Opinion

YFS ‘It’s all about community’

If you live on Mercer Island, then you know that life here really is ALL about community. Whether you moved here for the great schools, the Island beauty or safety for your children or yourself as you age-in-place, Island life is about community. The quality of life of our community is enhanced by the work of Mercer Island’s Youth and Family Services (YFS).

My husband and I moved our family to Mercer Island in 2008.  We moved here so we could raise our children in a beautiful community with people who shared similar educational and community values. We have two daughters.  One is in her second year of college and the other is at Islander Middle School.

My older daughter, Sophie, was a youth member of the YFS Advisory Board for several years, and participated in the community service program VOICE throughout high school. After her first year of college, she became one of the paid staff to lead community service activities for eight weeks. The VOICE Program was one of the things that attracted me to the Island community. It is rare to have a community organization that trains young people to use their talents and skills in bettering our world. Sophie loved the other program participants and the people she served through her projects. As a mother, I saw her grow in compassion, understanding and maturity. Her experiences eventually lead to a paid internship at a non-profit. Both of these experiences developed her leadership skills, her compassion and her resume. My younger daughter, Emma, benefitted from the numerous social and political conversations that took place around the dinner table during those years.

She is emphatic about participating in the middle school community service program this summer.

A family in our circle of friends was struggling with their financial needs.  Because of our involvement with YFS, we told them about the food bank and assistance available to Island families.

I joined the Board of the Mercer Island Youth and Family Services (MIYFS) Foundation in 2013.  I did so to ensure that the quality of life for my family and neighbors will continue.

There will always be times in our lives when we will need  more than our families and faith communities are able to give.  And for those times, YFS is here for all of us.

Giving from the Heart Breakfast

The annual fundraising breakfast is set for 7 a.m., Feb. 12 at the Mercer Island Community and Events Center. The breakfast and program are free, but donations are accepted. Find out more about the event or the work of Youth and Family Services at this website.

 

 

We encourage an open exchange of ideas on this story's topic, but we ask you to follow our guidelines for respecting community standards. Personal attacks, inappropriate language, and off-topic comments may be removed, and comment privileges revoked, per our Terms of Use. Please see our FAQ if you have questions or concerns about using Facebook to comment.

Read the latest Green Edition

Browse the print edition page by page, including stories and ads.

Oct 29 edition online now. Browse the archives.

Friends to Follow

View All Updates