1/1/2018 - Donate to YSB through Amazon


Easy way to Donate to YSB!

Simply go to https://smile.amazon.com/. Amazon will ask you what charity you want to support and you can choose Youth Service Bureau of Illinois Valley. The next time you want to order something from Amazon instead of going to amazon.com go to smile.amazon.com and whenever you purchase something from the smile website, YSB will receive .5% of the sales.

There is no extra cost to you. The items cost the same, the shipping is the same, you can still get prime and free shipping, etc. It works. 

Spread the word!

Such an easy way to help our programs, and our kids… Please pass on to your friends, family, foster parents, everyone!


4/18/2018 - Having Fun in the Ladd After School Program


Making Friends and Having Fun in the Ladd After-School Program! 

Many families face a daily struggle to manage their time as they work a full time job, or several part-time jobs. Often, this can create hardship for their schedules as their children finish the school day well before they can leave from work to pick them up and take them home.

Fortunately, After School Programs are created and offered in most communities to offset this time-management crunch. For the past 15 years, The Ladd After-School Program, run by the Youth Service Bureau of Illinois Valley and financed through fundraising and family fees, has been one such program working with and helping children in their community.

Having time to unwind after a long day of school can be just what a child needs. Daily activities in the Ladd ASP include going outside to play, flying kites, or going into the gym for organized games. When the weather is bad, children are given seasonal crafts, coloring projects, painting and games of their choosing. Parents also love that the children are given homework time, as adult educators are available to help them with any questions they may have. To keep the fun going, contests are held every 1 to 2 months in which the winner receives a prize.

These programs succeed through the love and care of local educators who wish only for children to succeed in life. Two such people are Nancy Piccatto, who runs the Ladd ASP, and after school educator, Julie Kobold.

Nancy says “this program is so important for our families and working parents. We love the saying ‘it takes a village to raise a child’, because it is so true”.  Nancy adores her time with the kids, especially on days when the children have an early 11:20 a.m. dismissal. The group will walk over to the local Casey’s General Store to pick up pizzas and eat them in the town park. 

Nancy hopes to add more children to this fun program each year. More than anything, she loves that the kids look forward to attending, and that it feels like a little family where they can be themselves, have fun and be safe. The best evidence for the success of this program is when parents come to pick their children up and many will say “I’m not ready to go yet!”.

If you are interested in the Ladd After School Program, please contact Nancy by e-mail at NancyP@ysbiv.org, or by phone at 815-228-1967.

Pictured are Nancy Piccatto and Julie Kobold

6/5/2018 - Get To Know YSB Board Members - Dani Brown

Danielle Brown
Board Member since January 2017

Dani Brown was born and raised in Geneseo, IL. She attended Western Illinois University (WIU) for Broadcasting & Music Business. She moved to the LaSalle County area just over 2 years ago for her job as an on-air DJ at Studstill Media, which most people know as the radio stations Walls 102 and Q Hit Music, and she loves it! Her beautiful family consists of three dogs and a wonderful fiancé with their wedding coming in September!

Dani feels that being a part of the Youth Service Bureau of Illinois Valley Board has been enlightening. This experience has shown her how to effectively help people within our local communities. YSB has also introduced her to some amazing people who put extra effort and details into their work, which gives her the will and desire to be better in hers.

She also loves being able to interact and work with the other generous people on the Board. “Everyone who sits at our table has something special in them, and contribute amazing ideas that are heard. I love being a part of all the work being done here while also learning more about the surrounding communities.”

Dani’s future involves learning and growing with this community she now calls home. She looks forward to achieving YSB’s goals, while contributing creative ideas and solutions to the process.

If anyone is interested in being a part of this amazing organization, please let us know! We love to meet new and inspiring people who want to make a significant impact in their community.

If you would have questions for Dani about YSB, please contact her at dani@studstillmedia.com

7/11/2018 - Runaway and Homeless Youth Program - Offering Support to Youth and Families in Crisis


Runaway and Homeless Program: Offering Support to Youth and Families in Crisis

A common misconception about YSB’s Runaway and Homeless Program is that every client is a runaway or homeless youth. This is, in fact, not the case. The program will help with all kinds of issues, mostly family related, to those who have not left the home, yet are at a high risk to do so. 

The glue that can keep them together is the caseworker who will spend months offering support while the family makes difficult decisions in their struggle for survival. 

One such case involved a 17-year-old boy grappling with anger issues.  He is the oldest of six children.  After completing an assessment and service plan, the caseworker began weekly visits with the boy and utilized Cognitive Behavioral Therapy to help the youth learn to control anger outbursts in the home and school. 

After several weeks and some improvement, the mother asked the worker if she could also talk to her thirteen-year-old daughter because she was 6 months pregnant.  The worker agreed and began service for the girl. 

After a few meetings it came out that the father of the baby was the girl’s stepfather.  The worker, who had developed a very good relationship with the mother, provided support to her and the girl during police and DCFS interviews.  The worker linked the family with domestic violence services and they helped the mother get an order of protection so the stepfather could no longer live with or have any contact with the girl and the mother.  

The Youth Service Bureau of Illinois Valley worker attended court with the family, supported the mother in making the right decisions to protect her daughter from further abuse, and became a close advocate for the girl. 

In stressful times, relative calmness can be achieved by simply having someone stable to help clients through. Providing stability is what YSB is here for.

If you have questions about the Runaway and Homeless Program, please contact Reggi Gerding, Director of Community Services, at 815-431-3020, or you may visit our website at www.ysbiv.org.

Pictured below are Runaway and Homeless Youth Program Caseworkers (from left) Amanda Houchin, Denise Rick-Lupascu, Kirby Lilley, Diana Beams, and Kim Quick