YESS Champion

Donor Spotlight: Sheila McCarthy

Sheila and Grant McCarthy first started giving to YESS in 1999. With their commitment to supporting youth in our community, they wanted to ensure that their legacy of giving could continue on for many years to come through a family endowment fund. Hear from Sheila about why giving back to the community was so important for her family and how they chose to share those gifts.

I am a recent widow with a fairly large family including 4 children, 9 grandchildren, and 4 great grandchildren. My husband had a successful manufacturing business and I was the accountant. We were both fortunate to have supportive families that allowed us to follow our chosen careers.

My husband, Grant, and I started giving to charities many years ago because we thought it was time to start giving back to the community. We felt very strongly about helping the less fortunate. We were especially interested in the homeless, which included the homeless youth.

We know that the teen and early 20 years are very difficult for many young people. Many of them have experienced trauma in their lives and can no longer live at home. We have seen first-hand the problems of alcohol and drugs and the havoc it can cause in families. We started giving to YESS because YESS provided a safe place for youth to stay and food to eat while they figured out what they will do next with their lives. When we visited YESS in 2015, we were very impressed with the workers who were so genuinely interested in providing support and guidance for these young people whether it was in continuing education, job support, health issues, or building positive relationships.

We set up a family fund with the Edmonton Community Foundation so that there would be continued support for our chosen charities after we have passed away. We hope that our family will also contribute to this fund in the future.

I hope that all the young people living on the street know that YESS is an option for them.

 

Endowment Funds:  Longevity and Effectiveness

When you commit to an endowment fund, you give the gift of a lifetime and positively affect the lives of thousands of youth. Your gift to the fund is held in perpetuity, with the principal invested. A portion of the income generated is used to support YESS’s vital programs, with the remainder adding to principal growth. As a result, your gift continues to give, year after year. 

You may designate your endowment fund gift to the mission of the agency, ensuring that the funding it provides will be applied where the need is greatest, or you may specify the program you wish to see benefit from your generosity. Either way, you can make your commitment confident that the value of your gift will be maximized over time by a respected investment management group, guided by the policies and procedures of Youth Empowerment and Support Services.

YESS is working to end youth homelessness by focusing on prevention and diversion out of homelessness. We are extremely grateful to all those individuals and groups who have established endowment funds in support of YESS. Thank you for helping us to thrive and grow in our commitment to serving the youth. Thank you for being that person who changed a life—many times over!

With the support and forethought of people like Sheila and Grant McCarthy, YESS is able to walk beside traumatized youth as they heal through relationships. Your gift can make a huge difference in the lives of vulnerable people and our community, today and long into the future.

To find out more about maximizing your philanthropy and for more detailed information on establishing an endowment fund, we invite you to contact our Senior Development Officer, Eileen Papulkas, at 780.468.7070 x 298 or eileen.papulkas@yess.org

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Thank You to The Orange Door Winter 2021 Campaign!

In December 2021, The Home Depot Canada Foundation hosted their annual winter Orange Door Project Campaign in support of youth-focused charities across the country! The Home Depot Canada Foundation is committed to preventing and ending youth homelessness. Together with community partners across the country, they work to break cycles of inequity and enable at-risk youth facing homelessness achieve positive development outcomes and realize their full potential.

Making donations $2 at a time, Canadians made this Orange Door Project Campaign extremely successful! In honour of the hard work of their in-store associates and the ongoing difficulties of the COVID-19 pandemic, The Home Depot Canada Foundation decided to grant an additional $5,500 to each store’s campaign partner for a total investment of $1,001,000!

In the Edmonton area, nine The Home Depot stores selected YESS as their charity of choice for their winter Orange Door Project Campaign. In total YESS will be granted $105,789.52 as a result of the successful campaign!

We are so grateful to these local stores for their initiative to support youth in their community! Thank you to:

Home Depot Clareview
Home Depot Westend
Home Depot South Common
Home Depot St. Albert
Home Depot Edmonton Strathcona
Home Depot Skyview
Home Depot Sherwood Park
Home Depot Edmonton (Westmount)
Home Depot Whitemud
Home Depot Edmonton Windermere

Home Depot Clareview

Home Depot Sherwood Park Home Depot Skyview
Home Depot South Common Home Depot Strathcona Home Depot Westend

Home Depot Westmount

Home Depot Whitemud

Home Depot Windermere

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National Philanthropy Day: John Brooks Company Ltd.

