Variety Week: YESS - ABC5 News Des Moines, IA

Variety Week: YESS

Posted: Updated:

Lisa Martone

ABC5 News


DES MOINES -- Whether it is physical or sexual abuse, or a child is just living in a poor home environment, no one ends up at YESS for a good reason.

"As we speak we have 53 children here," said Stephen Quirk, the executive director of Youth Emergency Services and Shelter in Des Moines. "The youngest is a toddler, the oldest we have quite of few of them that are 17.  A lot of these kids are just in difficult situations, they can't be at home. Some of them are here because they are children in need of assistance."

Youth Emergency Shelter and Services or YESS has a huge campus on Southeast 11th Street.  Inside are living quarters, a full kitchen, rooms for school sessions, and play areas.

"It is 24 hours a day, 365 days year and we are taking care of kids who need it the most," said Julie Schneider, Community Development Director at YESS.

There is care for these children all day long, but all of this costs money.

"This building was built in the 1950s and it is about 40,000 square feet so it is pretty expensive to maintain," said Quirk.

There are a lot of organizations that help, but Variety, The Children's Charity has been instrumental in facility improvements.

"Truly the roof over our head - Variety helped us helped us renovate that in 2006.  The furniture is from Variety and even the doors," said Schneider. "Hope Hall, it is the new addition that Variety has helped us with. This is actually a counseling center were we are able to work with kids to help them through some of the trauma that they experienced."

The money that comes from the charity helps the people at YESS create an environment of healing and allows them to push towards their main goal.

"Our goal is always to get a child back to a home," said Quirk.

You have a chance to continue to help the kids at YESS. The Variety Telethon begins this Saturday at 7:00pm on ABC5. You can donate to Variety right now by clicking on their logo in the Big Blue Box on our website at


More about The Variety Telethon

Variety, The Children's Charity Telethon for 2013 will be on March 9 & 10 at the Veterans Memorial Community Choice Credit Union Convention Center in downtown Des Moines.

ABC5 anchors Amanda Krenz, Rachel Pierce and ABC5's Chief Meteorologist Brad Edwards will co-host the telethon this year.

Variety's first telethon in 1975 raised $150,000 and went to one grant recipient, Blank Children's Hospital.  Now 38 years later, Variety has raised over $90 million that has been granted to agencies serving children across the State of Iowa and have put over 300 Sunshine Coaches on the road transporting children to new adventures.  Thanks to the cast members, volunteers and donors who support Variety during Telethon and throughout the year, Variety is able to raise the much needed funds for Iowa's Children.

Variety, Children's Charity website:

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