YESS Champion

17th Annual YESS Charity Golf Classic

We celebrated a gorgeous September day with the 17th Annual YESS Charity Golf Classic driven, once again, by our champions at GrassChopper Landscaping Ltd.! Our golfers, volunteers, and staff had a great day of fun in the sun at The Links in Spruce Grove.

After a greeting from new YESS Executive Director Margo Long, golfers enjoyed their breakfast to power up for the day. Then it was time to jump into their golf carts and putt-putt-putt their way around the links!

Golfers had no fear of going hungry out on the course. The Collin Bruce Mortgage Team had bevvies for all; Sherlock Holmes Hospitality Group were making cajun chicken tacos and pouring samples; McCoy Global had a BBQ and champagne and orange-flavoured cotton candy; The Organic Box kept everyone healthy with fresh fruit cups; River City Events brought their mini-doughnut machine; and of course we could count on Boston Pizza to bring a few slices for our friends!

YESS Golf 2017 Collage 1

 

Golf wasn’t the only game on the course. At the Jump Outta Bed hole, there was a chip n’ charity challenge. From chipping to putting, GrassChopper Landscaping hosted a putting contest at the putting green. There were two big hole-in-one prize opportunities hosted by Sherlock Holmes Hospitality Group and Next Step Events, but neither was won–though we’re sure if you asked the golfers, you might hear about a few close shots! And the Kerry Harty Investment Group from CIBC Wood Gundy hosted a “big driver” competition where they challenged golfers to tee-off with a massive golf club! It was definitely a big hit!

After a gorgeous day out on the course, golfers returned to the clubhouse for dinner and speeches, including the final address from Deb Cautley as Executive Director of YESS.

“I think this year has been the most spectacular year for working with our youth where they’re at. We’ve seen some really great stuff happen this year. We’ve seen a lot of kids graduate, we’ve seen a few go to post-secondary, some of them have been on a helicopter flight. Thanks to the generosity of supporters, they’ve been to Oilers games, Oil Kings games, and concerts, and they had opportunities this year to be just like any other kids. That doesn’t happen without people like you…

“This is the last speech I’ll ever make unless someone asks me to make a toast at a wedding or something. But this is my last speech for YESS. It’s time. It’s time to pass on the torch. It’s time for new ideas, new energy, new pitbullishness. So as I leave, I’m leaving with hope. I hope that you’re all pleased with how I’ve stewarded your investment in these kids. Every cent goes towards something for the kids. I hope you’re pleased with that. My next hope is that you will continue to support this amazing agency. And this agency is amazing not because of who the ED is—it’s amazing because of the staff. Because of the volunteers. Most of all, it’s a astonishing because of the kids. I hope you’ll continue supporting this organization and helping these kids reach their potential. My last is hope is that as Margo takes over what is definitely not an easy job, not a simple job, I hope you will give her the same support and appreciation you’ve give me for 18 years. And with that I say, Cautley out.”

YESS Golf 2017 Collage 2

After the standing ovation for Deb settled down, Trevor Ross from presenting sponsor GrassChopper Landscaping Ltd. thanked golfers for their continuing support of YESS. He recalled a job site his crew once had near the Bissell Centre. As the days passed, they saw clients coming and going, sleeping in doorways before the centre opened. Trevor realized then how important it was for people facing difficult realities to find support and resources before their circumstances could become this hard. That’s why Trevor supports the work done at YESS.

“YESS is there for youth at a point in their journeys to make sure they have opportunities to succeed,” said Trevor.

And even though it was a beautiful day out on the course and a lots of fun with new and old friends, this golf tournament is truly about supporting our youth. Thank you so much to all our sponsors, guests, donors, and volunteers who joined us at our golf tournament!  This year we raised almost $46,000 to help us continue offering youth who are experiencing homelessness in Edmonton the support and resources they need.

Check out all the golf photos from One Step Beyond!

