Islanders are encouraged to share stories about the role Youth and Family Services has played in their lives. Image courtesy of MIYFS

Islanders are encouraged to share stories about the role Youth and Family Services has played in their lives. Image courtesy of MIYFS

MIYFS to celebrate 30 years by sharing 30 stories

Mercer Island Youth and Family Services to share anecdotes at its Annual Breakfast on Feb. 13, 2019.

The Mercer Island Youth and Family Services (MIYFS) Foundation is launching the 2019 Annual Breakfast by asking Islanders to share their appreciation for and stories about YFS.

The foundation is sharing 30 stories to commemorate the 30th year after its founding in 1989. The nonprofit supports MIYFS, which is the human and community services department of the city of Mercer Island.

Every year, MIYFS helps hundreds of children, their families and seniors. Difficulties are resolved, children grow up and families move on. Now the foundation is asking: Was there a time in your past that you appreciated having Youth and Family Services in the Mercer Island community?

On Feb. 13, 2019, the foundation’s Annual Breakfast will celebrate 30 years of support to MIYFS. Each foundation board member and breakfast committee member has his or her own personal story of why they appreciate MIYFS being in their lives.

MIYFS Foundation Board members and Breakfast Committee Members are reaching out to the community to gather and showcase a collection of stories from YFS work between 1973 and 2015. Those interested in telling their stories should let the foundation know:

– What you appreciated about YFS — i.e. school counselor, family therapist, diversion services, geriatric specialist for a senior family member.

– When – approximate dates (from 1973 to 2015 only).

– What you are doing now and looking back, how was YFS useful to you?

– Whether you prefer to remain anonymous or to share and provide your name?

For example, a Mercer Island parent of an 18-year-old shared a story titled “We missed the signs; YFS did not.”

“Imagine the middle school principal calls you after school and asks if you know where your child is? You respond confidently that the child is studying with a friend, and the principal presses to make sure you know for sure – because your child has shared suicidal thoughts with a teacher,” they wrote. “That happened to us, but the horrifying moment eventually took a turn for the better with the compassionate support and expertise of YFS counselor, Harry Brown. He developed a strong relationship with our child and referred us to an outside provider for additional help. Over time our child learned to cope with anxiety and to respect the self again. And to love those who showed the way. We missed the signs; YFS did not. Our family is intact and healthy due to their watchful care.”

Email your story to sari.weiss@mercergov.org with the subject line “YFS Foundation: 30 Years 30 Stories,” or hand deliver your story to the MIYFS building in Luther Burbank Park, 2040 84th Ave. SE.

See www.miyfs.org for more.

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