2021 has been quite a year for Oasis. The number of youths served in 2021 is much higher than in 2020, in part due to continued side-effects of the COVID-19 pandemic and more accommodating safety guidelines.
Youth come to Oasis for a variety of reasons, ranging from difficult at-home situations to failed adoption, homelessness, or just needing a break. According to Amy Beek, Clinical Director at Oasis, the uptick in numbers this year is also in part due to school closures and remote learning. She shares: “Schools offer great support systems for youth, so without those support systems in place, lots of abuse and mental health issues go unaddressed.” Amy, a Licensed Independent Clinical Social Worker, brings a wealth of experience to Oasis and lends an additional perspective to situations involving youth.
This year has been filled with positive partnerships for Oasis. During the beginning of 2021, Oasis and the YMCA partnered to give youth access to the Y’s Hoag Road facility. Youth used the Y’s speedy internet for online school and had access to the facilities for free. Additionally, Oasis’s collaboration with Northwest Youth Services (NWYS) continued this year, with NWYS helping provide outreach services in finding kids in need and providing appropriate services for them. Finally, Oasis resumed partnerships with Underground Writing, Planned Parenthood, and Domestic Violence And Sexual Assault Services (DVSAS) – all of which will continue into 2022.
2021 will also see the return of volunteers to Oasis. Volunteers in the past have helped out in a variety of ways, including leading activities such as gardening, cooking, hiking, field trips, and more. As Amy shares, “Whatever volunteers are interested in doing, you can do it at Oasis!” All volunteers go through thorough background checks and child abuse prevention training before starting. If you are interested in volunteering at Oasis, please contact Ariell at [email protected].
The Daylight Center’s hours expanded in November (2 additional hours on Monday and Friday) to help support kids during the afterschool time period. 24/7 service is also on the horizon for Oasis but not expected until Summer 2022 at the earliest.
There is no better time than now to give to YMCA Oasis. Giving to Oasis can be more than just financial support – volunteering and donating used items (especially clothing) can make a big difference for youth who benefit most from our Daylight Center and Overnight Shelter services. There is a heightened need for the following items:
- New or used 2-person tents; sleeping bags
- First Aid/Emergency Preparedness materials (standalone items or kits accepted)
- New lanterns or flashlights for when the power goes out (incl. batteries – all types)
Another way to support youth at Oasis is donating gift cards. $10-20 gift cards to local restaurants/businesses, fast food restaurants, or chain stores like Target, Walmart, or Safeway are always appreciated. Pre-paid Visa cards are also welcomed.
Amazon Wish List is yet another way you can support Oasis. Please visit this link to see which items Oasis currently needs.
Donations can either be brought to the Oasis House (125 North 5th Street, Mount Vernon) or dropped off at our Hoag Road facility between November 27 and December 31.
Oasis Hires New Director
We are excited to welcome Ariell Wright to our Y family as our new Oasis Director! Ariell comes from Merced, California, where they most recently served as the Case Manager and Facility Supervisor for the Rainbow Valley Group Home & Foster Family Agency. They have a background as a Youth Counselor, an LGBTQ advocate, and in human services research. They impressed our search team with their clarity of vision, articulate plans for supporting staff, and their heart for providing a safe and supportive place for youth.
We look forward to Ariell’s impact and influence on our Y family, Oasis and its programs, and our community!
Thank You, Hadley!
We bid farewell to Hadley Prentiss, our Outreach Coordinator. Hadley was a committed team member who jumped in and took care of tasks – even if they fell outside of her job description – and never hesitated to help out when the need arose. She had a great connection with the kids who came to Oasis and found creative ways to bond with and support youth. Her flexibility, dedication, and care for the program will be missed, and we wish her the best moving forward as she starts a new position in Whatcom County. Thank you for all your contributions, Hadley!
Oasis was selected as a recipient of the Skagit Valley Food Co-op’s 4% Friday Community Shopping Day program, so 4% of their sales from September 24th were donated to Oasis! The Skagit Community Foundation matched the Co-op’s donation, so a total of $5,328 was raised! We are grateful for the Co-op and Skagit Community Foundation’s generosity.
The funds raised will help support much needed renovations and improvements to the backyard space at the Oasis house.