Sponsors

Presenting Sponsor – GrassChopper Landscaping Ltd.
Marked Ball Sponsor & 50/50 Draw Sponsor – Impark
Eagle Sponsors –  Collin Bruce Mortgage Team, CIBC Wood Gundy – Harty Investment Group, Sherlock Holmes Hospitality GroupWhite Knight Construction
Birdie Sponsor – Jump Outta Bed
Auction SponsorCarlson Construction
Gift Sponsor – McCoy Global
Golf Cart & Valet Sponsor – Gryphon Benefits & Insurance, Sun Life Financial

YESS Overall Sponsors

Boston Pizza
CityNews
Cowan Imaging Group
Inland AV
One Step Beyond Photography & Video
Pattison Outdoor Advertising
The Organic Box
River City Events & Big Top Tent Rentals
Simons

Special Thanks To

Air Canada Foundation
Next Step Events
The Links

Auction & Prizing Contributors

SUITS by Curtis Eliot
Edmonton Eskimos Football Club
Mark Pryzbilla
Sherbrooke Liquor
FLAMAN Fitness
Pattison Outdoor Advertising
Sherlock Holmes Hospitality Group
CityNews

 

 

 

Read more

YESS Volunteers Bring the Joy

The last week of April is National Volunteer Week! Every year, hundreds of volunteer commit thousands of hours to make our work with youth experiencing homelessness possible. They support our Programs staff, our Facilities team, and our administrative departments. They create positive experiences for youth, donors, and staff. We truly could not do our job without them!

For National Volunteer Week, we want to share Rick and Dianne’s story. Rick and Dianne have been making Christmas dinner for our youth since 1999! Every year, they share their time and their love over Christmas with youth who call our shelter home.

Thank you so much to Rick and Dianne, and to all our volunteers–longtime and brand new–who make YESS’ work possible!

Tell us a bit about yourselves!

Well, I’m not really sure where to start. I’m 60 years old and have been married to my wife, Dianne Westwood, for thirty years. That said, our relationship actually started a number of years before that. We both grew up in the same small town in Saskatchewan, then went to Saskatoon for post-secondary education, Dianne at the U of S, and me at technical school. Dianne is my strength and keeps me focused and going straight ahead. We’ve lived in Edmonton since 1986. In our first years of marriage, I was going to engineering school at the U of A, and if not for Dianne’s support and encouragement, I would have never made it through. I’m very proud of Dianne; she has been a manager with MacEwan University’s Centre for the Arts for more than 28 years. I have worked in both government and private industry over the years and presently, I’m am an engineer with the Alberta Energy Regulator. We don’t have any children, but have two small dogs, Pumpkin and Rogue, that keep us occupied. We like to make home-made wine, and we also travel as often as our time allows. Over the years we’ve had great driving trips to the Northwest Territories and Yukon, and visited all of our Canadian provinces. We have been lucky enough to make our way to Europe a few times, and even spent a short time in Africa and Asia.

What inspired you to start volunteering with YESS?

Both Dianne and I have done a bit of volunteering over the years. Before I started studying at the U of A, we spent a few months as volunteers with CUSO in Mozambique. Unfortunately, the war that was going on in the country at the time, which was just after Mozambique gained independence from Portugal, intensified in the city we were working in. A car bomb went off early one morning not far from where we were living, and it was recommended we leave. I was able to begin studying at the U of A shortly after our return to Canada, and Dianne spent several months volunteering as an ESL tutor before beginning a new job at the downtown YMCA. Basically, we were familiar with volunteering.

To answer your question, thought, through most of the 1990s, we would invite an elderly neighbour over for Christmas dinner. After she passed away, we resumed travelling to Saskatchewan for Christmas with family. After a couple of years, we decided that we would like to stay in Edmonton for the holidays, but did want to do something helpful somewhere. Dianne contacted YESS as we felt the help they offered for young adults was much needed and very worthwhile. Kids whose circumstances made their lives much tougher than ours deserved something at Christmas; offering to cook Christmas dinner wasn’t much, but it was something we felt we could take on, plus we knew that our help would give the shelter’s cook the opportunity to have the day with his family.

We are a bit unsure of the first year that we volunteered to cook at YESS, but we think it was 1999. We did miss cooking at Christmas in 2002, but haven’t missed any years since then.

If there was one thing you wish the community knew about YESS, what would it be?

I think that many Edmontonians aren’t aware enough of some problems that exist in Edmonton. We hear about the efforts that the City and a number of wonderful supporting agencies are doing to address issues, homelessness and hunger to name a couple, but we don’t hear much about troubled youth and the efforts that agencies such as YESS are doing to help support them and provide life skills training for them.

What special memories do you have of spending Christmas with the youth of YESS?

