Evan Krauss wants people to know about the incredible potential of East Saint Louis, IL. “While economically and systemically disadvantaged, there is so much talent here and so many committed people working day in and day out to create a community where our children and youth can thrive,” he says.
Wendy Heckman has a chart she shares during February’s National Spay and Neuter Month. It’s a “reproductive pyramid,” depicting the population explosion that can occur when a dog or cat is allowed to reproduce unchecked, and shows that within six years, an unspayed female cat can yield more than 11 million descendants!
This month marks the 13th year the nation has recognized Human Trafficking Prevention Month. While it’s an opportunity to raise awareness on preventing and responding to human trafficking and exploitation, it’s also a time to acknowledge and celebrate the progress that survivor leaders and anti-trafficking organizations and allies have achieved.
To honor our mission of partnering with donors around sustainability of nonprofits, YouthBridge provides grants to child or youth serving organizations that are regularly supported by our fundholders.
The kids are discovering so many new things and, most of all, recognizing who they really are without their ‘school persona’.
It shouldn’t matter your zip code; all kids deserve to thrive. We are hoping to impact literacy numbers by drawing in kids through positive stories that represent them and spark a greater interest in reading.
Today, Dogs for our Brave is based in St. Louis because “that’s where we found our incredible director of training, Paul Scimone,” says Haskins. An expert in canine behavior, Scimone created a training program that’s individualized to the behavior and psychology of each animal and tailored to the needs of each service member. In addition to dozens of assistance commands, the dogs also learn skills to assist with anxiety, PTSD episodes and nightmares.
Part of the eligibility for a Heritage Grant from YouthBridge is a nonprofit leadership that is eager to participate in a core capacity assessment during its three-year funding timeframe. PreventEd certainly fits the criteria.
Every October, the pink ribbons come out in full force in support of Breast Cancer Awareness Month. Yet, in the conversations during the month, one aspect of the disease is often overlooked.
This grant is an opportunity to engage and cultivate more parent leaders in our efforts to build a child care system that works better for all Missouri kids and families.
When Marian and Larry McCord’s teenage son, Chad, took his life in 2004, they mourned his passing but also worried about the next family to experience “a living hell,” says Marian. “Actually, at first, I wanted to crawl into a hole and never come out, but eventually I realized that the things I’d learned through all of it had the potential to help someone else.”
September is nationally recognized as Ovarian Cancer Awareness Month. Yet it remains a very lonely disease, says Susan Robben, Executive Director of St. Louis Ovarian Cancer Awareness (SLOCA). “If you’re diagnosed with breast cancer, you often will find many others that have gone through it or that know someone who has. Ovarian cancer is unique and patients can feel very alone,” she says. The fact is ovarian cancer is one-tenth as common as breast cancer, but three times as lethal.
YouthBridge has made a second round of investment in Justine Petersen in the amount of $300,000, as part of our ongoing commitment to invest more of our endowment in projects that strengthen the St. Louis community.
PAA, entering its 30th year, has been doing its part to recognize the special impact of teachers and school staff through a number of grant and recognition programs. “The association was initially started because the school district wanted to do a better job of tracking alumni,” says Riutcel. “Over the last three decades, we’ve grown into so much more, fostering programs that acknowledge those who make a difference in our schools and that encourage educational opportunities for Parkway students.”
“You can’t stay inside your own ‘zone’ if you’re going to learn and grow as a human being,” says Tom Gatti. It’s a principle that he and his wife have lived by and passed on to their now-adult children. Gatti, partner at Black Twig Marketing and Communications, is the newest addition to the YouthBridge Board of Directors.
Caritas has the largest adoption and foster care programs in Southern Illinois, supporting nearly 2,400 foster children and their families in 2021, and is ranked one of the highest performing foster agencies in Illinois. It also operates the St. John Bosco Children’s Center, a home for children who are too traumatized to succeed in foster care.
The YEP (Youth Engaged in Philanthropy) STL!, a partnership between YouthBridge and First Bank, was recently recognized with an Innovation in Philanthropy award by the St. Louis Business Journal.
In 2022, we have selected the first recipients of our Organizational Capacity Building grant: HOME WORKS! and Springboard to Learning. Through these one-time matching grants, YouthBridge will cover 75% – or up to $7,500 – of costs related to projects intended to strengthen the capacity and sustainability of nonprofit organizations.
“An endowment fund provides a reliable source of revenue in perpetuity, Barbara explained to me, and relieves the stress of short-term, sometimes unrealistic fundraising goals,” says Dearsley.
“Supporting overwhelmed parents is a key intervention for preventing child abuse,” say Mueller. “The COVID crisis made an already challenging life ten times harder for many of our families, and I am so grateful to the angels – my staff, our volunteers and donors – that made it possible for us to continue to be there for them.”