Sometimes we help people sell lawn mowers. Other times, we help people sell insurance. People need lawn mowers and insurance, so we know helping our clients sell those things is an important job. Not only are we really good at it, we love doing it too.
We’re also really good at helping people help other people, which is why the good people at YESS came to Strategic America this summer. They needed our help with a very special project.
YESS stands for Youth Emergency Services & Shelter, a private, nonprofit organization that serves children and their families in Central Iowa. When YESS first opened in 1973, it was a drop-in center for runaway teens. Since then, it has grown into an accredited agency that keeps children safe by providing a range of services that meet the physical, mental and social health needs of children and teens. These services include crisis intervention, emergency shelter and counseling services, among others. YESS serves more than 1,000 children every year — from newborn to age 17. The problem is that for nearly every child they’re able to help, they find themselves having to turn another away due to lack of space.
Plan for more space
So they came up with a plan. That plan was to double the size of their current facility. Excellent plan, right? They knew they’d need help from the generous people and organizations in our community to pay for the expansion — they just had to get the word out. That’s when they came to SA.
They showed up at our first meeting with an excellent concept: Tell the story of Youth Emergency Services & Shelter as a children’s storybook. Their copy was already written and just needed some polishing by our copywriter John Donovan. Once that was set, Art Director April Gaxiola created some absolutely wonderful illustrations and laid out a magnificent book. You read that right — she created every single one of the drawings in the book. Check out a few below:
With the storybook completed and the client sufficiently blown away, we set out to finish up the piece with another book of all of the facts, figures and projections for the project, along with a letter, donation card and envelope. The entire piece was wrapped up in a dust jacket for a tidy presentation. And we weren’t even done yet.
Multimedia video with recording from Simon Estes
Internationally renowned opera singer and friend of SA, Simon Estes, agreed to let us record him reading the book and from that, our Multimedia Director Kelcey Stoehr created a wonderful video that lives on the Youth Emergency Services & Shelter website.
Donations have already started pouring in and with these breathtaking pieces from SA, YESS is optimistic that the steady flow will continue for the foreseeable future.