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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