Spread the Warmth 2020

A little different, but twice as warm!

The pandemic has changed so much about our habits and traditions this year, and the holidays are no exception. We know that we must continue to stay strong and remember that the sacrifices we make now make it possible for ALL of us to be present later. With this in mind, we’d like to share with you some important news: 

Youth On Their Own will NOT be doing the traditional holiday blanket and gift card drive this year.

That said, we know that many of our YOTO Family members are excited to deliver some holiday cheer to the students who need it most! This year, rather than an in-kind blanket campaign, we’re asking folks to use the resources they might have dedicated towards buying blankets and gift cards and to make a financial contribution to help our students.

We WILL be “spreading the warmth” this year – just in a different way!

Right now, YOTO youth are faced with even greater financial concerns than usual. Many are supporting not just themselves, but siblings, friends, children, or other family members. Rather than gifting students with a blanket, we’re hoping to provide an extra $80 to each student enrolled in YOTO to help them through this very unique holiday season!

By making a gift to this year’s Spread the Warmth holiday campaign, you can help a young person experiencing homelessness stay in school by providing them with the resources to make a rent payment, buy groceries, or even keep the heat on (if it ever gets cold!) – you can truly help “spread the warmth”! 

Most excitingly, this year we have an extraordinarily generous and special opportunity from two of our favorite YOTO Family Members – Larry “Buzz” Petersen and Robbie Willingham.

If you make your gift towards the Spread the Warmth campaign this holiday season, Buzz & Robbie will match your gift up to $50,000!

We hope that you’ll consider joining us as we try to take full advantage of Buzz & Robbie’s incredible generosity! Together we can show the brave YOTO youth who have had the courage to stay in school during this incredibly challenging year how much they mean to us! 

Destiny, a 2020 graduate, explained how important YOTO was to her while she was a student: 

“YOTO helped me pull through my high school experience during many very hard times. I am very thankful to have had YOTO’s support because without it I would have been lost.”