June 23, 2011

Grant Supports Youthlinks Programs

Filed under: Teens — Tags: , , , — Sue Dirosario @ 2:57 pm

Youthlinks, a program of Broadreach Family & Community Services, recently received a grant of $10,000 from the Elmina B. Sewall Foundation to support a variety of programs that benefit area youth and animals.  A common goal for most Youthlinks’ animal-related programming is to empower youth to advocate for responsible pet ownership and the humane treatment of animals, while a creating a generation of life-long community-minded volunteers.

The Elmina B. Sewall Foundation was established by Mrs., Elmina Brewster Sewall of Kennebunk, Maine in 1982.  The Foundation strives to enhance the quality of life for those in Maine through the conservation of the natural environment and support for the well-being of animals and humans.  The Foundation seeks to inspire the generosity of others and empower those who share its vision to work together for healthy, vibrant communities.

Youthlinks’ mission is to empower youth to commit to themselves and their communities, broaden their horizons, and acquire healthy life skills through focused enrichment programs and meaningful volunteer work.   Youthlinks offers a diverse menu of in-school, after-school, and summer programs to engage a broad base of youth with varying interests. Their programs rely on creating mutually beneficial relationships with other area non-profit agencies. Through these opportunities, youth are exposed to new experiences, develop new knowledge and skills and develop pride in the service they give to their community.

Animal-related programs that partner with local animal shelters are consistently among the most popular offered. The very popular Run-A-Hound Outing Club is an example of a successful and ambitious program.  Last year, the club provided 66 area youth with a program that integrated regular recreational running with a community service animal care program.  The club meets weekly for trail and road runs. Each youth is paired with a homeless dog needing exercise and companionship. This dynamic pairing introduces youth to the benefits of a running practice while developing their skills as caregivers to needy canine companions.  The participating shelter dogs experience increased fitness, socialization, and chances for adoption.

Youthlinks has many exciting animal-related programs planned for its free summer camp and after-school programs.  There are still a limited number of camp slots still available for summer 2011 programming. To find out more about Youthlinks programs, call 594-2221 or visit www.youthlinksonline.org.