Family & Youth Initiatives to host annual dinner, demonstrate community impact

A local Springfield nonprofit will host its annual dinner to demonstrate community impact.

Family & Youth Initiatives will host its annual Harvesting Hope Dinner from 5:30 to 8 p.m. on Thursday, Sept. 29 at Grace Evangelical Lutheran Church, 1801 St. Paris Pike in Springfield.

The event is to spread FYI’s message and demonstrate its impact on the community. There will be interactive demonstrations that will teach some of the lessons FYI’s clients are learning and provide a firsthand look at the process. Each of the four programs the nonprofit offers will be display how they actively make a difference in those served.

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Nikki Stefanow, executive director, said they look forward to hosting the event each year.

“We feel very fortunate to be able to bring awareness to the community about the services FYI offers and the impact we make. There is something incredibly powerful about witnessing the effect of our programs in person,” she said.

The night will feature a dinner, presentations about FYI, raffle baskets and a drawing for a quilt.

The dinner is free and open to the public, but registration is required at Funds raised at the dinner will directly impact the communities the attendees live and work in.

“Harvesting Hope is much more than a fundraising dinner for FYI; it is also about finding people who are just as passionate about making positive changes in the lives of others to walk alongside us,” Stefanow said. “We are always looking for caring individuals who would like to donate their time, their talents, or their treasures to helping FYI make a difference.”

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FYI reaches the community through its four programs:

The Parenting Network serves expectants mothers and fathers, and parents or guardians of infants and children. Participants face challenges of parenting to earn material items such as cribs, car seats, strollers, diapers, clothing and more by completing lessons on pregnancy, childhood growth and development, parenting, relationships and life skills.

Real Life Choices’ community educators educate students to their full potential about the outcome of their choices by developing close relationships with school leadership to determine the best approach to meet the needs of their students. Each student is given the tools to recognize warning signs of abuse, assess real life risk and be empower to make informed decisions.

New Roots Mentoring allows adults to reach, encourage and influence the youth. Social-emotional skills are used to work with youth of all backgrounds and ages. They provide mental and emotional support to their mentees by being a consistent presence, reinforcing self-esteem and positive influence.

Community Garden helps teach members of the community skills they need to grow, harvest, cook and preserve fresh vegetables. Each season, fresh produce is donated to two local food pantries: Bethel Churches United food pantry and Park Layne United Brethren food pantry, and the access to free, locally grown, produce helps impact the food banks.

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