12/7/2015 - Donate to YSB through Amazon

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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!

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10/2/2017 - Foster Parents of the Quarter - Kathleen and Tony DiLuciano

Foster Parents of the Quarter

October 2017

Congratulations to Kathleen and Tony DiLuciano

Kathleen and Tony DiLuciano have been licensed with the Youth Service Bureau since June of 2012. They have fostered two children, mentored others, and adopted two children. The DiLuciano’s have been actively involved in fundraising for the agency and Kathleen has been a member of our Foundation Board. They have donated countless hours supporting the agency and foster children and their birth families.

Throughout their fostering of the two boys they have adopted, they have maintained the relationship with the grandparents and uncle of the boys. After adoption occurred, the family continues to encourage the relationship and frequent visits so that their children always know their entire family.

The DiLuciano’s have donated many toys, clothes, and money to the agency on an ongoing basis. Kathleen has done two groups with our homeless youth, both boys and girls. They work on self-image, skin care, and job interviewing.


10/30/2017 - TLP: Helping Lost Youth Find Indepencence & Security

Transitional Living Program: Helping lost youth find independence and security

Part I – What We Do

The Transitional Living Program at YSB is designed to help youth ages 16-24 who have completed the Homeless Youth Program and are ready to continue working towards independence. When young people are living on the street for various reasons, grocery shopping and paying the bills are not on their mind as much as basic survival. This is where our program comes in to help.

Kamm Reilly, one of our TLP caseworkers, sees the utmost potential in each client she works with while teaching life skills to them. While learning skills such as how to make a doctor’s appointment, how to do laundry, grocery shopping, and how to upkeep an apartment may seem slight to most people who do these tasks daily, they are huge accomplishments for those who never imagined that normalcy could be more than an unachievable wish. Kamm, as much of a proud parent as if they were her own children, says that “it is so rewarding and so positive when my clients ‘fly the nest’ and no longer need help doing these things. I love to see how proud of themselves they become and how they feel like they can accomplish anything!’”

Another benefit from teaching basic life skills happens during “field trips”, such as the one taken to Chicago this past summer to visit the Shedd Aquarium, the zoo, the beach, and a waterpark. “This is a great opportunity to teach them how to budget for special trips, while giving them the experience of seeing new places and doing a fun activity with other clients and their caseworker.” states Kamm. These activities build confidence through camaraderie and trust, while seeing in each other that they are not alone. Building lifelong friendships is a paramount benefit from this important program.

Part II – Derek’s Story

Kamm has worked with many youth over the years, but one such story really sums up the euphoria that she feels when making a direct life changing impact on someone in need…

Derek, a disabled young man,was dumped at a park and lived in a port-a-potty because his family no longer had room for him. He eventually found his way to a homeless shelter and then began working with YSB. Kamm began by helping Derek with simple skills such as making doctor’s appointments, getting groceries, opening a bank account, and applying for jobs. He eventually got his own apartment which he lived in for about 9 months. While living in the apartment he was still struggling to find work that he could do, due to his disability. He was also greatly missing being a part of a family.

Kamm helped Derek apply for disability, which was a long process, but paid off when he finally got it. They then made a visit to Friendship House for a tour. Friendship House is a place in Ottawa that provides housing and work opportunities for people with developmental disabilities. Derek loved it! He saw that he could live independently but still have roommates, and most importantly, he could work there and finally accomplish his goals. About a month after their visit he moved into his home at Friendship House and began working there.

It has been over a year and a half now and Derek is happier and doing better than could ever be expected! He was recently promoted at work and is now working within the community a few days a week. Derek still keeps in touch with Kamm and he tells her how lucky he feels to be in a place where he has a sense of family, and how happy he is to have made his great friends through YSB.

Kamm’s advice to all new clients is to “envision your goals, and we will be there to support you and guide you, but not do it for you. Remember, if you put your mind to something, you can do it!”. To those who have completed our program she says “remember all of the resources and strategies that we taught you to help you be successfully independent. We are proud of you and how far you have come, and you should be very proud of yourself!”. 

If you would like more information on this vital program, please contact Kelly Shymanski by phone at 815-431-3042, or by e-mail at Kelly@ysbiv.org.  For more information on YSB and our other programs, please call Monday through Friday from 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. at 815-433-3953, or visit us on the web at www.ysbiv.org or on Facebook.

 


11/10/2017 - YSB Star Tree

Christmas is fast approaching!

Wendy’s and Saren Inc. will be assisting YSB with the collection of gifts for our clients who participate in the YSB Star Tree.  You can stop in at Wendy’s in Ottawa, Minooka, Peru or Princeton to pick a star from the tree. Stars will be available from November 14th through December 11th. Gifts need to be dropped off at one of the participating Wendy’s or at a YSB office by December 11th. Your help and involvement is greatly appreciated! For more information, please contact Sue Trost at 815-431-3035 or by e-mail at Sue@ysbiv.org