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YSS Holiday Giving brings joy to hundreds of youth and families in need

Thanks to generous donors and community supporters, YSS helped bring joy and hope to local youth and families this holiday season. Through its annual Holiday Giving initiative, YSS collected gifts and essential supplies for those in need.  

YSS Adopt-a-Family program fulfills wish lists 

Through the YSS Adopt-a-Family program, donors had the opportunity to sponsor anonymous youth in Ames, Des Moines and Mason City. Donors spent about $75 per sponsored individual to fulfill their holiday wish lists. YSS staff collected and distributed the gifts to families before Christmas. 

  • 665 individuals were sponsored through the program 
  • 1,750 gifts were distributed to families in need 
  • Volunteers spent a total of 162 hours helping organize and wrap gifts

Iowa State athletes make a difference 

Iowa State University student athletes sponsored seven families in the Adopt-a-Family program and raised more than $5,000. The athletes shopped for items on the wish lists and wrapped the gifts. With the money left over, the athletes purchased a new washer and dryer for YSS’s Rosedale Shelter for runaway and homeless youth, as well as gifts for those currently staying at the shelter. Several athletes delivered the gifts and lunch for the Rosedale Shelter youth the week before Christmas. 

YSS Giving Trees bring in essential supplies 

During the holiday season, dozens of local businesses hosted YSS Giving Trees, which invited people to take a tag, purchase the requested items on the tag, and return the items to the businesses. All supplies will benefit local youth and families in YSS programs. 

The following businesses participated: 

  • Ames: Ames Fitness Center, Barilla, Dentistry at Somerset, Farrell’s Extreme Bodyshaping, Great Western Bank, Green Hills, Iowa Family Chiropractic, ISU Athletics, Kingland Systems, Lockwood Cafe, North Grand Mall, Re/Max Real Estate Center, St. John’s by the Campus, Workiva 
  • Boone: Allie’s Hair Care, Flynn Real Estate 
  • Clear Lake: Clear Lake Library, Dean Snyder Construction 
  • Des Moines: Valley West Mall 
  • Garner: Veterans Memorial Recreational Center 
  • Mason City: Hometown Cash Advance, Hy-Vee West, Mills Fleet Farm, Trinity Lutheran Church, YMCA 
  • Rockwell: The Learning Pod 
  • Story City: Great Western Bank, Next Era Energy 

IHYC helps youth experiencing homelessness 

Iowa Homeless Youth Centers (IHYC), a YSS organization based in Des Moines, offered additional ways for the community to give back. Donors could drop off a gift bag and backpack with basic essentials for IHYC outreach youth who are housing unstable. Volunteers also prepared holiday meals for youth staying at IHYC, as well as at-home meal kits for families to make in their own kitchens. 






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