BENEFITING: LOS ANGELES YOUTH NETWORK LA YOUTH NETWORK
Dear friends, family & supporters-
Many of you have stood by my side as we've raised funds over the years for causes near and dear to me. Causes that I know are having a profound impact on the lives of many people here in Los Angeles.
I am reaching out to you again, for a cause that I've found very meaningful and a charity that I believe is helping change the world - one life at a time.
But this time, I'm not just asking for your support - I'm matching it. I'm putting my money where my mouth is, and matching all gifts up to $5,000 combined total. (But that won't stop me from raising more!). So you *know* I believe in the cause, and how effectively our fundraising dollars are being put to use.
Los Angeles Youth Network (www.LAYN.org) serves youth - ages 12-17 - and young adults, ages 18-21 - find a roadmap out of a cycle of poverty and abuse. Of the 500 youth served each year in one of our 4 shelters, many have gone on to full-ride scholarships at USC and UCLA. A feat doubly amazing when you realize that many of these kids have been without a stable family environment for much of their growing years.
LAYN provides that stable environment. It provides EXPECTATION and EXAMPLE. It is not a hand out. Kids in our program are taught self-sufficiency: how to manage their school(s), how to budget for an adult life, how to manage their personal household and cook meals, how to manage their health, how to cope, how to lead and how to inspire.
In my years in charity work, I've come to realize the most effective way for us to have a meaningful impact on the world is to help KIDS get the right foothold for success. Each one of our success stories is another youth that will NOT need other social service programs. Will NOT need food stamps. Will NOT be going to juvenile detention. These are kids who have decided to take their future into their own hands, and embrace the programs and family that LAYN provides.
I could not be more proud of the organization, and my small role in helping it grow.
And grow it has! Last year saw the introduction of Los Angeles first 'Tri-C' high school - a program initiated and pursued by LAYN, and providing the ONLY high-school program (funded entirely by the LAUSD) serving the specific and unique needs of this population. We've seen our bed-nights increase, our AWOL's drop, and the overall improved success of our programs measured in successful family reunifications, school graduations and personal growth.
And now we look to grow it further by transforming our emergency shelter. One of only two such shelters in all of Los Angeles county - our new 'shelter' will provide these kids with an amazing HOME. A place of safety, privacy and a nurturing environment in which they can grow. As we say, 'leave nothing of yourself behind.'. LAYN embraces the full child - as every child is unique, and can be a powerful force of good - if given the right start.
Below is a picture of the new 'shelter'. I think you will see why it's such an amazing place - and will be home to 17 beds for system (DCSF) youth in need. I have sponsored the FRONT PORCH. In the amazing words of one of our youth, this is the first thing a kid will see - and it's like two arms out for a big hug. It's a HOME.
Please help me support this amazing cause by following the links below and give generously. If you are interested in making a gift of stock, please email me and I can provide you with those directions as well.
No gift is too small.
Thanks for your time, love and support.