December  S'More 2014                                      1 0f 4                                                                  eBlast  



Welcome to YES' December S'More Campaign celebrating the "Best of YES" in 2014! 

Each Tuesday in December we will highlight success stories from 2014, and this week we begin with three people who capture the heart and soul of our work.


Thanks to everyone who participated in last week's Giving Tuesday. Between your contributions and Facebook followings, YES expanded its community of supporters with 60 new likes and over $2,000 in online donations in one day!  Remember that it's not too late to make a difference as we strive to reach our year-end goal this December.


Warm wishes, 


Eric Aaholm, Executive Director

Branching Out for 15 Years
This year YES celebrated our 15th anniversary, and at our annual dinner in June we took time to honor our amazing founder, Diane Mintz, a woman who reminds us all of the impact one person can make in the world. 
    Diane & Richmond students in 1999                 Diane speaking at 2014 dinner

Her message was simple. Care and get involved. Find a way to make a difference in the lives of kids and families who could use your help. Several YES supporters, including Todd Hodson and Tim Cannon from Marvin Gardens Real Estate, took this call to heart by hosting the first annual Rock in the Redwoods concert and the fifth annual Thanksgiving parking lot fundraiser.


Summer Camp: First-time Camper Louisa
In 1999, Diane worked with a broad community of individuals who helped to send 81 kids to a week of sleep-away summer camp. Little did she imagine that fifteen years later YES would be getting ready to send its 5000th youth to summer camp in 2015. For kids who live in the urban neighborhoods that YES serves, the introduction to camp and the natural world beyond cannot be understated. 

You can hear it in the voice of 13-year-old, first time camper, Louisa who was truly moved by camp this summer. 

"It was beyond my wildest dreams. It was the most fantastic time I have ever had in my entire life. You need to be outside, where nature can find you. I just wish I really could go back to Summer Camp next year!"
Camper to Environmental Educator: Grecia Solis

"From the first day I set foot at Camp Loma Mar as a 6th grader, I fell in love with the redwoods and the all the natural beauty that camp has to offer. Ever since then, I have dedicated my education and professional career to outdoor environmental education. 


The natural outdoors and programs like YES made such an impact on me, I wrote my thesis on the importance of outdoor environmental education in my last year of college. Today I have obtained my dream job as an environmental science educator in Yosemite National Park with NatureBridge. I hope to inspire younger generations to become the future stewards of our planet just like YES summer camp did for me many years ago."

Last fall, as a volunteer at YES' Family Camp, Grecia shared her inspiring story with other Richmond kids and adults, and she looks forward to continuing to spread her love of nature with others for years to come.



"Summer camp gives the kids an opportunity to get away from the peer pressure and stresses of everyday life and a time to be one with nature."

YES parent 2014

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