Sharing Your Stories: Youth Eastside Services

In light of the recent pandemic, we look forward to sharing positive stories about how our clients and community members are responding. We know this is a challenging time for many, and we are here to support you. We hope that by sharing these very brief stories, others will feel they are not alone. We encourage everyone to lift up one another and share their stories.

Youth Eastside Services is a leading provider of youth and family behavioral health services in East King County. YES provides evidence-based mental health counseling, substance use and co-occurring counseling and treatment, psychiatric services, and education and prevention programs. They help children, youth and families struggling with depression, grief, trauma, substance use, cultural- and gender-identity issues, anxiety, ADHD, autism, eating disorders, low self-esteem and much more.

“YES is a leading provider of youth and family behavioral health services in East King County. YES provides evidence-based mental health counseling, substance use and co-occurring counseling and treatment, psychiatric services, and education and prevention programs. We help children, youth and families struggling with depression, grief, trauma, substance use, cultural- and gender-identity issues, anxiety, ADHD, autism, eating disorders, low self-esteem and much more.

During this crisis, YES had to suspend in-person services and programs at our three office locations and at over 50 schools, teen, and community centers. Instead, YES has been providing services and programs using TeleHealth a HIPAA compliant, web-based technology. We know that at a time when everything feels so overwhelming, mental health and wellness is more important than ever. Throughout this crisis YES has continued to provide critical virtual programs and services in responsible, creative, and flexible ways.

YES has also adapted our fundraising efforts to meet the demand of the much-needed TeleHealth services.  In March YES had to cancel the annual Invest in Youth Breakfast of 1,000+ guests. The breakfast is our only fundraising event, and we rely on the donations from the breakfast to be able to provide critical services for young people and families in our community, regardless of their ability to pay. Due to this cancelation, we hosted a weeklong virtual event campaign sharing inspiring stories through video on our website, email, and social media.  We were concerned that we were not going to reach our goal for the event, which would impact the at-risk children, youth, and families that we serve.  Thanks to over 550 donors who contributed to the virtual breakfast to provide youth in our community with hope. Our donors became a part of the solution to provide YES clients with immediate, evidence-based, and compassionate care through TeleHealth by contributing a record-breaking $940,000 to the event.  We are so grateful for their support! 

The current situation has increased isolation, anxiety, and stress, and we know now more than ever how important it is to continue to receive critical mental health and substance use services. The most important of these lessons learned is that we are stronger together when we areunited in our purpose to help children and youth regardless of their ability to pay for services. YES is grateful to have an incredible Board of Directors (Trustees), highly skilled staff and generous donors, supporting children, youth, and families in our community. While we are currently facing an incredibly unique time in human history, YES will keep thriving and being integral in helping others, and our community to reach truly impactful positive change, now and into the future.   

While everyday feels more exhausting during this crisis, at YES, we are constantly amazed and grateful for the generosity of our donors.  From our experience, donors will make gifts and do their part to help organizations, causes and beneficiary groups that they care about.   Like the mantra from the movie Field of Dreams, “If you build it, they will come,” the same is true for fundraising, especially during this time. If we let donors know that help is needed, they will give.  To paraphrase Steven Screen from The Better FundraisingCo, Be vulnerable by sharing the needs of your organization and what your clients or beneficiaries are facing, then ask your donors to meet those needs with a gift. Do not hide your needs. If you have a need right now, share it with your donors. Let your donors decide whether to meet that need or not. Do not take the decision out of their hands.

The collective effort of everyone from YES clinical staff to Clinical Directors, the Development team, Board members, and donors who are all working together to help and serve children, youth and families is incredibly inspiring, humbling and what keeps us going. When we hear from a client like Leo who shares with us “I don’t have a lot of people to talk to so being able to talk to someone twice a week, definitely helps. My mood would be absolutely terrible otherwise. I would be in a very, very bad way if my therapy got cut off for however long this goes on. Having the option to see a therapist has made a difference. I need that,” makes the work we all do worth it.” 

– Angela Chapman, Fund Development Manager at Youth Eastside Services

YES logo

Learn more about Youth Eastside Services and how you can support their mission on their website: https://www.youtheastsideservices.org/

We would love to hear how your organization has been adapting to provide services to your clients and how we can support you during this time. Please reach out to us at [email protected].


ByThe Ostara Group