Editor’s note: This feature is part of an ongoing series that highlights nonprofit organizations serving the Mercer Island community.
What is the mission of your organization? The mission of Mercer Island Youth and Family Services (YFS) is to foster well-being across the lifespan for Islanders. As a department of the city of Mercer Island, YFS is the sole full service provider for social and human services on Mercer Island.
How many people does your organization help? Through the community based services at the Luther Burbank Offices (the brick building in the park), 300 Islanders receive counseling, the food pantry is visited close to 1,500 times each year and approximately 280 seniors and their families receive help and support. In the school setting, several thousand children and youth are touched by the YFS licensed mental health counselors based in each school. YFS programs and services are available to every Mercer Island resident, regardless of ability to pay for service.
What is your greatest need? Non-perishable food and sundry items to stock the food pantry. Grocery gift cards for our income eligible emergency assistance clients (families, individuals and seniors). Cash donations to support the holiday meal and gift programs for our income eligible emergency assistance clients (families, individuals and seniors).
How can the community help your organization? Make a financial donation — Donations from individuals, family foundations, local business and corporations fund emergency rental assistance, transportation to job interviews, clothing and food assistance, counseling subsidies for low-income counseling clients and the mental health counselors at each of the Island schools.
Drop off food or food cards to the Food Pantry — non-perishable food and sundry items stock our food pantry. Grocery gift cards allow families, individuals and seniors to purchase foods unique to their dietary and cultural needs. Donate your used car by calling: 1-855-500-RIDE (7433), or find the form on our website: www.mercerislandthrift.org/vehicle-donations.
Give your time, talent and energy — inquire about the MIYFS Foundation Board, Healthy Youth Initiative Action Teams, Community Advisory Board or volunteer at the Mercer Island Thrift Shop or our administrative offices in Luther Burbank Park. Volunteers help sustain YFS as a strong community resource.
Is there anything else you would like to add? YFS relies on the goodwill and creativity of Island residents in its work. If you or a group with which you are involved (your book group, athletic team or church group, etc.) would like to conduct a food drive or develop a fundraiser, please let us know. We welcome community initiatives and can help provide the materials and support for activities that benefit Youth and Family Services.
What is the best way for the community to contact you? Make a donation online at www.miyfs.org, call our front desk at 206-275-7611 or email us at Kim.Richards@mercergov.org.