Youthworks in Bismarck helps 400 to 500 young people every year.
“Our mission at Youthworks is helping homeless, runaway, trafficked and struggling youth throughout North Dakota,” Development Director Emily Yanish said.
Yanish says the nonprofit collects nonperishable food and hygiene supplies, which are in high demand among clients — so much so that a few weeks ago, their hygiene shelves were nearly empty.
“We run low on supplies every once in a while, just sort of ebb and flow with the needs of our clients,” Yanish said.
After posting on Facebook, it wasn’t long before the shelves were filled.
“I think everybody here was really touched by the generosity. People who donated didn’t just come in with a few things, they came in with bags and bags of supplies,” Yanish said.
Independent Living Coordinator Matthew Coen-Tuff helps clients with job applications, resumes, budgeting and other tasks to strengthen their independence.
“Some days it is really rewarding, and it’s a lot of fun, and other days it’s tough and you have to help people out with really hard things,” Coen-Tuff said.
He says those donations are so important for those in need, and although there are hundreds of teens and young adults struggling, helping even one can make a difference.
“When you hear 400 or 500 that seems like a really big number, but each one of those is just an individual person,” Coen-Tuff said. “It can be as simple as just connecting with one person, helping them out a little bit and going from there.”
Youthworks is hosting a back-to-school clothing drive in Bismarck on Aug. 12 and will be accepting gently worn clothes for middle and high schoolers ahead of that event.
The clothing donations can be dropped off at Plato’s closet in Bismarck, and Youthworks is also accepting money. To learn more about Youthworks and find a link to donate, head here.