The Power of Art:
"It helps me get my mad out"
Patrick*, an 11-year-old boy, loves super heroes, rockets, using his imagination, and playing math games. Patrick also functioned at the level of a six-year-old and had a hard time when things didn't go his way. He would display aggressive behaviors when he'd get upset and didn't know how to better express his frustrations.

Patrick was removed from his parents' care due to substance abuse and neglect in the home. When he came to YESS, Patrick would get upset easily by staff or other kids when things didn't go how he wanted or expected. But Patrick thrived with one-on-one attention and being able to create with his imagination and hands-on activities. He absolutely loved when it was his turn to go to the art room at YESS, both individually and for groups.
YESS' art room is a place for the kids to get messy while also learning about different artists or techniques. Many times this is the first experience kids at YESS have with art. Kids are free to explore their creativity and express themselves in ways other than talking. Patrick loved the art room and spending time with YESS' Artist-in-Residence, Lindi.

"Patrick especially liked making things with clay or paint, things that could be messy. It helped him calm down and he said it helped him get his mad out. He was able to take all the frustration and anger he felt and channel it into the clay or into painting. That's the power of art. It lets you express your feelings when you don't have the words to say how you feel."
Each week, Lindi works with kids staying in shelter in small groups or individually. She plans activities such as sewing super hero figurines, painting your own Picasso, and exploring art in the community at the Art Center or during Des Moines Art Week. Kids give Lindi ideas of what they would like to work on and she finds ways to incorporate them into groups or individual sessions doing everything from drawing, painting, learning how to use printing press, and playing Guess Who with famous artists. Some kids have great artistic abilities and some just like the opportunity to paint or draw, but one thing Lindi always notices is how art helps kids express their feelings. "The art room turns into a safe space for the kids which is so important because many haven't had a safe space before. Once they feel safe, the kids are able to grow and gain confidence in their skills while opening up. They are so proud of what they create and their creativity is boundless. I'm so thankful YESS is able to provide this program to the kids."

You can help make sure YESS' art program continues to give kids another outlet to express their feelings or learn a new skill by donating items from our Art Wish List. Without Team YESS, our art program wouldn't be able to give the kids we serve the opportunity to learn, explore, and create. Special thanks to U.S. Bank who provides generous grant funding for this program as well as everyone who has donated art supplies throughout the last year!

*Names and identifying characteristics changed to protect client confidentiality.
Back to School

It's hard to believe the new school year will be here before we know it! You can help the kids YESS serves start school off ready for success by donating items for our Back to School supply drive.

Each year, up to 56 kids start the new school year while under our roof. Providing school supplies and backpacks helps our kiddos feel ready for the new year during a time of stress and uncertainty.

Interested in starting a collecting? Be sure to contact Jana Daisy first!
Join YESS for Six Years of Playing it Forward
Central Iowa's signature human foosball tournament is back for year six!

Save the date for October 3 for the YESS Human Foosball League Tournament presented by Space Simply - Cy Phillips.

Round up your team, break out the sweatbands, and practice your footwork to see if your team has what it takes to be named the HFL Champions.

Over the past six years, teams have played it forward raising over $100,000 for kids in crisis who find safety and care under YESS' roof.

Join Team YESS for an afternoon of fun and supporting kids in our community! Click here to register your team or learn more about how you can 'play it forward' for kids in crisis!
Team YESS Shout Out:
Lutheran Church of Hope

Lutheran Church of Hope has been a longstanding supporter of the kids we serve. Hope supports YESS in all areas of our mission, whether through volunteering at the shelter playing games or bingo, donating funds to support our mission, or being responsive to time-sensitive requests, like when YESS needed a new dishwasher last summer. We are so grateful for the Missions team and all those at Lutheran Church of Hope who surround Team YESS with compassion and support!

Looking for a free family fun activity? Lutheran Church of Hope is hosting their annual Taste of Hope event on Saturday, July 27, at their West Des Moines campus. Enjoy inflatables, games, crafts, and other fun activities while also having the opportunity to learn about nonprofits in our community. YESS will be there with a craft for kids while sharing our mission to change lives by protecting children and empowering families.

Have a few hours to spare on the 27th? Volunteer for YESS' table! Learn more by emailing Jana Daisy, Community Activities Manager.
Team YESS is Hiring

When you join YESS, you aren't just taking a job, you're becoming part of a team. A team that is committed to making the community a better place by protecting children and empowering families.

Do you or someone you know want to make a difference in the community and help kids build brighter futures? We have many opportunities to join Team YESS!
918 SE 11th Street, Des Moines, IA 50309 | 515.282.9377 |