Bronze Heat of Paterson NJ, a chapter of the International Association of Black Professional Firefighters, helped Youth Advocate Programs (YAP), Inc. of Hudson, Passaic, and Bergen Counties warm the hearts of neighborhood families.
YAP, a 43-year-old nonprofit operating in 100 communities in 22 states and the District of Columbia, serves 19,000 families annually. The organization is working to scale its proven, cost-effective model to serve as a community-based alternative to out-of-home youth justice, behavioral health and child welfare placements to serve more individuals and families.
The firefighters hosted their local YAP team’s youth and family party and with donations from others in the community, made sure everyone had gifts to take home. Among the gifts: $250 worth of gift cards, three bicycles and enough presents for all 30 children who attended. Makeup artist Kammie Phillips, owner of A Chocolate Beauty in East Orange, and Lataya Smith, owner of Paterson’s Bowchic by Taya, created face art for the children.
“The party was an example of how YAP Advocates, who live in the communities we serve, empower youth and families by connecting them to amazing resources in their own neighborhoods to help them firm their foundation, thrive and give back,” said Hudson, Passaic, and Bergen Counties Youth Advocate Programs Program Director Kimmeshia L. Rogers-Jones.
YAP believes and demonstrates that outcomes are better when individuals — even those considered high-risk — are Safely Home, receiving individualized mentoring, family advocacy and tools to realize, build upon and share their strengths. YAP employees encourage the public to join them in supporting youth and families by making contributions to the program of your choice here: www.yapinc.org/Donate.