Over the years of volunteering at Christmas at YESS, we have lots of fond memories and have met wonderful volunteers, staff and clients. Nancy Ng is has been a volunteer cook for most of the years that Dianne and I have Christmas day at YESS. Nancy is a great traveler and mountain climber and has told us of many of her adventures; something we have enjoyed a lot and look forward to hearing on each occasion we meet. Really though, the hustle and bustle of preparing and serving dinner for 20 to 30 people makes for a busy piece of the day! The kids always appreciate our efforts and nearly every one of them takes a moment to say “thank you”. I especially like it when they come to us and say the food reminds them of Christmas dinners at their Grandma’s house; I like to think that these are beautiful memories for them, and that is very special for us! The staff at the Armoury are always helpful to get things set up, and the youth have their duties in clearing up the dishes after the meal. Once all is done and we are heading home, we always feel that we’ve accomplished something that we can be proud of…it isn’t much, but it is something we’ve been able to contribute.

What are your words to live by?

Be honest and respectful when dealing with people and they will respond in kind.

If you are interested in volunteering with YESS, please visit yess.org for more information!

Read more

Smile for the YESS Camera!

Chris Thombs of is a familiar face at every YESS event, but you’ll be hard-pressed to find him in any photos. That’s because Chris is always the pro behind the camera capturing every smile, laugh, and crazy moment at YESS events over the past 6 years! You can check them all out at onestepbeyond.ca.

Thank you so much, Chris, for all of your hard work! We can’t wait to smile for the camera at the YESS Gala for Youth!

Tell us a bit about yourself!

Where to start? Today I am a working photographer that specializes in “making you look good” by creating imagery of you, or of what you care about, for any professional or personal use. Before the career change in 2009 to becoming a full time professional creative I was in the Army with the Princess Patrica’s Canadian Light Infantry for 21 years. That service made me care more about my adoptive city of Edmonton and to put down roots here.

How did you first get involved with YESS?

Back in 2010 I finally had the opportunity to finally get to go out for “Homeless For A Night” and participate instead of just donating money and stuff to YESS. So a couple of friends and I went down to participate bringing our donations and spent the night. And since I am a working photographer I had my camera in tow as always I documented the night, and handed off the images to Shelly. Two months later Shelly called me and asked me what I knew about golf, and if I would be interested in volunteering to cover the Charity Golf Tournament with photography, and I responded HECK YAH! Tell me when and where! So ever since myself and One Step Beyond has covered YESS’s marquee events doing event photography, photo booth, video productions, and even some executive portraits.

Why are you passionate about supporting youth facing difficult realities?

I have friends that went to YESS for help when they were in need, I have seen the good work they do, and my experience working over seas makes me want to help our own youth in Edmonton.

What are some favourite moments you’ve experienced at YESS events?

There are so many great moments and
memories I have from YESS events (I have photographic proof of that). But for me it is hard to distill down to finite moments, but I can share what I feel; touched in the heart, joy, and hope at every event.

Why is in important for you to give back to your community?

Every one deserves a chance at anything, and everything.

Read more

Christmas Giving

Christmas at YESS would not be the joyous time it is without the help and dedication of our volunteers. Nancy Ng has been serving Christmas dinner to our youth for the past 12 years. She has made sure that hundreds of youth have had a warm and welcoming Christmas Day as they all sit down to eat together. It means so much to us and our youth that she chooses to spend this precious time with us, a gift in itself.

Tell us a bit about yourself! I work as a writer for the Government of Alberta. I am also a non-fiction author. My first book (No, Really, Where Are You From?) was published in 2012, and it is being sold in different venues and bookstores around Edmonton. I’m currently working on my 2nd and 3rd book. I always look forward to all the festivals this great city has to offer in the summer, especially Heritage Days.

What inspired you to start volunteering with YESS? I had a very chaotic and unstable childhood, so I understand what a lot of the kids at YESS are going through. I never got to use YESS when I was a youth, but I could still relate to a lot of the youth at YESS, as it was a very difficult time in my life.

It means so much to me to know that the youth get this little bit of happiness and stability on Christmas Day.

As I’m older now and my life is no longer turbulent and uncertain, I still feel the presence of my youth. It’s heartbreaking to know that these youth have no place to go on such a day as Christmas (or any other day). I feel they need Christmas more than I do, and that is why I wanted to volunteer at YESS on Christmas Day. I have a warm and safe place to return to every single day of my life, but not these youth. I feel regardless if you’re a homeless youth or an adult, everybody deserves a place to go to that is warm and inviting, and have food for them, and not be outside walking around stressing where they can get some shelter or where their next meal is coming from. Nobody deserves to live that way.

