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YFS Receives More Than 800 Books From 11-Year-Old Student

Posted on Wednesday, August 13th, 2014 by Brianna

Kaylee Boland, 11, stand with the books she collected for children at YFS programs.

Kaylee Boland, 11, stands with the books she collected for children at YFS programs.


On August 13, Youth & Family Services (YFS) received a wonderful donation– the gift of books!

Kaylee Boland, together with her mother Carol and sister Cara, delivered more than 850 books to Youth & Family Services’ Child Development Center. The books were collected during a book drive that was organized by Kaylee, an 11-year-old who will be entering 6th grade this fall. During the last school year, Kaylee learned that not all children are able to afford to have their own books at home and decided to organize a book drive to collect books for those who are less fortunate. The project is called Operation Books!

Kaylee’s original goal was to collect 1,000 but numbers have already surpassed 3,000.

The lot of books donated to Youth & Family Services will be dispersed throughout several of YFS’ programs. From all of us at Youth & Family Services, “Thank you, Kaylee!”


Target Donates $2,000 To YFS Literacy Program

Posted on Monday, August 11th, 2014 by Brianna


Youth & Family Services is happy to announce that its Girls Incorporated® of Rapid City’s Reader’s Corner Literacy Program was recently awarded a $2,000 grant from Target. The funds from the grant will be used to assist YFS in pursuing its goal to help children increase their overall literacy skills and to help them form good study habits.

YFS Girls Inc.’s Reader’s Corner Literacy Program provides girls in kindergarten through third grade who have been identified as reading below grade level extra hands-on activities and support to increase their skills and to help them form good study habits. This window of time is especially crucial as research has shown that children who are not reading at their grade level by third grade will continue to struggle in school, are more likely to fall behind, and are less likely to graduate than their peers.

The grant awarded to YFS is part of Target’s ongoing efforts to build strong, safe, and healthy communities across the country. In 2013 alone, Target donated $98 million for education, bringing their total giving to date to $875 million. The company’s goal is to donate $1 billion to education by 2015.

For more information on YFS Girls Inc.’s Literacy Program or its efforts to promote literacy in our community, please call 342-4195 or visit

Black Hills Choppers’ Poker Ride Raises Thousands for YFS Programs

Posted on Sunday, July 20th, 2014 by Brianna


On Wednesday, July 16, staff members form Black Hills Choppers presented a check for more than $10,000 to Youth & Family Services.

This year, Black Hills Choppers hosted their 11th annual Ride for the Children Charity Ride and Auction. Each year, proceeds from the poker run are donated to a local charity that works to improve the lives of children in the Black Hills area. This year, the recipient of the funds was Youth & Family Services.

Bikers met and registered at Black Hills Choppers in Spearfish, SD on July 12. From Spearfish, riders went through Hulett, Alzada, Devil’s Tower, Sundance, W.Y., and then back to Spearfish. More than 30 bikers participated in the ride. Once back in Spearfish, the group gathered to enjoy a meal and silent auction. This was the first year Black Hills Choppers selected YFS as a partner.

Funds raised from the 11th annual Ride for the Children Charity Ride and Auction will be used to support the programs of Youth & Family Services.


Cosmopolitan Club Helps YFS Promote Healthy Lifestyles

Posted on Monday, June 30th, 2014 by Brianna


On June 23, the Rapid City Cosmopolitan Club presented a donation of $2,000 to support the Healthy Girls project at Girls Incorporated® of Rapid City, a program of Youth & Family Services.

This project promotes healthy lifestyles in an effort to prevent childhood obesity and diabetes among girls, ages 6-17. YFS Girls Inc. is the only program of its kind in western South Dakota that addresses the unique needs of girls. Last year, nearly 1,300 girls were enrolled in YFS Girls Inc.

The Healthy Girls project goals are to:

  • Provide educational materials and information to girls and their families about diabetes prevention
  • Promote and encourage daily physical activity and wise nutrition choices
  • Provide hands-on healthy nutrition activities
  • Provide one-on-one education to children who have been diagnosed with diabetes

The funds YFS Girls Inc. received from the Rapid City Cosmopolitan Club will be used to purchase educational materials, information, and other resources and support programming related to diabetes prevention, healthy lifestyles, proper nutrition, and obesity prevention. Promoting healthy behaviors for at-risk girls increases the number of people who are actively engaged in healthy living in the Rapid City community.

John Morrell Helps YFS “Meat” The Need!

Posted on Thursday, June 26th, 2014 by Brianna


John Morrell expanded its efforts to help fight hunger with a donation to Youth & Family Services (YFS) in Rapid City, South Dakota, this week. Together with Family Thrift Center, the company donated 500 pounds of John Morrell ham YFS’ Nutrition Services program. The donation fills an acute need for YFS and will help make a difference in the lives of those struggling with, or who are at immediate risk of hunger.

The event is a local complement to the company’s commitment to Share Our Strength’s No Kid Hungry campaign, a national organization working to end childhood hunger in America. John Morrell announced last year that it was joining its parent company, Smithfield Foods, in supporting No Kid Hungryto ensure all children in America have the healthy food they need.

“Everyone at John Morrell is passionate about giving back to the communities in which we work and live and in particular, supporting the fight against hunger,” said Chuck Gitkin, vice president of marketing and R&D, John Morrell Food Group. “Our partnership with the No Kid Hungry campaign is an excellent way for us to help make a difference and to help get children and families the food they need. We are proud to continue this relationship and are thankful for the support of partners such as Family Thrift Center. With their support, it enables us to really reach out to communities like Rapid City and others across the country.”

One out of five kids in this nation lives in a family struggling to put food on the table. In South Dakota, 18% of children live with the threat of hunger. Throughout the state, the No Kid Hungry campaign connects children in need to nutritious food and helps families learn the skills they need in order to prepare healthy and affordable meals through programs and organizations such as Youth & Family Services’ Nutrition Services. Last year, the Nutrition Services program provided or oversaw the provision of 892,554 well-balanced meals and snacks to children in YFS agency programs and those children receiving care from registered in-home child care providers through the Family Child Care Nutrition program.

“We are thrilled to have John Morrell and Nash Finch support Youth & Family Services’ Nutrition program,” stated Darcie Decker, YFS Nutrition Services Director. “This donation is a valuable contribution to the meals we provide to children in our community. The lives and stomachs of many children will benefit through the addition of this ham in our Summer Food Program. YFS’ Summer Food Program provides meals at no cost to children ages 18 and younger.”

Family Thrift Center customers will find details about No Kid Hungry through in-store signage and can make a donation at the checkout registers now through Saturday, June 28