Giving back to the communities in which we work and live is core to our mission at HiMS. Recently, our Tucson team had the opportunity to volunteer with Youth On Their Own (YOTO), a dropout prevention program that supports high school graduation and the continued success of local youth experiencing homelessness. We spent the day packing essentials for homeless youth and were humbled to have been a part of the experience.
Ann Young founded YOTO in 1986. She had been a guidance counselor at Tucson’s Amphitheater School District and noticed that talented and motivated students were dropping out of school due to homelessness, with some being forced to live on the streets completely alone. Inspired by the students’ willingness to stay in school, Amphi faculty came together to form YOTO with the goal of helping these students graduate. Ann also raised $80,000 in a single morning to fund St. Andrew’s Friendly Environment (SAFE) House, a group residence for homeless teenage girls.
During our time with YOTO, we assembled hygiene items and laundry supplies for high school students who are unable to provide for themselves due to precarious family and living situations. We also included handwritten personal and motivating messages for these students.
After the activities were over, members of our team had time to reflect on the experience:
“A little can go a long way, and writing encouraging affirmations can do so much for a person. Words are so powerful, and I hope they can see hope through these notes.”
– Morgan Buttafuoco, Business Strategic Analyst and Customer Success Representative
“This day meant a lot to me. It made me feel great to serve and provide a resource to young adults where in turn, they feel empowered to take control of their personal hygiene. I would highly recommend this activity for any local business interested in volunteering with Youth On Their Own.”
– Edlin Rascon, HiMS Customer Success Representative
An opportunity to make a difference in the lives of others does not come along every day. We are grateful to be part of a team that values experiences like these.
Youth On Their Own receives no direct federal funding, so every single dollar donated allows the organization to serve as many youths experiencing homelessness and housing insecurity as possible. Here’s how you can help. And for more information on how to volunteer on your own or with a group, visit YOTO.
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