February is a busy month with many "themes" surrounding it. Valentine's Day, Groundhog Day, Black History Month, and President's Day are all well known ones. One theme that has also made its way into the calendar is Acts of Kindness.
The individuals who volunteer their time working directly within YESS' emergency shelter and crisis nursery know that having compassion and showing kindness is essential. Many of the youth YESS serves have histories involving trauma, and a little bit of kindness goes a long ways.
YESS staff work to make holidays, even the smaller ones like Valentine's Day, a festive time for the youth staying in the shelter.
The DSM Cookiers, a group of about 20 local cookie bakers and decorators, all pooled their resources and provided the supplies for our Valentine's Day party at the shelter. They donated everything from colored buttercream, sprinkles, and almost 100 cookies to help bring out the creative spirit of cookie decorating.
Pi Beta Phi Alumnae Club spent their Valentine's Day evening working alongside the youth as they decorated their festive treats. After the cookie decorating, the volunteers spent time playing Valentine Bingo, creating sand art bottles, and putting together heart pillows.
If you are interested in learning more about our volunteer opportunities, please email Jana Daisy at