Project #2: Youth Villages
C + C Impact:
Confections & Connections was able to sponsor FOUR children through Youth Villages Holiday Hero Program, providing them each with gifts from their Christmas wish list.
“to help children and families live successfully. Regardless of which Youth Villages Program a child participates in, our approach centers around strengthening the child’s family and support systems.”
Youth Villages is a private nonprofit organization that is making a BIG difference in the lives of many troubled youth through services in 72 locations across 13 states and the District of Columbia. The organization focuses on helping children from birth to age 22 who face a wide range of emotional and behavioral problems by providing “a fully integrated continuum of services, including residential treatment, in-home services, foster care and adoption, mentoring and a transitional living program for young adults aging out of foster care.” Their goal is to build strong families and with years of extensive research, they have shown much success in doing just that! Additionally, Youth Villages provides communities and governments a better alternative to youth who are involved in the states child welfare, juvenile justice, and/or mental health system.
Memphis is not only one of the 58 cities in which Youth Villages serves, but the organization was actually founded here in 1986. Since then the organization has grown exponentially. This year alone, Youth Villages will serve more than 22,000 emotionally and behaviorally troubled children and their families. With each day, Youth Villages serves around 4,300 adolescents with approximately 2,261 of those children being from Tennessee. In fact, Youth Villages makes a large imprint on our volunteer state by providing services in every county throughout TN. Also, interestingly enough, in Memphis, Youth Villages provides the only licensed run-away and homeless shelter for teens through one of their programs: Project Safe Place.
I was pleased to name Youth Villages Project #2. I actually did not know much about the organization prior to this project. The nonprofit had been recommended to me and so as project #2 approached, I took a look at their website. As I searched through, my heart broke. It was really hard to see the faces of these children who are lost, troubled, looking for help, a family, etc. and not feel a large dose of heart throbbing empathy. Being a kid is supposed to be the blissful, naïve, easy part of life and yet so many children will never experience that. Instead, these kids are faced with challenges and sadness that you hope no one has to face, much less a child. However, Youth Villages shines a light on these kids and provides hope and opportunity for them and their families. The passion and success behind the nonprofit is clear and their mission to help has not disappointed. Because of Youth Villages, thousands of children have made the transition from lost to found, troubled kid to successful adult, orphan to child. And with this knowledge, the nonprofit proudly became C + Cs next connection.
Confections & Connections was able to connect with Youth Villages in a fun and festive way! During the holiday season, Youth Villages offers you the opportunity to be a childs Holiday Hero! To become a Holiday Hero you can either donate to the cause or you can also choose to shop & wrap gifts for specific children.
Confections & Connections chose the latter option and with the money raised from orders along with donations specifically provided for Project #3, C + C was able to support FOUR children this Christmas Season!! Their wish lists were fulfilled and presents, specifically and thoughtfully chosen for them, were prepared and ready to be unwrapped. This year, 4 more kids woke up with excitement, anticipation, and fuller hearts on Christmas morning. Of course, the purpose of the program goes much further than the immediate satisfaction of the tangible gifts they each received. The toys will one day be lost or broken and then inevitably outgrown, but the happy memories and the feeling they felt this Christmas Season will last much longer. So, from the bottom of my heart, thank YOU for your orders and generous donations! Thank you for supporting Confections & Connections and for bringing Marcus, Branon, Shervon, and Cristavius much joy & happiness to end the year of 2015.