Get Involved

"We cannot always build the future for our youth, but we can build our youth for the future."- Franklin D. Roosevelt

Thank you for your interest in supporting YSS. Without the community investment of time, talent and treasure, the impact of the YSS programs and services would not be possible. Together, we can help bring hope and opportunity to others.

View the 2020 YSS Impact Report

Give Money

We believe every child, youth and young adult deserves the chance to reach their potential. That’s why we do our best to ensure the vast majority of support we receive goes where it will have the greatest impact—to the programs that help youth stand strong.

You may designate funds to support the greatest need across YSS, or select a YSS organization or community-based center.


Donate Online 

In 2020, 90 cents of every dollar raised went directly to YSS programs.


A Lasting Impact: YSS Foundation & YSS Endowment

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Your gift to the YSS Foundation will make an impact on children, youth and families for years to come.

Formed in 1984, the YSS Foundation acts as the fundraising mechanism for the organization and embraces the values and guiding principles of YSS, while also supporting our mission to create hope and opportunity by putting kids first.

Each year, more than 1,500 individuals and families support our Friends of the YSS Foundation annual campaign. Individuals can give to YSS Foundation to support this annual fund, special projects and campaigns, or the endowment. The Foundation currently administers an endowment of more than $3 million. Each outright and planned gift to the endowment expands and meets needs in perpetuity of YSS.

The YSS Endowment includes sub-endowments for nearly every YSS community-based center: Boone County, Eastern Story County, Hamilton County, Iowa Homeless Youth Centers in Des Moines, and Marshall County. Individuals can give to the overall YSS Endowment or one of the sub-endowments for a community-based center.

To make a gift to the YSS Foundation or YSS Endowment, please contact YSS President & CEO Andrew Allen.

Planned Giving

Donor preferences are important to YSS. While most donors give to support an immediate need, others choose to give to the YSS Foundation Endowment or one of our community-based center’s endowment fund. These gifts go on forever as only the investment earnings are spent, never the principle. To give to an endowment fund, select one of the options listed in the “Designation” drop down menu on our website’s Donate page.

The YSS Foundation Investment Policy States 5.5% is paid annually to help support YSS programs and services. The payout is based on investment earnings over the previous 12 quarters. The policy requires at least 95% of the investments are in socially responsible funds.

Please consider becoming a benefactor to the youth in your community by making a planned gift today. To request a copy of the YSS Foundation Investment Policy or for more information, contact YSS President & CEO Andrew Allen.


Additional Resources

For some, there are tax advantages to making a gift through the Endow Iowa program. For more information, visit the Story County Community Foundation or the Community Foundation of Greater Des Moines website. There are also a variety of vehicles through which someone can give, including a bequest in your will, a revocable living trust, life insurance, a charitable remainder trust or a charitable gift annuity. Additional information on planned gifts is available on the Leave a Legacy Iowa website.

Give Time & Talent



Volunteers share our belief in children, youth and young adults, and always put them first. In return, we are committed to providing meaningful opportunities that maximize your interests, skills and availability.

Volunteer in the Ames area
Volunteer in Des Moines

Make an impact now!

  • Get involved with one of our annual events like Reggie's Sleepout, Holiday Giving, and beyond!
  • Learn more, read our 2020 Impact Report!
  • Write a review on Facebook, LinkedIn, Google, etc.
  • Choose YSS for Amazon Smile (see "Give Goods" section below)
  • Purchase an item from our Amazon wish list (see "Give Goods" section below)
  • Sign up for our monthly newsletter
  • Champion our cause by sharing posts and articles with friends and family




Give Goods

How to Shop Online

We have made it easy for you to donate needed items through Amazon, while also contributing 0.5% of the purchase price to YSS!

1) Sign into your account through AmazonSmile
2) Choose your charity by searching YSS
3) When redirected to the homepage, click our wish lists below!

Donate gently used items in Ames
Donate gently used items in Des Moines