If there was one thing you wish the community knew about YESS, what would it be? The one thing I wish the community knew about YESS is their life-changing programs and services to help homeless youth get back on their feet again. Whether it’s giving them structure, helping them with their resumes, or providing them with warm beds, YESS is there for these youth. As our economy becomes more volatile and ever changing, so are the family dynamics and structure. Edmonton is very lucky to have this organization help our homeless youth.

What special memories do you have of spending Christmas with the youth of YESS? There have been so many special memories of spending Christmas with youths at YESS. The ones that stand out for me the most are seeing the happiness in the youth’s faces throughout the years, when I see them at the Armoury or at the YESS headquarters. They know they’re in a safe and warm environment, and it shows in their faces. That means so much to me to know that they get this little bit of happiness and stability on Christmas Day, amidst their chaotic and turbulent everyday realities. It’s the least I can do and I will never forget that. I hope one day I can have the opportunity to bring my children in to also volunteer, so they can see what I see.

What are your words to live by? My words to live by are: It’s going to get better. I promise. In line with my philosophy is one of my favorite quotes from Eleanor Roosevelt: You gain strength, courage, and confidence by every experience in which you really stop to look fear in the face. You are able to say to yourself, “I lived through this horror. I can take the next thing that comes along.”

Thank you so much, Nancy, for being a strong and positive force for our youth over the past 12 years and for giving the gift of your time and service. Thank you for sharing the true meaning of the holidays with us!

Read more

#tbt with Foster Park Brokers’ H4AN Team!

We are always happy to see new faces out at Homeless for a Night every year, but there’s something extra special about seeing people come back year after year. The Foster Park Brokers’ team “FPB Homies” has become an H4AN institution!

Here’s an interview with Mariina Heinonen, Partner and Human Resources Consultant at Foster Park Brokers Inc. that we shared last year. She has been the team leader of the FPB Homies for six years and has been participating in Homeless for a Night for 15 years!

Read what Mariina had to say about her experience with H4AN, and how she has turned it into a team-building initiative for her employees.

Q. What inspired you to participate in Homeless for a Night?

A. In 2000, YESS was our charity of choice for an organization that I worked for back then.  It was there that I met Deb Cautley and realized how important of a job YESS was doing. I grew up in the “inner city” and lived in low rental housing at the time (which is where the event is being held, believe it or not). There were a number kids that could have used this type of help/service from my community, but it was not an option back in the 70s. What YESS does is phenomenal and I truly feel that the work being done is so important.

Q. How many years have you and FPB been involved in Homeless for a Night?

A. This will be my 14th year!  In 2010 when I was campaigning at Foster Park Brokers, people started saying they wanted to be part of it…and the next thing I knew, we had a team! Our group recognizes the importance of giving back to our community and especially one that is local, in our backyard. Our president came out a couple of times as well and that speaks volumes!

Q. In 2014, your team, FPB Homies, raised $4932, surpassing your fundraising goal of $4000! How did you do it?

A. We asked through a company e-mail, Facebook, and Linkedin. We challenged each other to see who could raise the most funds. It also helps that our company matches personal donations up to 3 times. Some of us have had barbecues and invited their friends for a fee to raise money for the event. We have even had a change jar, but the best way is just to ask.

Q. How do you inspire your employees to get on board with H4AN and to raise pledges?

A. Our past participants mostly use e-mail and word-of-mouth. They love the event and have no problem talking about how great it is and what a worthwhile organization YESS is. For raising pledges we have a couple of advocates who really try to get the other team members to raise more money!

Homeless for a Night -Telus Field

Q. What is the most challenging part of H4AN?

A. The most challenging part can be staying warm sometimes–and the 6 am wakeup call!  It puts life on the streets into perspective–and let’s be realistic– we have it easy at H4AN!  It is hard to imagine what those kids go through every day  and especially when it is cold and not easy to find food or shelter. The city is not a pleasant place, especially at night and there are not very many safe places to go. We have tried to imagine what we would do if we did not have a homes to go to… where would a person stay or sleep? How would we find food? A lot of these kids don’t make the choice to leave home because it seems like a good idea: their circumstances dictate it. Our hearts go out to them and the challenges they face every day.

Q. What about your favourite part?

A. The best part is the seeing the number of people who participate. It is a great opportunity to meet others in the community who believe in the same thing we do. Hearing a former client’s perspective is thought-provoking and really drives it home. And the entertainment and fire pit are always an enjoyable part of the evening as well!

