter
A member of Team YESS makes sure clients in the community have presents under their tree 

While the holidays can bring great joy, they can also create stress for many families. Through our Integrated Care Connections and Hope Hall Counseling programs, YESS serves hundreds of families in the community, and some needed a little help this year to make the season merry and bright.

Thanks to generous agency friends, YESS' Adopt-A-Family program provided gifts for nearly 30 families. This program  matches the families we serve with donors in the community in order to supply gifts for the holiday and ease some worry for parents and caregivers.  In addition, many other families received gifts or food items thanks to the support of community partners.

"The families expressed great appreciation for the help as they wouldn't be able to provide Christmas presents without this program," said YESS Care Coordinator Jenny McClanahan.  Thank you to all of the generous donors who helped dozens of kids and their families have a happy holiday season!

Although It's Been Said Many Times, Many Ways...THANK YOU!
This time of year, we are truly amazed at the outpouring of support from everyone on Team YESS. If you have volunteered your time, donated needed items, provided financial support, or supported our mission in any way, YOU are the reason we are providing safety, care, and warm holiday memories  for children and families!  Thank you!
Click to view a special holiday message from the kids at YESS

There are countless members of Team YESS who have made the holidays a little brighter for kids in our community, but here are a few we want to send a  special holiday shout out:

Ramsey Subaru
and their Share the Love event  | 
Iowa Select Farms for donating food for our kitchen  |  Stephanie, Jessie, Jodi, Eric, Jessica, & the Copper Cup for their 4th annual fundraiser event  |  
The Farrell Brownell Group team at Remax Real Estate Concepts  |  
Kemin Industries for raising funds and lifting spirits in our shelter  |  
Professionals for Charity for their annual  toy drive |  
The team at John Deere ISG for donating many needed holiday items  |  
Chive On Iowa for supporting YESS during their holiday meetup  |  The Rotary Club of Des Moines for helping us update one of our living spaces  |  The 
General Mills team for continuing to provide food items for families in need  |  LCS for using social media to support kids in crisis  |  Volunteers from EWI and Wells Fargo for wrapping presents  |  Our friends at Nationwide who served many meals to the kids this holiday season  |  YOU for staying engaged in our mission throughout the year!

Another Spec-QUACK-ular Year Ahead

The new year is just around the corner, and Team YESS is ready to "get quackin" to make the 2018 YESS Duck Derby our best one yet! 

Volunteers, community partners, and individuals are all needed to make this event a success. If you are interested in being a part of the 2018 YESS Duck Derby, email to learn more.

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