Southwestern Youth Services, Inc. has worked diligently to efficiently serve the people and children of Jackson County that are in need, within the scope of their services. SWYS has also been pursuing efforts expand their events and activities, affording the community opportunities to unite and get involved.
The SWYS United Youth Jam is an annual event to bring awareness to bullying and other peer-pressure issues that teens are faced with. In addition to bringing awareness the purpose of the event is to empower the youth to take a stand against bullying among their peers by not engaging in it and by speaking out. For those teens who have been a victim of bullying or any form of peer-pressure, the event serves as a confidence booster by equipping them with tools and resources to fight back against bullying through seeking the proper help.
This event is no small feat, it takes great monetary funding, volunteers and supporters, in order to offer it completely free for the youth. United Youth Jam 2015, is set to be held on Saturday, August 22, 6:00-9:00 p.m., at the Altus Community Center. The event will include a teen concert featuring Project Elevate and S.O. So it Begins, food, games, photo booth and giveaways.
“We want to make sure while they’re getting important information, they’re also having a good time, want to stay and want to come back next year,” said Joanna Ramirez, SWYS Youth Development Coordinator, and United Youth Jam Event Coordinator.
In addition to corporate and individual contributions, SWYS is hosting a Batting for A Cause Softball Tournament, to benefit the United Youth Jam. Teams have started signing up and it is their hopes to have many more sign up and make this fundraiser an awesome community event of fun, friendly competition, and bringing awareness to an important and necessary cause. The team entry fee is $100 and the grand prize will be $500. The tournaments are July 24 and 25, at Missile Park fields two and three, with concession. Due to the high interest of teens wanting to form teams and play, SWYS has opened the team registration to ages 13 and up, with at least one adult 18 and older on the team.
More volunteers for the softball tournament are needed.
Next weekend is also a big weekend for SWYS as the Independent Living houses will be renovated on June 27. This will make the houses more appealing and most importantly increase the number of homeless teens and families they’re able to serve.
Driving, walking or taking a jog through Altus, it would be easy for one to conclude that homelessness isn’t really an issue in the town; because it isn’t frequently seen on the streets like in many other places. However; youth, individual, veteran, and family homelessness is a very relevant and major issue that Southwestern Youth Services and other organizations, work to assist, solve and prevent, daily.
The SWYS team encourages the community to get involved with their efforts that ultimately benefit the community as a whole. More volunteers for the renovations are needed, as well.
For information about United Youth Jam, Batting for A Cause and the housing renovation, contact Joanna Ramirez at (580) 482-2809.