Q. How did FPB’s participation in H4AN strengthen your team and build camaraderie among your employees?

A. It really makes our folks realize how lucky they are… for their families, their careers, and the homes they have built. We have talked about our own upbringings… some good, some not so easy. It’s amazing how open people are about their lives and we really do learn a lot about each other (without judgement). It also gives us a common goal and that brings people together in ways that they normally might not. There are those who champion different things to do as well… play cards, toss a football around, etc. and that gets everyone in the group involved.

Q. How does being involved with this event align with the corporate culture at Foster Park Brokers?

A. Foster Park Brokers has always believed that family comes first, and if we can’t support something that really speaks to that… well then what is the point? FPB has proven that time and again to our folks who have had family crises. It is easy to give back to an organization that believes the value in this as well. They really believe in  these kids and continue to provide them with support and opportunities to move forward; whether that is finding a home within YESS or returning home to their family, it is the same belief we carry that family comes first.

Thanks to organizations like Foster Park Brokers Inc. and the efforts of the FPB Homies, YESS is able to support youth who are at risk and experiencing homelessness in Edmonton. You and your employees can help too! Involving your employees in giving back through Homeless for a Night is a great way to strengthen camaraderie among your team members while also helping youth facing difficult realities.

Register your team today!

Read more

Guest Post: The Power of YESS

I recently took a tour of YESS’ facilities. Being a complete outsider with only a very broad idea of what Youth Empowerment & Support Services stands for, I went in expecting to be surprised, but that ended up being an extreme understatement. I jumped on board the tour because I was hoping to make a difference through my company, Burst Energy, who provides inexpensive electricity prices to both residential and commercial.

Tommy, YESS’ Sponsorship Specialist, walked me around one of their three robust buildings and explained how YESS is one of the only “full service” homeless shelters. You can’t really appreciate what they mean when they say full service until you see it firsthand. Does that mean that they provide beds, food, and blankets? Doesn’t everyone do that?

Well, it turns out that what I thought was a lot, only scratched the surface of what they actually do. Beds, food, and blankets are important, but YESS ensures that every aspect of the kids’ lives are addressed, including their physical, mental, and emotional well being. The youth who go to YESS are searching for help to rebuild their lives. YESS provides them with the help, much needed resources, support, and individual guidance through all of the different programs they offer. I knew that I had to support this work.

Since our conception, Burst Energy has made it our mandate to supply energy to Albertans at an inexpensive rate because nobody should struggle to pay for electricity. This matched perfectly with the incredible work at YESS.

To better support YESS, we are proud to announce The Power of YESS program. If you sign up and use the referral code “YESS”, we will give you some of the cheapest electricity rates possible and donate each month to Youth Empowerment & Support Services. The best part is that the donation comes off our bottom line!

Residential – $2 CAD every month.

Commercial – $2 CAD per 2,000 kWh every month.

If only 500 people sign up this year we will still be providing YESS with $12,000 annually. It’s our way of making a difference by doing what we do best: providing electricity.

Let’s help make life brighter for these youth!

To find out more about the Power of YESS Program visit burstenergy.ca.

~ blog post written by David Mendenhall, Burst Energy

Read more

The Christmas Shoes

It was December20151230-145903.jpg 23, and there was still one Christmas wish we hadn’t yet been able to fulfill. One of our youth always dresses up. His everyday attire is a suit, tie, and torn dress shoes that have seen better days. On this young man’s Christmas wish list was a pair of spiffy, black, dress shoes. Size 12. Triple wide. Not the easiest type of shoe to find, and we hadn’t really had time to hunt for them. It was looking like the new shoes just weren’t going to happen.

And then we read a message that Burkhard, a generous Edmontonian, had sent us through Facebook, offering to purchase the steel toe boots that were on another wish list that we had posted a photo of. If the youth had already received boots, Burkhard said he’d be “more than happy to fulfill someone else’s wish.”

We knew that the next day was Christmas Eve, and that most stores don’t carry triple wide shoes, and that the chances of anyone having time to search for something so specific with such short notice was slim – but we passed the Christmas wish on to Burkhard anyways.

And sure enough, to our surprise, we received a message from Burkhard on Christmas Eve day. It said, “I’m on the hunt for the shoes, so far I have not found anywhere that carries triple wide. Any idea where I might find them?”

The search was on. We googled and made phone calls, trying to find a store that was still open and that carried triple wide dress shoes, while Burkhard searched every shoe store in the mall and drove around to other stores as well.

