Winchester, IN – Donations and Volunteering

Relief efforts are ongoing for those affected by the tornados in Randolph County.

To find out how to assist with these efforts, please visit the Randolph County Foundation website (www.randolphcountyfoundation.org).

On 3/25/24 our youth in the residential program volunteered at the Winchester Moose Lodge with sorting and handing out donations for the families that lost their homes in the recent tornado. Our residents assisted with sorting the items and marking out barcodes. 

However, their favorite part was being able to assist those who came in with finding the items they needed. One of our residents assisted an elderly lady in finding various items such as canned food, dishes, and clothes. He helped her try on various coats until she found one that fit her properly. While he was helping her they had an opportunity to talk a little bit and get to know each other. He then helped her load her stuff in the car and they hugged and wished each other well. He stated that he never knew volunteering could be so amazing! He shared that he was eager to do it again to keep meeting amazing people while being able to give back to a community in a positive way. 

Our residential kids have not always had an opportunity to see the value in community and helping other people. They all agreed that it was a meaningful experience that they would remember for years to come.

– Erika Limbert, Residential Case Manager


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NBA All-Star Weekend

As most are aware Indianapolis was host to the NBA All-Star Weekend this past February for the first time since 1985! In February of 1985 the YSB was just a little over 6 years old and only offered one program, Residential Treatment.

As part of the weekend celebration, the Pacers Foundation allowed many youth-serving organizations to apply for ticket donations to the All-Star Saturday Night activities. These activities included the skills competition, 3-point contest, and slam dunk contest. I am happy to say that we were one of the organizations chosen to attend. All together between residents, staff, and staff family members, we had 17 youth and 7 adults in attendance.

In addition to the dazzling athletic spectacle that was witnessed that evening, there was an equally amazing display of technology! During the game, they used a new basketball court assembled in Lucas Oil Stadium that incorporated LED technology for the first time. This turned the court into a giant television screen with dazzling graphics and displays that were witnessed throughout the evening! As attendees left for the night there was also a very impressive aerial show through the use of drone technology!

Indianapolis and the Pacers Organization did a wonderful job of hosting this event! The YSB is very grateful to the Pacers Foundation for giving us this opportunity to be a part of history! This is something that our attendees, especially our residents, will never forget, thank you!

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Honoring Board Member – Pam Bennett

During the February YSB Board of Directors Meeting we were thrilled to recognize Pam Bennett for her years of service to the YSB as a board member. Pam had served on the YSB board for the last 9 years, February 2015 through February 2024.

In addition to fulfilling her basic board responsibilities, Pam was instrumental in recruiting new board members, she served as BOD Treasurer for several years, and has been a huge asset to our Marketing Committee! Although we are very sad to see Pam’s time on the board come to an end, we are very happy that she has graciously agreed to continue to be a part of the Marketing Committee as marketing is one of her passions!

– PJ Corwin,
Executive Director

2023 Wrap Up: Arts Place Creative Classes

Wrapping up our news from 2023, our Residential residents had a wonderful time participating in creative arts classes at Arts Place in Portland!

We’re thankful to Arts Place and the Xi Chapter Delta Theta Tau Sorority of Portland for sponsoring this event!

 

Erika Limbert, who helped lead the experience, had this to say:

“Over the summer the YSB was thrilled to partner with the Arts Place and the Xi Chapter Delta Theta Tau Sorority in order to provide our Residential youth an opportunity to participate in some art classes. This opportunity gave us the chance to work with our youth in care to be able to find new ways of expressing themselves and their emotions in a positive and healthy way. With the variety of classes that were offered to us we were able to discover things that each youth could enjoy. 

Some of the residents were able to find their voice in the writing class whereas others were able to express themselves through painting or ceramics. While the classes were fun they also challenged our residents to think out of the box while also being able to follow the instructions provided to them. This opportunity also afforded the residents an opportunity to learn how to build relationships with people in the community through small talk and shared interests, which will be skills that can greatly benefit them for the rest of their lives. The residents grew especially fond of J.B. Goodrich. They expressed a lot of excitement about being able to go and hang out with J.B. and a few others that would come in during the classes. 