For National Philanthropy Day 2021 we nominated 5 Days for the Homeless, ATCO, and John Brooks Comapny Ltd., to recognize their incredible support of YESS!


Youth Empowerment & Support Services (YESS) is honored to recognize John Brooks Company Limited as a true pillar in the Edmonton community. By way of their philanthropic leadership and their commitment to the community, they have championed YESS for nearly a decade. Founded in 1938 and a national leader in Industrial pumps, spray products, filtration equipment, valves and complete system solution expertise, John Brooks Company Limited has been tireless with their encouragement and strength of confidence in the youth and our organization. John Brooks Company Limited firmly believes in giving back to affect a real difference in the community. Major donors since 2012, YESS is so grateful for the leadership, dedicated team members and vision of John Brooks Company Limited. Altogether, their generosity has helped to support programs and resources that help youth experiencing trauma and homelessness achieve goals for their relationships, their health, and their futures. Their generosity has profoundly impacted the lives of countless youth. Thank you for being a part of creating a community where we can heal together!

“Here at John Brooks Company we put a very high value on people and have been very happy to be a consistent supporter of organizations such as YESS that directly support some of our more vulnerable Canadians. Particularly in challenging times as these, it is important to support those who strive to make a positive difference.”

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National Philanthropy Day: ATCO

For National Philanthropy Day 2021 we nominated 5 Days for the Homeless, ATCO, and John Brooks Comapny Ltd., to recognize their incredible support of YESS!


Youth Empowerment & Support Services (YESS) is honoured to recognize ATCO for their grassroots initiative with ATCO EPIC (Employees Participating in Communities) and leading the way with their philanthropic commitment over the past 10 years. The vision and dedication of ATCO EPIC has made a pivotal impact on the programs and resources that support youth experiencing trauma. ATCO continues to lead with an enhanced sense of community through their countless hours of volunteer leadership with their Days of Caring and numerous employee-led campaigns. ATCO EPIC has helped to strengthen the futures of our youth through their creative fundraising initiatives and generous avenues of support. YESS has been selected as their feature charity in 2020 and has been instrumental in raising awareness of the challenges our youth face.  Even in challenging times of the pandemic, ATCO EPIC’s passion for community is exemplified through creative virtual giving and their annual EPIC Golf Tournament. ATCO’s devotion to making a difference and employee engagement has raised over $325,000 through pledging, events and the corporate match. ATCO has been a champion for YESS with their enthusiasm to build community, provide safety and enhanced responsibility for our youth. Thank you to the ATCO EPIC team for their tireless long-term support and encouragement of our youth as they grow and empower themselves to become independent and break the cycle of homelessness.

Community investment isn’t just a corporate initiative—our employees are passionate about supporting their communities. ATCO EPIC (Employees Participating in Communities) is a long-standing employee-led program, combining volunteerism, fundraising events and individual donations. We listen carefully to what our communities tell us is important to them, and then look for opportunities to provide support that will make the greatest difference. Supporting youth, sports and Indigenous initiatives all have a special place in our hearts.”

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National Philanthropy Day: 5 Days for the Homeless

For National Philanthropy Day 2021 we nominated 5 Days for the Homeless, ATCO, and John Brooks Comapny Ltd., to recognize their incredible support of YESS!


5 Days for the Homeless is a university student initiative designed to raise funds and spread social awareness in support of the issues faced by traumatized and homeless youth. The event, founded in 2005 by students in the Faculty of Business at the University of Alberta, has since become a national event in which 21 universities and colleges across Canada support their local homeless shelters. The 2021, 5Days group, faced the additional challenges presented by the COVID-19 pandemic, which prevented almost all of the normal events of the 5 Days campaign. The students of this group, however, were very innovative and motivated, and moved the campaign almost totally online. Their campaign was highly successful and Youth Empowerment and Support Services is proud and honored to have such a group supporting our youth.

