KYE-YAC International has had a busy year! The all-youth board is addressing many important issues affecting children in our community and beyond. Hunger, homelessness, disaster relief, healthcare, education, music, art and mentoring are among the causes we are working on ? and many more.
In May, the KYE-YAC board learned that Arkansas has more hungry children than any other state in the country! Translation: 1 in every 4th child in our state is hungry. We were appalled and it was time to act. Our board started with a site visit to the Arkansas Rice Depot who’s mission is to find sensible solutions to hunger in Arkansas. They distribute over 8 million pounds of food and supplies to those in need each year. Laura Rhea, President and CEO of the AR Rice Depot, gave our board a tour and explained their operations. After meeting with Ms. Rhea, the KYE-YAC kids knew childhood hunger was an issue they were ready to aggressively address.
In May, KYE-YAC International’s President and founder, Kye Masino, was chosen to be the Ambassador for Arkansas Rice Depot’s Food for Kids program. Kye is now the spokesperson for the Food for Kids program. The program provides new backpacks filled with non-perishable food, and they are distributed at sponsored schools to hungry kids who need them. Part of Kye’s platform is to challenge others in Arkansas to adopt a school. Just $2,000 provides a year’s supply of food for all the hungry children in one school district. Before the 2011 school year began, KYE-YAC raised enough money to adopt all of the school districts in Garland County and many in Clark County. This translates to thousands of children not having to worry about their next meal, and instead allows them to focus on school and personal relationships.
“All kids deserve the chance to thrive, ” is one of Kye’s mantras, and one that he has stuck by since KYE-YAC’s inception in 2009.
KYE-YAC appreciates Arkansas media and how they’ve helped promote KYE-YAC’s fundraising efforts. Kye has taken to the radio, television, newspapers and magazines to spread the word about the Food for Kids program. Statewide businesses have also helped in the fight against childhood hunger.
This year KYE-YAC distributed pink piggy banks to several central Arkansas businesses. They helped collect thousands of dollars in donations for this program.
“Every penny helps, because every cent goes to helping kids,” says Kye. “For example, $15 can buy a hungry child a new backpack full of food for the weekend.”
100% of all donations raised by KYE-YAC International go directly to the charities and programs they support. If you are interested in making a tax-deductible donation, or receiving a KYE-YAC piggy bank for your business, please contact us at [email protected]
KYE-YAC partners across generations for a better tomorrow
Kye continues, “As well as feeding their bodies, we have to feed their minds.” KYE-YAC International is also working with Williams Educational Center, based in Hot Springs.
“Ms. Williams is great, and has helped kids in our community for decades,” says KYE-YAC International Vice President, Peyton Rudisill.
“She’s an inspiration to our generation, ” says Kye.
Working with the WEC, KYE-YAC International has helped update the Williams Educational Center logo and made a sign for the Center. They’ve also helped make improvements at the Center, met with her students, and are collaborating on a writing project with the students. KYE-YAC’s board envisions working with the Williams Educational Center for years to come.