The residents during these classes were able to express things that they enjoyed doing, such as listen to music with J.B. during the classes, which led to J.B. donating a karaoke machine to our facility. Our residents have had a blast with playing with the karaoke machine and were so excited to learn that it came from J.B. We are looking forward to partnering with the Art’s Place again next summer and being able to continue with such a great activity for our residents in care!”

Residential Care – 2023 Christmas Party

I am pleased to share that the YSB provided another group of residential youth with an amazing Christmas experience!

Our Christmas celebration is filled with an entire month full of Christmas related recreation activities, but things really get going when the residents start receiving their Secret Santa gifts. Each resident had two staff assigned to them this year. One staff bought them $5 gifts for each of three days and then the other staff bought them $5 gifts for each of three days. On the seventh day, which was the night of our Residential Christmas Party, the residents opened their big gift from their Secret Santa’s. Some staff chose to team up for this gift and others wanted to purchase their own, so residents either received one $40 gift or two $20 gifts.

On the night of the party the residents, staff, and the staff guests enjoyed a Christmas feast prepared by Tina Bechtol. Like always the food was wonderful and the residents especially love all the tasty desserts! After everyone has eaten their fill we get the lounge area cleaned up and ready for presents. The first gifts to be passed out are the Secret Santa gifts. The residents open them and then try to guess which staff had them. I think there was only one correct guess this year, but staff and resident alike enjoyed the fun and mystery around this activity again.

After that it is then time for the residents to receive their haul of Christmas presents. Each resident gets a large Santa bag filled with gifts. The residents open them and then take turns sharing what they received. This year there were a lot of new shoes and new clothes. They always receive really nice name brand items that they often times do not have the opportunity to receive outside of care so it is always exciting to see their reaction when they receive something that they really wanted! Yvonne Duff, typically does the majority of the Christmas shopping for the residents each year. Yvonne has a knack for being able to pick out just the right gifts for each resident.

A lot of the time our residents are able to go home and be with someone from their family for at least part of Christmas day, but sometimes there are one or more who have no place to go for Christmas. When this happens we make sure that they have some additional presents to open Christmas morning along with having a big breakfast and getting to stay in pajamas for most of the day.

We would like to once again thank all of this year’s donors as it is with your support that we are able to create these long lasting Christmas memories and take the residents on numerous outings throughout the year!

-PJ Corwin
YSB Executive Director

Winterfest 2023 – YSB Courthouse Christmas Tree

Our Residential care children have decorated our tree for the 2023 courthouse Christmas tree contest, and we would appreciate your vote!

As part of the annual Winterfest festivities, the Jay County Courthouse is holding its Christmas Tree Contest. Our residents have decorated our white tree with a christmas gnome theme, located on the 3rd floor of the courthouse. Yvonne Duff, who led the activity, wrote about the experience:

“On November 20, 2023, I had scheduled recreation time as helping put up and decorate a Christmas tree at the court house. To be honest, I was dreading it. I have done this many, many times over the years, it had become mundane. I begrudgingly headed to Residential to get my supplies and the girls to help me.

The moment the three girls got into the car, I could feel their excitement. They were very chatty and obviously excited. I thought to myself, let’s see how excited they are as we lug this big tree up three flights of stairs. We unload everything and make our way into the courthouse. As we go through security the girls excitedly tell the officer working why we are there. He gives us directions to our spot, and up we go to the third floor to get started. Interestingly there was no complaining!

We get out our tree that is white and I see apprehension on the girls faces. One asks, “We have a white tree? We are the only ones with a white tree.” But then something delightful happened, and another girls says, “This is great, we are the only ones with a white tree. We will stand out, and I bet we win!!” Her enthusiasm was contagious and we begin decorating.

It doesn’t take long to figure out that only one of the three has ever put a Christmas tree up. They are visibly nervous as they ask what to do. Slowly we get the tree up and the lights on. The girls became very excited. We then got out our handmade ornaments and finished up.

All of us took a step back to look at our creation. The girls started to gasp. They told me it was the most beautiful tree they had ever seen! They wanted me to take their pictures standing by the tree because they didn’t want to ever forget how much fun it was to decorate a beautiful tree. And so for the next 10 minutes I took various pictures.

On the way out, they each went to the officer at the front door and asked him to vote for the YSB tree. He asked why he should and they told him excitedly that if they won, the money would be used for a pizza party for the residents. He asked if he could come and they immediately told him they would love for him to come.

