2679 Farnam Street, Suite 205
Omaha, NE 68131
Youth Emergency Services assists youth experiencing homelessness
and near homelessness by providing critically-needed resources
which support them in their desire to be self-sufficient.
Today is Giving Tuesday -- a Global Generosity Movement

No doubt 2020 has been a challenging year for most of us -- and nonprofits like Youth Emergency Services continue to feel its impact!

We've had to cancel fundraising events, find new streams of revenue and work diligently to keep our staff and youth safe through the knowns and unknowns about COVID-19.

Know this -- we have PERSEVERED largely because of you!

Giving Tuesday is TODAY, Dec. 1, and our goal this year is to beat last year's amount! Our goal this year is $15,000!

We're excited to report that our staff, board and trustees have COME TOGETHER to create a $5,500 gift that we are now asking YOU -- our FRIENDS and SUPPORTERS -- to MATCH it and help us surpass our goal!

We also have a $5,500 gift match from our friends at Tip Top Thrift Shop -- so we have much to be grateful for this Giving Season!

We realize we've asked a lot of you this year already -- but we hope we can continue to COUNT ON YOU this year as we have in the past.

Please consider making a gift today to help us reach our goal and continue to serve hundreds of homeless and near-homeless youth in our community.
Omaha's DSW Stores to Support YES Dec. 10-13

DSW (Designer Shoe Warehouse) stores at the Westroads and Village Pointe will host a HOLIDAY GIFT DRIVE for YES Dec. 10-13.

Both locations will have boxes near the front counter where people can donate items from YES' HOLIDAY WISH LIST. Those items will then be given to our youth to celebrate the holiday season.

Thank you for patronizing these DSW locations Dec. 10-13 to give our young people a Happy Holiday!

Please watch our social media for more details in the coming days!

10000 California Street
Omaha, NE 68114

17110 Davenport Street
Omaha, NE 68118
Holiday Season Brings Need for Gift Cards, Monetary Gifts

COVID-19 has canceled our annual Santa's Workshop in December, but the need for gifts for our youth is unchanged.

Please consider making a gift of one of more of the following items so our youth can have a Happy Holiday like the rest of us.

  • Gift Cards -- Walmart, Target, Walgreens, HyVee, etc.) -- $10 and $20 increments
  • Bus Passes -- Adult ride w/transfer, Adult 30-day pass
  • Holiday Gifts -- Headphones, Apple & Android chargers, footballs, razors, electric shavers/clippers, basketballs
  • Winter Items -- Coats: Men's sizes M-XXXL, Women's sizes S-XXXL, gloves, hats, hand warmers, fleece blankets
  • Monetary Donations -- These allow YES to use funds for meals, property maintenance, general expenses and much more!

We hope to provide all youth with store gift cards along with a fast food card. Online donations can be made at www.yesomaha.org or mailed to the address below. 

All items can be dropped off at or mailed to:
Youth Emergency Services
2679 Farnam Street, Ste. 205
Omaha, NE 68131
M-F, 10 a.m. until 1 p.m.

Please designate your gift as "Christmas Wishes" in the comments box so we can track and allocate your gift properly.

Please make your gift by Friday, December 11, so we can get the items to our youth in time for the holidays. Thank you!

As always, thank you for your continued support of YES and the more than 1,000 youth we serve every year!

*Donations are tax deductible.
Supporting Benson's Tip Top Thrift Shop is Supporting YES!

Tip Top Thrift Shop is a volunteer-run thrift store in the heart of the Historic Benson neighborhood.

Its mission is to support Youth Emergency Services through financial contributions, volunteerism, advocacy and community outreach. Each month, the volunteer-run organization donates sales proceeds to YES to help support our youth and programs.

Here's how you can help:

Clean out your closet and donate your gently used clothing and household goods. All proceeds directly support the mission of ending youth homelessness in Omaha. Unfortunately, the shop is unable to accept furniture donations at this time. To donate, drop off items during regular business hours in the alley located behind the shop at the door with the blue awning.

Tip Top Thrift Shop has a wide variety of home goods and clothing for all ages available every day in the store. The selection and sales change daily, so there is always new merchandise to discover!

