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You helped give us a push, thanks!

Isn't it heartwarming to know that spring is just around the corner, the sun is getting higher in the sky, the green is coming soon, and we are leaving the season of death and entering a new season of life?

New growth is a beautiful thing. It's uplifting and inspiring.

I wanted to take this opportunity to share with you some of the growth that you helped inspire in 2023. Last year was a bit of an enigma for us—a bit of good and bad, a mix of fun and hardship, a blend of everything that makes up life, really.

Starting with the good, we saw unprecedented growth in our programs at YUE. With four drop-ins running all year, we were able to hold 333 events for youth, up from 260 in 2022. At those events, we had just over 10,600 participants (a whopping 108% increase from 2022) and 1,418 individual youth connected with us (973 in 2022). We even served 9,752 meals and snacks during drop-ins, almost doubling our total of 4,968 from the prior year.

Pretty amazing, right!! And it only happened because you were willing to partner with us in 2023. None of this happens without our partners - individuals, businesses, churches, volunteers, and over 300 participants at our three major fundraisers. THANKFULNESS SEEMS LIKE SUCH A SMALL WORD SOMETIMES. Especially when we see real changes in young lives. 

Back in 2022, we started tracking what we call Impact Markers. The markers are observable changes that our staff and volunteers witness during a youth event or program. They include things like sharing a current struggle or past crisis, doing an act of kindness or service, improved attitude towards peers, and because we are holistic care, initiating a spiritual conversation of asking for prayer.

Last year, we witnessed 585 Impact Markers in the lives of 205 different youth. Again, this is excellent stuff—really good, incredible stuff! Real life changes witnessed as we interact with our youth. Thank you for helping make a difference in these lives!

So, back to the enigma part of 2023. We all experienced, and still are, the pain or frustration of increasing costs and declining bank balances. We have as well. With all the growth we experienced, we are working hard to keep up. To keep providing for youth who need relationships, food, spiritual guidance, a sense of belonging, or just a safe place to hang out that offers peace and stability.

How can you help? I think our real need is to have a few more people like you to partner with us in this amazing work. People who care and know that investing in our youth today will benefit all of us for years to come.

Please take a few minutes to think about someone you know who might want to give their money, time, or effort to walk alongside us in bringing love, peace, and hope to youth facing real struggles. Do you know someone you can forward this email to or share our social media posts with? That would be huge for us and our youth moving forward. More information about partnering with us is available here:

Thank you for considering this request.

We hope your 2023 was filled with the same amazement we experienced. We also hope you will continue partnering and invite someone along this incredible journey to see even more incredible things happen this year.

Sincerely grateful,

Gary Higgs

P.S. Below are a few Impact Statements from our youth that we collected last year. I hope you find them inspiring too!


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