“The 2021, 5 Days for the Homeless campaign, was able to fund raise over $25,000 for Youth Empowerment and Support Services. The campaign was able to exceed its goals of raising donations and general awareness towards youth homelessness support in the midst of the Covid 19 pandemic. 5 Days has reached campus wide appeal with volunteers from different faculties helping deliver our message in their respective networks. Our awareness content, educating students about the challenges associated with youth homeless, was able to reach hundreds of followers through our social media and events. The COVID-19 pandemic has disproportionately impacted youth experiencing homelessness as multiple Canadian organizations have struggled to stay connected with them due to a loss of funding, a decrease in staff, and an increase of health concerns. While the 5 Days campaign was typically conducted in person, we decided to pivot online to continue contributing to YESS during these challenging times.”

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National Philanthropy Day: No Room in the Inn

For National Philanthropy Day 2020 we nominated The REALTORS® Community Foundation, Ledcor Group, Collin and Janel Bruce, No Room in the Inn, and Hillcrest Junior High to recognize their incredible support of YESS!

No Room in the Inn

Since 1999, the Edmonton & District Council of Churches has sponsored an ecumenical Christmas fundraising initiative called No Room in the Inn. Each year, church congregations and individuals from many denominations join together to provide financial support to a housing provider for the homeless or people at risk in the Edmonton Capital Region. The annual campaign raises from $40,000 to $70,000. Over the years, the project has raised (cumulatively) over $1 million from the community for twenty different housing projects in the Capital Region! Rooted in values central to Christian faith and identity, their annual campaign expresses to vulnerable persons in our community that they are loved and cared about as valued members of our society. YESS was awarded funds from their 2018 campaign to completely renovate the bathrooms in our Whyte Avenue Nexus program to provide a cleaner environment with increased privacy and dignity. This will help the traumatized youth assisted by YESS to understand they are important and to help them integrate back into the community. Thank you to each member of the Edmonton & District Council of Churches for your generous support!

 

“No Room In The Inn is a Christmas fundraising initiative sponsored by the Edmonton and District Council of Churches. The name, drawn from the biblical story of Christ’s birth in a stable, reflects our focus on creating or improving housing for those in need. We often support small renovation projects for groups that might otherwise not be able to afford them. EDCC has long been aware of the good work that YESS performs in the community, and we were especially taken with the request from YESS knowing what a significant benefit they would receive from our relatively modest contribution.”

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Thank You to Southview Acura

Thank you to the team at Southview Acura for their commitment and continuous support for our youth.

Their dedication to give back has been essential in creating opportunities for our youth to be integrated back into the community.

Thank you to Southview Acura for your generosity and leadership.


Tell us why you choose to support YESS?

We choose to support YESS as we believe ending homelessness in our community starts with ensuring our youth receive the support and services they need to be successful young adults and integrate into our community. YESS’ mission “To walk beside traumatized youth on their journey towards healing and appropriate community integration” deals with the underlying issues by helping young people find a stable and secure environment to heal. We believe this is a crucial step towards a sustainable and healthy lifestyle.

How does Southview Acura give back to the community?

Every year Southview Acura selects several charities that are near and dear to our hearts. Through monetary donations or by collecting supplies we do our best to support our community. This year we have been lucky enough to support Big Brother and Big Sisters, SCARS, Edmonton Food Bank, Basically Babies, Little Warriors, and The Christmas Bureau.

Why is it important for Southview Acura to support the community?

The community of Edmonton and surrounding area have been extremely loyal and supportive of Southview Acura for many years. Our clients are truly the most caring and hard-working people. It is our privilege to give back to the community.

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Thank You to The Orange Door Summer 2021 Campaign!

Thank you to the Orange Door Campaign for raising over $74,000 in support of Youth Empowerment and Support Services. We’re incredibly grateful for the Home Depot Canada Foundation and the local Home Depot Edmonton stores leading the way to end youth homelessness in Canada.

Words cannot express how much we appreciate the community support in donating $2 at the till and making a difference. 

Thank you for being part of the community walking beside youth on their journeys towards healing!

THANK YOU TO

Home Depot Clareview
Home Depot Sherwood Park
Home Depot Skyview
Home Depot South Edmonton Common
Home Depot Strathcona
Home Depot West End
Home Depot Westmount
Home Depot Whitemud
Home Depot Windermere

Home Depot Clareview

Home Depot Skyview

Home Depot Strathcona

Home Depot West End

Home Depot Westmount

Home Depot Whitemud

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Donor Spotlight: Judith Dyck and James Flett

Isn’t it true that our lives are rife with the unexpected and filled with surprises. And as our story is written, within those fulsome pages is a powerful commonality that we all share. What stands out the most isn’t necessarily the emotions associated with our greatest joys or our most heartbreaking sorrows. It is who was there to support us.   

