Community | 12 Days of Giving - Day Eight
By: Ashley Solis
Many political, social and spiritual groups would encourage being altruistic and giving back to your community year-round. However, something is in the air during the holiday season that really brings out the spirit of giving in all of us. For 12 days throughout December, we want to inspire you to give back to those who are in need in our local neighborhoods. Our "12 Days of Giving" feature will share the impact and needs of twelve different Inland Empire charities. Our hope is that each feature will inform you and encourage you to donate, volunteer or give back in some way. Please consider giving the gift of kindness to a stranger this season, because it may be the only one they receive.
Day Eight — YouthHope for Homeless Foster Youth in Redlands
In 2011, 1,414 homeless youth were registered in seventh and twelfth grade in the Redlands Unified School District. Have you ever wondered what factors lead to homelessness for teens? According to YouthHope’s website, many of the causes are abuse, foster care, substance abuse problems and low-income, among other factors. Fortunately, YouthHope for Homeless Foster Youth exists in Redlands, California, ad they aim to give under-served, runaway and homeless youth a loving, safe and warm place to stay.
At the onset, YouthHope provides hot, nutritious meals for the youth and access to a food pantry and clothing closet. Case management services are also available, as well as access to YouthHope programs and services. YouthHope provides services through six main programs, which are their Continued Education Program, Job Training Program, Medical Dental, and Optometry Care, Prepared Meals and Food Pantry, Clothing Closet and Hygiene Items and One-On-One Case Management Services. If you want to help this holiday season, every year YouthHope gifts a new pair of shoes to the youth for Christmas. It is rare that the youth will receive much of anything during the holiday season, and often the shoes are the first and only gift they will receive. Visit their website for more information about the “Christmas Shoes” program.
If you are interested in becoming a volunteer, you can do so in numerous ways. They are in need of food service, administrative, and maintenance volunteers. Additionally, if you are someone who would like to spend time with the youth, you can help by participating in recreational activities, art therapy, or sharing your hobbies and talents with them. To become a volunteer, you must be 18 or older and fill out a volunteer application.
Remember that sharing is caring, and if you can’t personally give back, share it with someone who can! #ieshineon #12daysofgiving