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!


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

7/31/2018 - Get to Know YSB Board Members - Cherie Reynolds

Cherie Reynolds
Board Member since January 2017

Say hello to this month’s Board member profile, Cherie Reynolds!

Cherie proudly joined the YSB Board in January of 2017, though this is not her first experience in giving back to her community through volunteerism. She has worked with the Ottawa Chamber, Easter Seals, and even for YSB back in the mid 1980’s, which was her first official interaction as a non-profit volunteer.

Cherie currently works as the Director of Development for OSF HealthCare Foundation in the I-80 Region. She serves the communities of Ottawa, Streator, and Mendota.  She had previously worked for 20 years with Jim’s Formal Wear/Mister Penguin.

She was born and raised in Ottawa. She and her husband, Bill, have a 25-year-old daughter. They enjoy their “empty nest” by spending time in their yard, which includes two fish ponds, a ton of plants and flowers, and a small garden. In Cherie’s spare time, she enjoys baking, landscaping, reading, and a relaxing near her koi pond.

Cherie feels it is important to help those in need, and to spread the word to other people who may not be aware of what youth in crisis are going through. She attends fundraising and Ottawa Chamber Business After Hours events where she can showcase YSB and share our goals. She highlights the many ways her peers can give, whether through a donation of time and talent or through a traditional monetary gift.

Cherie states, “YSB, along with several other non-profit agencies locally have recently collaborated to help each other learn the services each provides and how we can help each other serve the community as a whole.  The misconception is that non-profit agencies are in competition with each other, while the reality is, maybe we do not quite understand what each other offers.  Working together to share with the community that we collaborate with each other to serve with the best care possible is my goal.  A rising tide raises all ships!”

Thank you to Cherie and to every other person who helps YSB attain its mission of “helping young people and families succeed by serving them in their home, school and community.”

If you have any thoughts or ideas to share with Cherie, please contact her at Cherie.R.Reynolds@osfhealthcare.org