Long-time annual donors, Judith Dyck and James Flett, so beautifully speak of the two-fold gift that can be found within the wise help and loving support provided to youth along their life’s journey. No young person’s life should be consumed by worry, the loss of potential, or the loss of their dreams, along life’s long tale of the complicated and unpredictable. What a privilege and opportunity that presents itself when a young person finds the courage and wisdom to reach out for support! We are all, whether by happenstance or design, a part of someone’s yesterday, today, and tomorrow. 

 

From Judith and James

We are long time Edmonton residents—James grew up here and I moved from Manitoba over 40 years ago. Our lives are rooted in a deep love of family, place, and community. Our two sons are in their early twenties and through them, their friends, and our own experiences, we know transitioning to adulthood can be tough.

Caring is a part of being human and to be able to give is a blessing. Our focus in giving is helping people build resilience and strong families. Sometimes it seems that society looks at people in silos—some are sick, so we give to hospitals. Others are hungry, so we give to the food bank. But really, they’re the same people. So our hope is that there’s a continuum of support for people in need, from crisis nursery to youth services to support for young parents.

Through working with Kids Kottage, a crisis nursery in Edmonton, we saw first-hand how hard people try to support their families. If people are struggling and aren’t able to create the families they’d like to, children can miss out. As these children become adults, they are left to knit together their lives on their own.

And thus YESS. YESS provides a place and a warm heart for youth—all youth—in need. It relies heavily on donors. We tend to give annually without designating where the funds are to be used. YESS knows its needs and uses donations wisely.

If there’s one thing we would like people to understand about youth using the services of YESS, it is that they are no more or less gifted or worthy than our own children. They’ve just had to travel a different road. They are deserving of unconditional love and support in reaching adulthood.

A few years ago we toured YESS and saw this on the wall:

“Courage does not always roar. Sometimes courage is a quiet voice at the end of the day that says, I’ll try again tomorrow.”

YESS gives young people the space to hear that voice and keep trying. And to succeed.

 


 

Thank you for caring so deeply about the work that YESS does and for the profound difference that your gift will help to make in the life story of so many young people!  

Your donation will be used to support the wide-ranging and life-changing needs of our youth, as our donors would so rightly expect:  Programs and services to address trauma, addiction and mental health challenges, to establish or rebuild life skills and strengthen resilience, to ensure access to healthy food, welcoming, safe shelter –and crucially- healing, recovery, and future vision.

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National Philanthropy Day: Collin and Janel Bruce

For National Philanthropy Day 2020 we nominated The REALTORS® Community Foundation, Ledcor Group, Collin and Janel Bruce, No Room in the Inn, and Hillcrest Junior High to recognize their incredible support of YESS!

Collin and Janel Bruce

Youth Empowerment & Support Services (YESS) is honored to recognize Collin, Janel & the team at Collin Bruce Mortgage Team for the profound impact that their philanthropic commitment has had over the past 10 years on our organization and the lives of the incredible youth that we serve every day. As passionate advocates and ambassadors for our youth in the community, the Collin Bruce Mortgage Team has helped to strengthen the futures of our youth through their many creative and generous avenues of support. With television and radio commercials, they have been instrumental in raising awareness of the challenges our youth face. Their benevolence has extended to major financial support, Christmas gifts for the youth celebrating the holidays at YESS and they have generously matched support for an annual Sonic auction initiative. Over the years, they have regularly sponsored and helped to grow both our annual Gala for Youth and YESS Charity Golf Tournament. Many thanks to Collin, Janel & the Collin Bruce Mortgage Team for their tireless long-term support and encouragement of our youth as they grow and empower themselves to become independent and break the cycle of homelessness.

“YESS plays an integral role for the youth of this city. These youth are put in unimaginable, terrible circumstances, at no fault of their own. Not only does YESS provide a safe place for these kids to go, over time they help address and heal the trauma that they face. We are so grateful and blessed to be a part of the small business community in Edmonton and have always wanted to give back to that community. We connected with YESS when we started our business and feel so lucky to be a part of that family. We truly believe that the happiest people are not those getting more, but those giving more and try to live by this.”

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