April 17, 2020 - eNews & Update from YES
Dear friends,
 
We miss you. You’re in our thoughts and in our hearts, and we hope that you and yours are safe and well and taking good care of yourselves and each other. We miss being outdoors with you, working alongside you, playing alongside you, seeing and meeting with you, and learning and growing together.
 
We know that we will see the other side of these challenging times and be together in nature and in community again. In the meantime, please know that we are here for you.
 
Here at YES, we’re grateful to our many supporters who are showing flexibility and generosity in support of our work and our community. We are grateful for the resilience to keep our full staff team employed and our connections with our community strong. While our in-person programs are all on pause, we've shifted rapidly to respond to the many impacts of the pandemic.
 
So, what are we up to? Right now, we are focused on three things
 
Responding to our community : We're keeping in regular touch with YES youth and families, assessing their needs, and responding accordingly. Based on the strength of the trusting relationships we’ve built over the last two decades, we are showing up as trusted allies, connecting people to resources and essential information, and providing support and solace to our community.
 
Cultivating resilient leaders : The importance of healthy leadership and resilience is constant and clear. Our work nurturing leaders continues by phone, text, virtual gatherings, and 1:1 outreach to the youth, adults, and families we engage.

Ensuring YES's long-term sustainability : We are working with our board, funders, donors, and partners to come out the other side of these times able to resume our programs and continue to meet our mission. While we shift in the short-term to work in essential, new, and creative ways, we are also planning ahead for the moment we can safely reunite in the beautiful wild world.
 
While we can hardly wait to be in the forest, by the ocean, and in community with you again, we are committed to the health of our local and global communities, and will only resume in-person and nature-based programs when it’s safe to do so. We are grateful every day for the healing power of nature, even if it’s through the window or even a video!

With our fingers crossed that Summer Camp will happen, camp registration is continuing over email and phone. We are holding weekly virtual meetings with our two teen cohorts, the Youth Engagement Team and the Coastal Conservation Corps (C 3 ) . We are inspired by these young people who are navigating new and unsettling times, and who remain fiercely dedicated to the park use, healthy recreation, and coastal conservation projects they’ve been working on with YES since October! And, we’re in regular contact with the Adult Leadership Program participants who graduated in February, supporting them as individuals and leaders within their families and communities.
Through all of this, we want to stay connected with you! Visit us on Facebook and Instagram, where you'll find fun, useful posts like nature activities you and your family can do at home, mental health and wellness resources, where to find financial support, soothing reminders of all that nature has to offer, and updates from YES.
Follow us on Facebook and Instagram, and at #yesn2n!
And last but not least (drumroll please), a relevant ray of light is hot off the digital presses! We thought you'd love to see this Bay Nature Magazine article about YES and the East Bay Regional Park District's teamwork to ensure access and a sense of belonging for YES youth in our regional parks.
All staff are working from home and we’re here for you. We are here to listen, support, collaborate, and connect. Please reach out any time.

Warmly,
Angelica, Blanca, Claire, Eric, Joanna, Maria, Peter, Vencel, and Yuliana
Wondering how you can help?
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You can also mail a check or issue a gift from your Donor Advised Fund to YES :
3029 Macdonald Avenue, Richmond, CA 94804
"We know that nature is good for our souls, and extended time in nature with people who we love and trust creates powerful experiences that grow deeper every time we go outside."
- Eric Aaholm, YES Executive Director
YES Nature to Neighborhoods |(510) 232-3032 | www.yesfamilies.org