E-News: Holiday News and more

December 8,  2009 

Secret Santa

Adolescents and teens in YCS therapeutic residences may be too old to sit on Santa's knee but they all still wish for that special holiday gift. The YCS Foundation is requesting gift cards to department stores such as Wal-Mart and Target.

We are also in need of gift certificates to supermarkets for nearly 300 needy families in our Youth Case Management program in Hudson County.

If you can help, please contact the YCS Foundation at 201-678-1312 or
Ruthie Harper at rharper@ycs.org.

News Alert
Teen at YCS shines on the football field

Record reporter Keith Idec writes about a very special leading rusher on Eastside High's football team.

ellen jacobs
Children at TLC model their whimsical new hats and scarves that were made especially for them by
sanofi-aventis volunteers.

vote for holiday donation
To vote for one of four holiday gifts to be donated to the YCS Holley Center

The Sky's the Limit!
Jets safety James Ihedigbo shares a Thanksgiving meal and words of encouragement with teens

  James gets help serving dinner Jets special teams' safety James Ihedigbo rushed from practice to have dinner with 35 teens at a YCS therapeutic residence in Paterson. Before digging into a Thanksgiving feast, donated by the Jets player and Whole Foods, Ihedigbo talked with the teens about his struggles growing up, losing his father and his secret dream to be in the NFL.
The teens had many questions for him about the game and what it takes to play professional football. Ihedigbo said, "They call it practice, but it is really work...When
my friends in college were going away on spring break, I was sprinting up and down the steps of the stadium."
When Ihedigbo was a senior in high school, his father unexpectedly passed away from kidney failure. His coaches didn't really have confidence in his abilities and his father, whom he had always depended upon for advice, was no longer there to counsel him.  Ihedigbo encouraged the youth to believe in themselves. "Don't let anyone set boundaries for you."

James with Michael and Jill ArtsisWhen asked what he learned most from the visit, one young man said, "He told us the sky's the limit...I like that."
At the end of the dinner, Ihedigbo surprised the teens with a gift of tickets to a Jets game on  Thanksgiving weekend.

YCS Nurse Family PartnershipSenator Frank Lautenberg & Rebekah Baskerville
 hailed as national model
Rebekah Baskerville, administrator of the YCS Nurse Family Partnership (NFP) program, was part of a small group of NFP nurses from the tri-state area selected to attend a two-day event hosted by the NFP national board of directors. They were chosen because their programs were identified as national models of excellence.  According to Baskerville, the YCS Essex County program is currently serving 100 clients and 74 babies. Baskerville and colleagues from Middlesex County met with U.S. senators Frank R. Lautenberg and Robert Menendez to discuss their programs and the needs of their clients. 
"NFP currently serves more than 16,000 families in 28 states...It is a true honor to be hailed as one of the most successful programs and nationwide model," said Richard Mingoia, YCS President/CEO. 
Ken Berger, president of Charity Navigator, sited NFP as one of the most reputable charities to support because of the evidence based data that indicates meaningful results in the lives of the first time mothers and babies being served by the program.

If you don't have a smile,photo for holiday appeal
I'll give you one of mine."
                              ~ Anonymous

As you look forward
to spending the holidays with family and friends,
There are countless YCS children
who do not have much to smile about.
But you can change that...
You can give a YCS child
a reason to smile.
Your gift to YCS will put a smile on a child's face
And fill their holiday...with hope.
Thank you!
To find out how you can donate, please click here

Herb Ouida named Executive Director
of Bergen Volunteer Medical Initiative

Herb Ouida, a member of the YCS, Inc. Board of Trustees, has recently taken the helm of a new initiative to provide free primary medical care to working poor residents of Bergen County.

According to the BVMI website, the targeted population is "the hard-working individuals and families who do not have and cannot afford health insurance or healthcare...[currently] there are  more than 85,000 individuals who have neither Medicare, Medicaid, Veterans' nor private insurance."

 If you would like more information about this program, please visit www.bvmi.org

The YCS Central Region Advisory Council
is back into action
After a brief hiatus, the Central Region Advisory Council (CRAC) has regrouped and has begun working to improve the lives of children in YCS programs in the central counties of the state.
"The (CRAC )is ready to go!  We are very fortunate to have many new members joining forces with our long time volunteers to create a dynamic new council," said Robin Peck, YCS Foundation co executive director.
The CRAC's mission is..."to improve the lives of the children under the care of YCS.  By leveraging our collective talents and energy, we will seek to make possible - - by raising and deploying money and other required  resources -- a select number of projects that are important to achieving this goal, but would otherwise be beyond the means of YCS to accomplish."
Council members are Sarah Clark, Chuck DiPietro, Karen Feldman, Alex Koladziej, Keyana Laws, Kea Morgan, Guy Prandstatter, Sharon Reddin, Brian Saltzman, Alan Schwartz, Terri Seeney and Jennifer Spitz.