We would like to graciously thank the entire Hastings community for rallying around neighbors in need by contributing the most funds that have ever been collected in a single year by the Friends of the Hastings Youth Council. Because the Hastings Youth Council is an essential safety net for struggling youth and their families in our village, with these increased resources we are now able to better assist our village residents, especially with food insecurity, which has been a dire outcome of the pandemic and has affected our local Hastings Food Pantry, as seen by a triple increase in use.

The Hastings Youth Council, along with the Youth Advocate Program, provide the funds and staffing to obtain and distribute food for the Food Pantry, but we cannot achieve our goals without the community’s help — whether it be by direct food contributions through the Amazon wish list, food collections by various organizations and businesses (faith-based institutions, Scouts, farmers’ market, Foodtown, etc.) or by direct individual or organizational (Family-to-Family) monetary donations. We thank everyone who continually helps us to keep the Pantry well stocked.

The Hastings Youth Council also assists needy families in many other aspects, from paying unpaid utility bills so that that no family will go without heat in the winter, filling a medical prescription at the pharmacy for a sick family member, providing vulnerable students with school supplies, helping to plan a pilot tutoring program entitled RISE:Ed (in partnership with Hastings RISE — Racial Inclusion and Social Equity), providing individual counseling, or just offering a sympathetic ear.

During this unprecedented time, the Hastings Youth Council continues to address ongoing, pressing, or emergency issues, as well as to adapt and innovate programming to the new, socially distant, virtual environment in an attempt to enrich all youth. Hastings High School students, through Hastings KIDS (Kids Involved Doing Service), a venture of the Hastings Youth Council, are doing just that through virtual Book Buddies and HOH Hikes, socially distanced walks in Hillside Woods. 

We truly believe that we can only exert maximal change in our local microcosm. If we all contribute by helping our own families, friends, and neighbors in need, then the world would automatically become a better place for everyone. 

If you want to learn more about the Hastings Youth Council and our services and programs, please peruse our website, www.hastingsyouthcouncil.org, or contact us at hastingsyouthcouncil@gmail.com.

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