Support Youth Outreach Services by donating items from our wish list! Your contributions help us focus more resources on vital programs for over 400 youths in Chicago.
Currently, YOS needs the following items
Youth are positively influenced by incentives for engagement and rewards for their achievements. Clinicians find that acknowledging the efforts of their clients, who are working towards incremental but significant improvements in their lives, is very effective. Donations in the amounts of $5, $10, $25, or $100 are ideal for these purposes.
YOS is committed to ensuring that no young person or their family lacks appropriate clothing during winter. We aim to always have a supply of coats, hats, gloves, and warm hoodies available at all our program locations to keep everyone comfortably warm in the colder months.
There is a significant need among our youth for twin-size and full-size sheets, pillows, and comforters, as many do not have these essential items for warmth and comfort. It’s important that any donated bedding is new and not previously used.
- Many of our young clients have to navigate their own transportation to and from counseling sessions at our facilities. These travels often occur during evening hours, coinciding with peak times for gang-related activities and crime. To safeguard our youth, our staff members occasionally provide rides home. However, this isn’t always feasible. As alternatives, taking the bus or train becomes the next safest option. Visit the Ventra website to learn more/purchase passes for the Chicago Transit Authority (CTA).
- Consider donating an Uber ride for our clients who reside far from public transportation routes. Services like Uber or Lyft serve as excellent transportation alternatives. You can provide support by either distributing gift cards directly to our youth and their families or adding credits to an Uber account. To contribute, please visit Uber’s Gift Card Page.
- Additionally, offering bicycles as a mode of transportation is also an effective solution for these youths to attend their appointments safely.
Many youths arrive at our offices having missed meals or relying solely on school-provided food. At YOS, we continually seek nutritious options to offer them. Snacks that don’t perish, like chips, granola bars, Gatorade, or juice, are excellent choices to provide the energy they need.
We take pleasure in providing essential items such as shampoo, conditioner, soap, deodorants, body spray, toothbrushes, and toothpaste to young people, along with imparting some hygiene and self-care knowledge. It’s important for us to keep these items readily available, especially for those clients who may feel hesitant to request them.
Providing video game consoles like XBOX or PlayStation, along with extra controllers, is an effective way to attract youths to our offices to participate in our programs and gaming activities. We also aim to create a welcoming environment in our transitional homes by supplying items such as flat-screen TVs and computers. Laptops or tablets are particularly valuable for supporting e-learning and virtual telehealth services, especially during COVID-19. We request that any donated electronics are no more than three years old to ensure their usefulness and relevance.
Board games and card games serve as excellent means to spark conversations among youths or promote quality family interactions. Games like Uno, Sorry, Guess Who, Jenga, and Trouble are perfect examples of enjoyable activities that can facilitate these engagements.
Backpacks and various school supplies are consistently in demand among the youth. These include items like pocket folders, notebooks, binders, pens, pencils, glue sticks, markers, erasers, rulers, scissors, calculators, and dictionaries. Every year, YOS organizes a back-to-school drive in the Fall, where we collect these essential items during July and August.