Youth Villages, located in Memphis Tennessee, was the recipient of the 2002 Clarke Detroit Diesel Allison charitable contribution. Members of the Memphis branch contribution team were Jeff Means, Sam Marsden, Jim Wright, Rick Plemmons, and Keith Webb. Pat Lawler, Youth Villages Administrator and Mike Bruns, Chairman of the Youth Villages Board met with the team to review the mission of Youth Villages. The branch team was so impressed with the individual dedication and accomplishments of this organization that we immediately asked Youth Villages to recommend how the contribution would be used within their organization.
The purpose and mission of Youth Villages is to help children and families live successfully. As you know, most children’s lives are filled with activities surrounding family, school, holidays, sports, etc. Most grow up in an environment of love and support provided by parents and families. We are all aware through the media and other sources that some children are subject to and must overcome abuse, neglect, or abandonment or who have serious emotional and behavioral problems. Youth Villages helps such children rediscover the joys of childhood and regain their confidence and self esteem. Youth Villages’ staff teach children to live successfully and help them recognize and celebrate every accomplishment – no matter how small. Youth Villages provides a safe place, where kid’s needs come first and every decision is in the best interest of each child. Programs are adapted to accommodate the special needs of children and families. Not only does the organization have a resident program but it also operates a family support structure promoting family function. In this manner, children are raised by the people most qualified – their own families! Where this is not possible a resident program is the only alternative.
The greatest need Youth Villages had was for a new school including physical activity areas. This school is now a reality and opened in October 2002. Prior to the school’s completion, classes were held in the basements of the resident cottages. This situation did not lend itself to effective remediation and education. The school was constructed using 100% privately contributed funds. Clarke’s contribution was used to purchase classroom, library equipment and books at the resident school.
Youth Villages serves over 1100 children each day in Tennessee, Mississippi, Arkansas, and Alabama. 97% of the children and families served are within the Clarke/Memphis area which encompasses three of the four above listed states. 69% are served in family based services, 10% are served by Community based services and 21% are served in the resident program. The Memphis Team is very proud to have been able to represent all Clarke employees in making this years contribution to a most worthy organization. Please visit Youth Villages on the web at www.youthvillages.org.
Thank you so much, on behalf of all the children in Youth Villages' care, for the very generous gift from Clarke Detroit Diesel-Allison. This gift will fund a variety of necessary items for the new school at our Memphis Boys Town Facility.
It was a pleasure to meet you and your colleagues, and we were delighted to have the opportunity to show you around the beautiful new school building. The school represents the culmination of many years of planning and working, and is the result of many generous donors like Clarke. Because of your generosity, we are able to offer children the most therapeutic environment and tools for their learning.
We'll keep you posted on activities at Youth Villages, and hope to see you again at one of our facilities. Thank you again for this very generous expression of your concern for children.
Laurie Cook McIntosh, Director of Development, West TN