As we walked away, I was once again humbled by the experience of working with abused/neglected/delinquent youth. Something fairly insignificant, that I take for granted, was awe inspiring for three young girls. Something so simple, a white tree with colored lights and handmade ornaments, had brought them joy that they couldn’t help but share. And their joy was catching, as I found myself leaving the courthouse with a smile on my face!

So, if you are at the courthouse this season, look for the YSB tree. It’s the only white one, and it is on the third floor. We would definitely appreciate your vote!”

Halloween Fun at YSB!

Halloween Fun at YSB!

On October 28th the YSB supported Prevent Child Abuse Randolph County and their laundry project. Through this trunk or treat event they worked to raise money to provide free laundry services to families in need. A special thanks to Marsi Dow for representing the YSB and Healthy Families Program at this event!

On October 29th, the YSB participated in the As-BOO!-ry 2023 event at the Asbury Church in Portland. At the event PJ Corwin, Emperor Palpatine, Camden Corwin, Darth Vader, and our lovely assistant Jenna Corwin passed out candy to roughly 400 attendees! The force was definitely with us on this day!

The YSB participated in the Portland merchants trick or treat on October 31st. Elyse was representing the YSB and the Safe Place Program at this event. Elyse and her assistant passed out approximately 800 packages of M&M’s with Safe Place information attached to them.

Thanks to everyone who helped with these fun and successful halloween events!

YSB – Patriot Prep Camp

Jay County Fair 2023 - Patriot Prep Camp

PATRIOT PREP CAMP

On July 11, the Youth Service Bureau was able to set up a table at the fairgrounds during Kids Day for Patriot Prep Camp! At this table, we provided laminated activity binders for preschoolers going into kindergarten to take home and prepare them for kindergarten. These binders included the alphabet, skills with counting to 20, rhyming sheets, color matching, and so much more! We were able to distribute 75 binders to the Jay County community! We also provided children books and different type of flashcards, and Play-Doh that children were able to do an activity with at the table and then take home the Play-Doh home.

We’re so happy to hear great responses from those who participated in the program!

"I just wanted to say thanks to you and your organizations!!! My daughter absolutely loved her flash cards and took them to the sitter’s this morning with her (we have other sets at home but this was HER new special set). The laminated activities in the binder, play-doh and BOOK was all so Very nice!! We LOVE to read!! We read that while at the fair and she was playing with the play-doh during the magic show."
Tracy Carpenter
First Bank of Berne

The YSB thanks the United Way of Jay County and the Portland Rotary Club for their generous support of the Patriot Prep Camp program!

Pinwheel Ride Against Child Abuse

The Youth Service Bureau set up a table at the Pinwheel Ride Against Child Abuse on April 15th. This event was an amazing opportunity for youth of all ages to come uptown and enjoy outside activities on a beautiful Saturday. Our table was able to provide adults in the community with an opportunity to learn about the services that the Youth Service Bureau is able to offer while youth decorated the sidewalks to bring awareness of child abuse!

New Year, New Team Members!

It’s been a great start to 2023, and we’re happy to announce our Residential Care program team has grown! Welcome Breanna and Amanda to the YSB!

Breanna Rodeffer

Position: Residential, Direct Child Care Worker

“I have two children, Braelyn and Weston. I have a Goldendoodle named Mia. I’m going to school for nursing.”

Breanna - YSB

Melinda Bailey

Position: Residential, Direct Child Care Worker

“I have 4 wonderful adult children and I fostered high needs children for 9 years.”

Melinda - YSB

Amanda Riley

Position: Residential, Direct Child Care Worker

“I am easy going and I absolutely love working with kids! I’m a mom of 4, 3 boys and 1 girl. I’m a very outgoing person and also nerdy!”

Amanda - YSB

Our Residential Care treatment program is designed to assist youth in need of temporary or extended rehousing. Our staff are trained in therapeutic intervention, and help residents learn independent living skills while maintaining and strengthening family contact.

To learn more about our Residential Care program, click here to visit our Residential Care program page.

For any questions regarding our Residential Care program, please contact us at:

Residential Care
Youth Service Bureau, Jay County
260-726-8520
ysbjc@ysbjc.com

Salary: $40,000.00 – $55,000.00 per year