Donate your time at the store to help sort and organize donations, assist customers, and arrange merchandise. Stop in to the shop to fill out an application or contact Maren for more information!

Tip Top Thrift Shop
5910 Maple St
Thursday through Saturday, 10 AM - 4 PM
Life’s Parallels Led Veteran Vic Kensler to Devote 30 Years to YES

Even though he comes from a long line of veterans dating back to the Revolutionary War, Vic Kensler didn’t originally intend to enlist and serve.

His path involved playing football at Wayne State in Wayne, Neb., and studying Spanish as a future career.

But when he was injured during his first semester and could no longer play, he returned home to Oskaloosa, IA, and shortly thereafter, joined the Navy.
“It was 1964 just before Vietnam, and once I thought my football career was over, I knew I needed to do something,” said Kensler, who is a trustee on the Youth Emergency Services (YES) board of trustees. “I went home for about a year and worked and then joined the Navy.

“I had a strong family history in the military, and I’m named for my great uncle Victor Dow, who served under General (John J.) Pershing in World War I and was a Seabee in the Navy in World War II.”

Kensler spent the next three-plus years largely aboard ships in the Mediterranean. After Boot Camp, he attended electronics school and spent his time in the Navy working largely as a cryptographic computer repairman as well as maintaining and repairing ship electronics equipment.

“I never had to go to Vietnam, but I always felt like I did what I could to help the United States during that time from where I was,” said Vic, whose older brother, Bob, served in Korea, and his father served in the Navy during WWII. The only combat zone that his ship was in was the Dominican Republic Crisis in 1965.

After his military service ended just before Christmas in 1967, Kensler returned to Wayne State the following year and earned his bachelor’s degree in marketing/management.

He did play one more year of football – more than 5 years older and 25 pounds heavier.

For the next 25 years, he worked in various roles with Mutual of Omaha – first as an underwriter, then in the planning department and finally as an actuarial manager.

Following that time, he spent 10 years with World Insurance before retiring.
During this time, he became involved with a very young nonprofit then-housed near Bellevue, Neb. – Youth Emergency Services – in 1978.

At the time, most people referred to it as the YES House, and it was former board member, Ron Ingram, who persuaded Kensler to help with structural/foundation issues with the house.

Thirty years and two terms as board president later, he retired from the YES board and moved into a trustee role, and he’s still involved with and supports the organization.

“I lost my mother when I was 15, and as the second youngest of 7 siblings, by then it was just one older sister and me living with my dad,” Kensler said.

“When she graduated high school and left town for work, it was just me and dad, and he was away from home a lot. I was alone often, and there were lots of opportunities for me to get into trouble. 

“I identified with the youth at YES because of my own growing up, so the organization has always had a special place for me. It’s what kept me involved as a board member for many, many years.”
Your Vote for Youth Emergency Services Directs Target Circle Funds

Have you cast your VOTE for YES at Target Circle? Voting is FREE, and you votes help Target direct funds to local nonprofits. Thank you for supporting our young people. We are most grateful!
Amazon Wish List is an Easy Way to Give Back During the Holidays

YES regularly updates items needed/requested for our youth on our Amazon Wish List.

If you'd like to make a purchase to help our youth -- especially with the winter season upon us -- please use the link above. Thank you for supporting YES!

And don't forget -- you can designate YES as the beneficiary of extra funds through Amazon Smile! So, before you fill your online cart with items, be sure to tag YES -- and we win when you shop!
YES is Here, There and Everywhere!

We love telling you about the great things we do everyday to change lives -- and here's proof!

We have some exciting EVENTS coming up. We hope we can count on your support!

TODAY -- Giving Tuesday
December 10-13, 2020 -- DSW Promotion to Help YES!
August 5, 2021 -- Dance for a Chance: The Roaring Twenty-Twenties
Like What We're
Saying? Please Share!

Please share this newsletter with friends and family, and if you aren't seeing something you want to know about YES -- please let us know!

Email Mike with your feedback.

Look for the January 2021 issue of YES News in your mailbox Monday, January 4! Thank you for helping us spread the word about the great things happening at YES!