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Finding Inspiration Everywhere

It started with breakfast pizza.

YSS President & CEO Andrew Allen went into the local Casey’s to pick up breakfast pizza for a “recovery celebration,” which is held when a youth graduates from YSS’s Residential Addiction Treatment program. Two of the Casey’s employees knew who he was—and what the pizza represented—because they, too, were YSS alumni. Andrew took a picture and posted this moment on social media.

There were likes. There were comments of support. Andrew wasn’t surprised, because this happens to him all the time. “These encounters are pure joy. Sharing their stories brings out more stories of people who we’ve helped,” he said. “Each story serves as a testament to the work we do.”

Tahira Hira, a long-time resident of Ames and former member of the YSS Foundation Board, saw the post on LinkedIn and was deeply moved. While she had previously invested in YSS, this time she was compelled to donate $25,000 to the organization. She sent the check along with a note explaining the encounter at Casey’s was a reminder of the positive impact YSS has on the lives of children.

“Children belong to all of us,” Tahira said. “They are our nation’s future. The prosperity and health of our country depends on the emotional and physical well-being of our youth. We must take care of them and ensure they will become productive citizens.”

That’s our mission summed up nicely. YSS and its alumni, donors, and partners strive to create a world where youth are valued and empowered to stand strong. We are committed to doing work that makes Tahira, those we serve, and our supporters proud. The proof of our impact can be found everywhere—even in a local Casey’s.

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