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Youth Services for Oklahoma County continues making difference through '12 Days of Giving'

(KOKH)

During a time when we're all looking for ways to give back or pay it forward, Youth Services for Oklahoma County (YSOC) makes it easy.

The organization is in the midst of its third annual "12 Days of Giving" campaign.

A young, vibrant, soon-to-be University of Oklahoma graduate named Rachel tells FOX 25 she wouldn’t be where she is today without Youth Services.

"When Youth Services came into my life, I was at the point where I was I guess they call it 'couch surfing.' I didn't have a stable home. My parents were not in my life,” Rachel said.

Rachel's story is heartbreakingly similar to the thousands of other teens who have turned to Youth Services in the past 45 years.

“They lack the resources to take care of themselves; they are in families with a lot of conflict or issues; and, they need support ensuring they can grow up happy, healthy, and be self-sustaining adults that are a valuable member of our community,” said Kami Kuykendall, president and CEO of YSOC.

Kuykendall says this begins by providing them with their most basic necessities, most of which are donated by community members.

These donations are welcome throughout the year, but especially during the holiday season.

“12 Days of Giving is just an active thought for 12 days; of today we're going to do peanut butter and jelly; and today we need beef jerky; and today we need pillow; and today we need lounge pants,” said Melanie Anthony, YSOC director of development and community engagement. “Things like that that our kids really do need."

Rachel knows those needs all too well. But, thanks to Youth Services, she also knows the feeling of receiving something so simple, yet so valuable from a stranger.

"It was just really impactful to know that somebody cared about me that much without even knowing me,” Rachel said.

For a full list of items needed, as well as drop off locations: http://www.ysoc.org/holidaygiving



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