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!


7/31/2018 - 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

9/12/2018 - FOSTER PARENTS OF THE QUARTER - Rhonda & Richard Fouke

Foster Parents of the Quarter - 4th Quarter FY18

July 2018

Congratulations to Richard and Rhonda Fouke!

Rhonda and Rich Fouke have been licensed with YSB since July of 2016. They have taken a number of children in the two years of being licensed. They have provided crisis foster care for many young adolescents and teens. What makes Rhonda and Rich special is their ability to accept any child into their home that needs them, regardless of their age, past experiences, or current behaviors or situations.

Rhonda and Rich welcome children into their home providing them with structure and family time. They treat every child as if they were always a member of their family. They have extended family support not only because they are family, but two family members have been or are foster parents currently. They have a strong support network through their church and community. Both work full time jobs, volunteer for their church soup kitchen, and are dedicated foster parents. We know that if we call on them, they will be there for these children. Many people are afraid to take on adolescents and teens because of the unknown associated with it, but not Rhonda and Rich. We just cannot say enough about their loyalty and dedication to children and our agency.


9/19/2018 - A Treatment Success Story



“I hope it will be said we taught them to stand tall and proud, even in the face of history, and the future was made new and whole for us all - one child at a time.” – Brian Andreas

As a clinician working with children who have experienced trauma, I have found that using expressive modes can be empowering and life changing for clients.  Expressive modes provide catharsis, enlightenment, and cleansing.  I have been working with a 15-year old young woman for approximately 1½ years.  She is very verbal and engaged in therapy.  However, when she utilizes expressive therapy techniques, she appears to process thoughts and feelings on an even deeper level, which provides a more expansive level of insightfulness and catharsis.   

In a recent session, my client shared some of her favorite songs with me, which ranged from angry to inspirational to love songs.   She shared the song that helped her when she was depressed.  I inquired as to how the song helped her.  She explained that the song has meaning for her; it has uplifting and encouraging lyrics.  This client identified which stanza positively impacted her the most.

At her next therapy session, I utilized expressive techniques to encourage her to focus on the positive song that helped her manage feelings of depression. I explained that she could write/paint the song lyrics on a canvas to provide a positive, empowering, and meaningful message for her to keep at home.  She excitedly said, “I’m down with that!”

My client chose four empowering lines from the song.  She wrote each lyric in a different color and chose one letter from each song line to create a new meaningful word – LOVE.   She wrote “LOVE” vertically in the middle of the canvas surrounded by the song lyrics.  She then wrote a word next to each letter of the word love:  L=listen; O=overcome; V=value; E=everlasting.  I asked the client to explain the words connected to the word “LOVE.” She said that L means to listen to someone when she needs help; O means to overcome issues; V means to value what one gives another, to be positive with others; E means everlasting, a person is out there forever.  She embellished her canvas with colorful paint and inspirational stickers.

I directed the client to write words on a piece of paper stating how she felt about doing this project.  She explained that she felt “more motivated to do more when writing and painting.”  She said, “I feel like a weight lifted off of my shoulders from the little pain I have left.”  She said she felt better after doing this project.

This client appeared happy and delighted with her creation.  In the agency lobby, she proudly showed her canvas to YSB staff who gathered around her to admire her work.  Her face was animated with positive affect as she explained the meaning of the song lyrics and the four words she crafted from the word “LOVE.”  She seemed honored and valued that others reinforced her efforts and creativity. 

Laura Hunger, LSW/QMHP Therapist, Youth Service Bureau