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Vote to Make More Happen at YFS!

Posted on Monday, April 27th, 2015 by Brianna

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Western Dakota Insurors in Rapid City is the recipient of a Safeco Insurance® Make More Happen Award for its volunteer service with Youth & Family Services (YFS).

The award includes a $3,000 donation from Safeco Insurance for YFS and entry in the Safeco® Make More Happen Contest for spring, where the public is encouraged to vote for their favorite insurance-agency-and-charity team and leave a comment of encouragement for those who make a difference in their communities.

The contest runs from April 27 – May 18, and the three teams with the most votes will win additional donations from Safeco for the charities: $10,000 for first place, $5,000 for second, and $3,000 for third.

If total votes in the online contest reach a 28,000 vote goal, Safeco will give away an additional $500 to each of the 33 charities in the contest for a total of $16,500.

To vote for the Western Dakota Insurors/Youth & Family Services team, or to leave an online cheer, visit:

Online votes can be cast in the Safeco Insurance Make More Happen Contest once every 24 hours from 11 a.m. April 27 until 11 a.m. May 18.

Western Dakota Insurors was selected for the Safeco® Make More Happen Award based on a photo and application demonstrating its commitment to Youth & Family Services, which serves children and families throughout 24 counties in western South Dakota each year.

Youth & Family Services (YFS) has been providing vital support for more than 50 years through outreach programs across western South Dakota — and Western Dakota Insurors has been a strong supporter of YFS for many of those years. Gary Larson, past president of Western Dakota Insurors, joined YFS’s board in 1994. Many Western Dakota employees, such as Susan Hencey, are long-time supporters and remain actively involved. YFS is successful, in part, because of the solid relationships it has established with schools, law enforcement, health-care providers, service providers and other nonprofits. Those relationships enable YFS to help children and families become capable, caring and contributing members of the community.

Payless ShoeSource Gives Shoes 4 Kids!

Posted on Friday, March 6th, 2015 by Brianna


Youth & Family Services (YFS) is happy to announce that they have once again been selected as a partner in the Payless GivesTM Shoes 4 Kids program.

For many families with children, the need for a new pair of shoes is an exciting trip to store. Unfortunately for others it can be quite difficult if budgets are tight.

Through Payless ShoeSource’s signature giving program, Payless Gives™ Shoes 4 Kids, the organization has been able to provide more than $6.5 million in new shoes to children in need through nonprofit partners, such as Youth & Family Services.

YFS recently received 75 gift cards from Payless ShoeSource to be used to purchase a new pair of shoes for children enrolled in YFS programs. Children, with their parents and a YFS Family Services Specialist, were able to take their cards to a local Payless retailer, select a pair of shoes for $20 or less, and take them home at no cost to their families.

YFS Is Celebrating 50 Years!

Posted on Thursday, March 5th, 2015 by Brianna

50th seal with spot colors

As of January 1, 2015, Youth & Family Services (YFS) began celebrating its 50th year of providing comprehensive, award-winning services and programming to children and their families throughout western South Dakota.

Youth & Family Services has been serving children and their families since 1965. YFS has grown to become one of the largest, most comprehensive youth development programs in western South Dakota. What began as Girls Club of Rapid City has grown to encompass seven cohesive programs including:

  • Girls Incorporated® of Rapid City
  • Child Development Center
  • Counseling Center
  • Nutrition Services
  • Rapid City Head Start
  • Rural Head Start
  • Western Prevention Resource Center

Together, these programs offer educational and recreational programming, meals and snacks, health advocacy and support, counseling services, fatherhood and parent enrichment education, prevention programs, and more.

Youth & Family Services provides programming to more than 13,000 children and families each year. Although YFS is located in Rapid City, the youth-serving agency provides programs and services in 24 counties throughout western South Dakota. The majority of its programs focus on meeting the needs of underprivileged youth, however, the agency offers resources and support to virtually everyone in our community.

“Being involved in an organization such as Youth & Family Services benefits children as well as our community as a whole,” stated Rick Rylance, YFS Board President. “At YFS, children learn, grow, and play in safe, nurturing environments. They gain self-confidence, have opportunities to express themselves, participate in educational programming, gain leadership skills and develop a strong support network of other young people who also make healthy choices. Their involvement reduces the risk of them becoming involved in unsafe activities. As these children grow and develop their leadership potential and share their positive energy, passion, creativity, and perspective, our community will benefit. These kids are less likely to cause problems and more likely to look for solutions.”

For more information on YFS, its programs, or how you can help us continue providing services to children and families throughout western South Dakota, please visit us online at or call us at (605) 342-4195.

Gear Up For Kids Fair!

Posted on Thursday, March 5th, 2015 by Brianna

Kids Fair is rolling into town April 24-26!

Youth & Family Services’ Kids Fair celebrates children and their families. This signature YFS event draws more than 11,000 people each spring to the Rushmore Plaza Civic Center in Rapid City. If you’re a kid or a kid at heart, you don’t want to miss the next time Kids Fair rolls through town!

Get involved!

You and your business can help ensure that YFS continues to meet the needs of children and their families throughout western South Dakota. Consider sponsoring a booth; the return is priceless. All funds raised by Kids Fair benefit YFS programs, and you get three days to showcase your business, product, or service to a vast audience of parents, grandparents, and children. Individuals or businesses might also consider sponsoring a booth for a nonprofit exhibitor.

What if I can’t sponsor a booth? How else can I help?

Volunteer at Kids Fair! The success of Kids Fair depends not only on the financial generosity of our sponsors, but also on the willingness of community members to give of their time. Volunteers assist with attractions, activities and booths and ensure a warm and inviting experience for every visitor.

Have a business or product you’d like to showcase? Kids Fair is great place to host a booth!

Click the links below to view sponsorship, vendor, or volunteer opportunities!

Click here for vendor information.

Click here for volunteer information.

Click here for sponsorship information.

YFS Receives Grant From Walmart to Support Health Efforts

Posted on Saturday, December 20th, 2014 by Brianna


Youth & Family Services received a grant for $25,000 from the Walmart State Giving Program to support its Eat Smart Program. The funds received will help increase children’s access to nutritious food choices by supplementing Youth & Family Services’ Nutrition Program and incorporating nutrition education into informative, hands-on activities.

“Thanks to the grant Youth & Family Services received from the Walmart Foundation, children have been able to enjoy a wide variety of fresh produce such as fresh sweet corn on the cob, peaches, a variety of apples, berries, honeydew melon, cantaloupe, watermelon, kiwi, pears, and more,” said Darcie Decker, Nutrition Director at Youth & Family Services. “YFS is grateful for Walmart’s continued support of its Nutrition Services program, and appreciates the variety of healthy foods that we are able to offer children because of the generous gift.”

These funds will be used by YFS Nutrition Services to purchase food, provide nutritional education to children enrolled in YFS programming, and to supply resources for in-class food experiences and YFS’ Teaching Kitchen.

Last year YFS Nutrition Services served more than 870,000 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. In addition to providing quality nutritious meals and snacks, staff also offer nutritional counseling and education services.

Supplying healthy, nutrient-packed foods to children enrolled in YFS programs, on average, costs the agency more than $270,000 a year. The funds YFS will receive from the Walmart State Giving Program will certainly be put to good use. “These funds are really a huge help to us,” stated Darcie Decker, YFS Nutrition Director. “It will really help us be able to buy more fresh produce and leaner cuts of meats. It’s just wonderful to receive this assistance.”