And just after 4PM on Christmas Eve, Burkhard delivered a pair of size 12, black, triple wide, men’s dress to our shelter, making a Christmas wish come true for one youth experiencing homelessness.

It’s a gift that goes far beyond what is inside the box. The thoughtfulness showed the young man that someone cared; that he was important and had value. And we have no doubt his perfect fitting, Christmas shoes will give him a new sense of confidence and take him great places in 2016 as he works towards stability and independence.

 

Thank you Burkhard, and all the amazing Edmontonians that helped make Christmas miracles happen at YESS.

Read more

YESS Champions: The Home Depot Canada Foundation

The Home Depot Canada Foundation has become personally invested in taking action through The Orange Door Project to bring housing options and hope to the kids that YESS assists.

In collaboration with community partners, thought leaders, Home Depot’s suppliers, customers, and associates, the Orange Door Project focuses on improving spaces through renovations and repairs as well as supporting programs that give youth the resources to build brighter futures.

Not only did The Home Depot Canada Foundation provide YESS with a substantial monetary donation, but they also sent an important message to the many youth that YESS serves – the message that someone cares, and that they’re not alone.

But the hard-working and dedicated team didn’t stop their generosity there. They also sent a crew of over thirty men and women, and covered the cost of all supplies to give YESS an incredible makeover as part of the Home Depot Celebration of Service campaign.

Some of the improvements included tearing out an old patio and rebuilding it, building a new shed, donating a gazebo, replacing the siding on our garage, making landscaping improvements, and installing new flooring.

The Home Depot Canada Foundation is wholeheartedly committed to helping YESS change the lives of the youth we serve. Whether it’s providing funding to provide critical support programs or engaging the volunteer efforts of Team Depot associates to help improve housing accommodations, they’re proud to work with YESS to make meaningful contributions that help young people prepare for independent living.

YESS is eternally grateful for these heroes in orange who stepped up to help us “zen out” our spaces for our clients’ comfort. Having a serene, clean, beautiful space for our kids to lay their heads down at night really sets the tone for prosperity in other aspects of their lives.

Read more

YESS Champion: Collin Bruce Mortgage Mentor Team

Collin Bruce is a driven, dedicated, and generous man surrounded by a loving family and a committed team of professionals. A strong supporter of YESS, he is always looking for what we need and finding ways to help.

As the leader of the #1 mortgage broker in Canada, his team sponsors and attends YESS functions like gala and golf, and they host a barbeque each summer for the youth attending our day programs at the Armoury Resource Centre.

Recently, Collin funded some commercials to profile the situations of youth who are at risk and experiencing homelessness, and the importance of YESS in the community. These features are meant to connect to youth so that they know YESS is there to support them, and also to increase understanding and compassion by the general public for both our youth and our organization.

Collin provides a generous donation every year for recreation, knowing how important it is for youth to de-compress and have some fun; after all, they are still kids. He also understands the harsh realities of our youth and gives monthly to offset the costs of transportation, housing, and supports, knowing that beating poverty is a complex issue and multi-faceted support is a critical element to changing young lives around.

Collin understands the importance of art, both for positive expression and sheer joy. He has purchased our youths’ art for his new offices and each year supports SONiC’s guitar auction, donating $10,000 regardless of what amount the bid reaches. At Christmas, we know we will see Collin with gift cards and treats for the kids.

He learned philanthropy from an early age from his parents, who also find so many ways to support the kids of YESS. We are so fortunate to have Collin Bruce, his family, and his team on our side.

Read more

YESS Champions: Dave and Gwen Burroughs

Dave and Gwen Burroughs are true champions of the youth who come to YESS, and have been for almost a decade.

YESS provides support to youth who are in crisis and experiencing homelessness through a variety of channels ranging from immediate emergency shelter to ongoing support programs and individual guidance, and the Burroughs are with us every step of the way to ensure our kids get what they need to succeed.

Their generosity has provided access to counselling, medical care, hot meals, and a safe place to spend the night for hundreds of youth. Executive coaching funded by Dave and Gwen has allowed YESS to invest in staff so they can give their very best to the kids every day. A gift to a YESS endowment fund enabled the fund to begin paying out this year. Gwen’s paintings have been popular auction items at YESS galas.

Whether it is selling a race car to raise funds for YESS, inviting friends to YESS events, or building the YESS endowment fund to ensure future support for our kids, Dave and Gwen will do just about anything to provide the resources our kids need to succeed, and that makes them true champions of the hundreds of kids who come to us each year looking for help.

Read more