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Reggie's Sleepout Raises $115K for Homeless Youth

About 250 campers brought in over $115,000 at Reggie's Sleepout on Oct. 29. The event raises awareness and funds for youth experiencing homelessness, with all proceeds going toward Iowa Homeless Youth Centers (IHYC), a YSS organization in Des Moines.

This is the first time Reggie's Sleepout was back at Drake Stadium since the start of the pandemic. The event included food, music, and the popular Nationwide Boxed-in Design contest.
Reggie's Sleepout was established in 2005 to honor Reggie Kelsey, who was found dead in the Des Moines River just months after he aged out of foster care. Reggie's tragedy drew widespread attention to gaps in the system—and reaffirmed YSS's commitment to end youth homelessness in central Iowa.

Thanks to all our participants, supporters, and volunteers, as well as the presenting sponsors: Wells Fargo, Nationwide, and American Equity.
WHY WE SLEEP OUT

New & Noteworthy

Share Hope and Joy through YSS Holiday Giving
It's time for YSS Holiday Giving! Here are some ways to give back:
  • Adopt-a-Family—Sponsor a local youth/family and complete their holiday wish lists.
  • Giving Trees—Take a tag and purchase essential items for YSS programs.
  • Give to YSS—Support our services that create hope and opportunity for youth.
Help make the holidays magical for families in need. Learn more.
YSS Recovery Scholarship Recipients Announced
YSS is pleased to announce this year's winners of the YSS Collegiate Recovery Scholarship: Trinity and Michael!

Created by long-time YSS supporters Mary Ann and Jim Black, the scholarship supports YSS alumni while they pursue higher education.

Trinity has been accepted to DMACC, while Michael is attending The Salon Professional Academy in Cedar Falls. Read more.

Meet Noah

YSS empowers youth by providing education to build healthy minds and bodies. The YSS Mentoring program is one way we offer support and guidance. Watch Noah's story of how he went from being a YSS mentee to a YSS mentor.
"It's a relief to have YSS telehealth services available. It saves me time and money by eliminating the need to travel two hours with my children."

– Parent who utilizes YSS's virtual therapy services for herself and her son

Making an Impact

Sarah Laaser-Webb has supported YSS since 2010 by serving on various committees—most recently, the YSS Holiday Giving committee. Each year, she helps coordinate thousands of presents that must be organized, wrapped, and distributed to families in need.

Being a foster/adoptive parent inspired Sarah to give back. Her first foster placement was four siblings in the middle of the night, and she is thankful for the help she received.
"Without our friends, neighbors, and community lifting us up, we would not have made it. I can never pay them back, but I can pay it forward—and that is what I want to continue to do! These kids and families in our community deserve everything we can do for them." – Sarah

Program Spotlight

YSS Residential Addiction Treatment provides an evidence-based recovery program for youth with substance use disorder. The gender-specific, family-oriented program helps youth overcome their obstacles in a safe, homelike environment.
YSS's dedicated staff guide youth to develop coping skills, build healthy relationships, and be successful in their journey toward sobriety. To this day, over 5,000 youth have come through our doors seeking treatment.

Learn more about Residential Addiction Treatment.

Thank You to Our Partners!

The Marshall County Arts & Culture Alliance recently sponsored art supplies for YSS of Marshall County. Local grant funds matched the amount raised by the Alliance, giving a total of $2,000 to YSS programs and therapy services.

"Art can comfort, heal, and create an opportunity to process feelings and reduce anxiety. Art provides the people we serve a safe outlet for an emotional release." – David Hicks, Director of YSS of Marshall County

Volunteer Opportunities

Get involved and give back to YSS!
  • Help with outdoor cleanup at the IHYC Lighthouse facility or organize the IHYC donation center in Des Moines.
  • Cook a holiday meal for youth and young families. You can cook/serve a meal at the IHYC kitchen or prepare the meal off-site.
  • Organize a donation drive to collect much-needed items for YSS programs. See a list of supplies for YSS Francis Lauer and IHYC.
If you're interested, contact Sarina Flathers at sflathers@yss.org. Visit our website to sign up for additional volunteer opportunities.
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