Linda Ashman: Caseworker!

Linda Ashman has worked with YSB since 1998. Linda has worked in many different programs within YSB. She has been a faithful Homemaker in the Homebased Family Services Program since April 2011. As a Homemaker, Linda works one on one with children and families that are a part of the Department of Child Services. Linda works with the families to help provide resources and services to help children to be able to be reunified with parents or to help prevent removal from occurring. Linda has provided exceptional services to her families by going the extra mile with every case. Linda is faithful and puts her whole heart into the services that she provides.

Due to the experience and time that Linda has served at YSB, the Department of Child Services granted a waiver for Linda to provide a higher level of service as a Caseworker. During a Homebased staffing on December 8, 2022, Linda was presented with a Caseworker mug by Program Director, Katie Helm. We are excited as Linda continues to be an asset to the Homebased program at YSB.

Christmas Celebrations at YSB

(Left to Right) Residential Program Director – Mackenzie Ashley, Training and Facilities Manager – Scott Bissell, and Executive Director – PJ Corwin deliver Secret Santa presents to residents at this year’s Residential Christmas Party.
Each year, at Christmas time, the Residential Program takes steps to insure the residents have one of, if not, the best Christmas ever! There are several activities that take place. Here are a few of our favorites!  Paper chains hanging on beds- one of the activities they participate in is creating paper Christmas chains to count the number of days until Christmas. Each resident makes their own paper chain with each link symbolizing a day leading up to Christmas Day. Each day the resident tears off a chain link for the day and turns it into staff for candy! Another fun activity is the 12 Days of Socks, also known as the sock advent calendar. For the twelve days before Christmas, residents participate in fun holiday games with the winner “punching” the advent calendar for a new pair of socks. Our absolute favorite activity leading up to the Christmas party is Secret Santa! For the last few days leading up to our big Christmas celebration, each resident begins receiving gifts from their Secret Santa. Each resident has a staff person that becomes their Secret Santa. This staff person purchases small gifts for the resident for a few days before the Christmas party. When the resident gets home from school they find a small wrapped gift waiting for them. Then on the day of the Residential Christmas Party, the residents receives a big gift from their Secret Santa! After receiving and opening their gift the resident tries to guess which staff person is their Secret Santa. It is very entertaining watching and listening to the residents as they try to figure out who their Secret Santa is leading up to the party. It becomes hysterical as we (staff) get to watch them guess which one of us was their Secret Santa. It is a highlight of the party, and always seems to be a big hit with residents!
The Residential Christmas Party feast prepared by Tina Bechtol.

Lastly, we have our Christmas Party. On the night of the Christmas party, YSB staff and residents have a big feast, residents get gifts from their Secret Santa, open that gift, guess their Secret Santa, and then receive their Christmas presents. There is not an adequate way to describe the emotions felt, as an adult watching these children open their presents, some of whom have never experienced a Christmas anything like this one! This is what I have witnessed from our residents: there have been residents who have cried, saying that this is the best Christmas they have ever had, there have been residents that have smiled all night and not said a word, there have been residents that could not sit any longer and had to get up and literally jump for joy. A resident this year was so excited about her gifts that she had to stop and show everyone in attendance what she received after each present opened before moving on to open the next present! Many times, we have had residents tell us that they have never had name brand items before. They are so excited to have received a pair of Nike tennis shoes or Levi jeans that they get up to immediately go try on their new things. The joy they feel is contagious and as we leave for the evening we take a piece of that Christmas spirit with us. Celebrating Christmas at Residential is definitely my favorite part of working at the YSB!

We would also like to give a special shout out to Yvonne Duff who does an amazing job of picking out just the right presents for each resident every year! Scott Bissell and Tina Bechtol for decorating the house beautifully each year! Tina Bechtol for preparing the amazing feast that we have each year, not to mention the super tasty desserts! And to all the YSB staff who go out of their way to make Christmas extra special for our Residents!

Thank you for a fun Halloween!

YSB Halloween 2022, Trunk or Treat events
The YSB assisted with two festivities over Halloween weekend!
 
On October 29th the YSB, with the help of PJ Corwin and his family, participated in the Randolph County Trunk or Treat. Proceeds of the Trunk or Treat went to help support Prevent Child Abuse Randolph County. PJ and his helpers were dressed as DC heroes and villains for this event! During the event 176 children visited our area and received candy!
 
On October 31st the YSB, with the help of Elyse Bost, participated in the Portland Merchants Trick or Treat. During this event Elyse passed out candy and Safe Place information to 436 youth!
 
Thank you to everyone who attended and made these events possible!

Join us at the YSB Fall Playgroup!

ysb family fall playgroup sept 28th 2022 haynes park

The Youth Service Bureau will be holding a fall playgroup on Wednesday, September 28th from 4:30pm to 6:00pm!

What: Youth Service Bureau Fall Playgroup
Where: Haynes Park, Portland, Indiana
When: Wednesday, Sept. 28th, 4:30-6:00pm
Who: All local families with children through preschool age

The fall playgroup is sponsored by the Portland Rotary Club. This event will be held at Haynes Park. All local families with children thru preschool age are invited to attend. There will be craft and activity stations for families to participate in and snacks and a book will be provided. The Youth Service Bureau invites families that are part of the Healthy Families program, as well as families in the community. The Youth Service Bureau would like to thank the Portland Rotary Club for sponsoring the event and providing the supplies for the fall playgroup!