Get Involved

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.

Make an impact now!

  • Check out our open opportunities below! Summer 2021
  • Click here to share your YSS story!
  • Celebrate YSS' 45th Anniversary!  Click here to learn more!
  • YSS Overview
  • Learn more, read our 2020 Impact Report!
  • Hear directly from our program staff about ways you can give your time and talent! Visit YSS Let's Talk page and tune in every Thursday night at 7:00pm to learn more.
  • 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


YSS relies on thousands of volunteers each year. The easiest way to get involved is to check out open opportunities or become a subject matter expert!

Open Opportunities - Summer 2021

Summer Enrichment
Our Summer Enrichment team is looking for volunteers to support programs in Ames, Collins-Maxwell, and Nevada. Each program serves youth K-8th grade. We have four centers: STEM, PE, literacy, and theme. Our theme this summer is A Tale of Tails! We are going to focus on fairy tales and end up performing one of our own! Dates and times listed below.

Fill out the Summer Enrichment interest form!

Ames: June 14 – July 22
Mon-Thurs from 12pm-2:15pm
Located at Meeker and Sawyer Elementary Schools (Ames, IA)

Collins-Maxwell: June 1 – July 8
Mon- Thurs from 7:45am-12:30pm
Located at Collins-Maxwell Elementary School (Collins, IA)

Nevada: June 14 – July 22
Mon- Thurs from 7:45am-12:30pm
Located at Central Elementary School (Nevada, IA)

Kids Club: Art + Kids = FUN!
Summer Kids Club programs are looking for art teaching, kid loving individuals who would like to lead art projects from start to finish throughout the summer, bouncing around 4 sites in Boone County: Boone, Madrid, Ogden, and United Schools. Each program serves youth K-5th grade and operate daily, Monday-Friday from 6:30a-6:00p. Flexible schedule preferences.

Interested in this fun opportunity? Click here!

Visit our mentoring page to learn more!

Subject Matter Expert:

Do you have a special skill or area of expertise? If you have any special knowledge base that you would like to utilize for YSS, please let us know. This can be videography, plumbing, construction, electrical, legal expertise, writing, computer software, and more.

For questions, contact:
Sarina Flathers, YSS Community Engagement Coordinator
515-233-3141 ext. 4476

Additional Links

YSS Overview
YSS Mentoring: Alternative Options
YSS Mentoring Program Overview

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!