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Donors Support YSS Giving Tuesday Now, Respond to Needs of Families Facing Homelessness During COVID-19

For immediate release
May 6, 2020
Contact: Betsy Bethel-McFarland, bmcfarland@ysswv.com

WHEELING — Social media followers responded to Youth Services System Inc.'s Giving Tuesday Now fundraising campaign Tuesday, raising $4,000 to help YSS help families facing homelessness.

Giving Tuesday Now is an extension of Giving Tuesday, which takes place each December. This new global online giving campaign was designed to meet immediate needs of people on the front lines of the COVID-19 pandemic. YSS was one of several Ohio Valley charities raising money.

YSS is a nonprofit charitable organization that serves vulnerable youth through a variety of programs and services, including emergency shelters, a transitional living program, the Youth Mentoring Network and more. It also operates the Winter Freeze Shelter so people who are without shelter don't suffer with exposure to the elements, and it helps people facing homelessness year-round with its Sophie Moses Free Store and temporary emergency housing for women and families, among other services.

The needs are many, and the COVID-19 pandemic has brought more people to the brink of crisis because of lost income, illness, and other stressors, according to YSS Director of Development Tammy Kruse. While many have received relief from the government in the form of stimulus checks and unemployment, others don't qualify or have yet to see the money.

"YSS serves as a stopgap to keep people in housing, find them shelter, and provide food, clothing, transportation to somewhere where they can receive help from family or friends, along with other resources," Kruse said.

As a youth-serving organization with a "moral imperative" to say "yes, yes and yes again" to help children in need, in the words of its founder Ronald C. Mulholland, YSS is especially attuned to the needs of families with young children who are in the midst of or on the verge of homelessness, but because the services are currently unfunded, YSS looks to their friends and neighbors in the community for support.

"We were excited that the Giving Tuesday Now platform focused on bringing the community together during the COVID-19 pandemic," said Betsy Bethel-McFarland, YSS communications manager. "The encouraging message of healing, giving, sharing and helping swept the globe on Tuesday and gave our donors the opportunity to help us help families right here in the Ohio Valley. Our goal was to raise $5,000, and between our Facebook and Give Lively giving portals and offline pledges, we came in at $4,000 even."

CEO John Moses thanked donors.

"For 46 years, Youth Services System has been responding to the urgent needs of vulnerable children and families here in Wheeling and beyond. Our donors have played a vital role in our ability to continue meeting these needs and creating better futures for children and families. Thank you for joining us to spread hope and promote unity during this difficult time," he said.

"Together, we can and will make a difference. It is what we are called to do," Moses added.

Although the Giving Tuesday Now campaign is closed, anyone wishing to donate can do so on the YSS website, www.youthservicssystem.org/donate or through the agency's Facebook page. Text to give by sending the message YSS2020 to the number 44-321.

About Youth Services System, Inc.

Youth Services System, Inc.’s mission is “to create better futures for children, families and our community.” YSS is committed to responding to the complex needs of youth at serious risk. For 46 years, Youth Services System, Inc. has reached thousands of youth and their families with our shelter, residential, community-based and professional services. Together with youth and their families, we work to improve their physical and emotional well-being, to address the debilitating effects of abuse, addiction, and trauma, and to build the skills and connections they need to be successful. Accredited by CARF International, YSS is supported by our volunteer Board of Directors, dedicated staff and faithful community, allowing us to make a measurable impact in the lives of youth. For more information, visit www.youthservicessystem.org.

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