To Our Supporters and Stakeholders

Dear ROYA stakeholders,

Almost exactly a year ago, Tammy and I closed the offices at Royal Oak Youth Assistance, entered new territory, and began to work from home. This anniversary week seemed like a good time to send out an annual report update you on all we have done since then. The pandemic era has been a time of challenge for ROYA.  We have continued with the services we have provided for over sixty years in our community, while at the same time adapting to meet new food, housing and financial insecurity in our community. The need is great, and we are doing our part.

Since March 15, 2020, we have accomplished the following:

  • Counseling services for 72 families.  We have learned how valuable Zoom sessions are for children and families, and we have provided each with a “therapy tub” to continue our play therapy services, delivered to their home.  This innovation has been helpful in keeping kids engaged in the counseling process.
  • Emergency needs grants for 454 children from 204 families for a total of $90,204.  These are grants up to $200 per child to help with basic needs like rent, mortgage, groceries, transportation, and other basic needs. Each family also received two pages of food, utility, water and rent referrals, focused on the various 2020 CARES programs.  This has been our most urgent area of expansion; in 2019, we spent only $1,203 on emergency needs.
  • New: We delivered enrichment boxes containing toys and games geared to learning and creativity to 177 families in partnership with Blessings in a Backpack, for a total of $1036.
  • Youth recognition: We have begun to plan our virtual Youth Recognition Event, which will take place in May.
  • We sent three kids to day camp for a total of $960. Most of our camp budget was diverted to emergency needs in 2020. We are beginning our 2021 camp process now, in the hopes that camp will again be possible.
  • New: We distributed 164 backpacks filled with school supplies via parking lot pickup in partnership with Woodward Corner Market and Operation Homefront. We also distributed boots, jackets, lunchboxes, toys and other donated goods.
  • New: For a little fun during difficult times, we coordinated the Drive Thru Boo where 137 children stopped at the booths of 8 groups for curbside delivery of toys, games, and snacks!
  • We partnered with Team Turkey again this year to provide cooked Thanksgiving dinners to 27 needy families.
  • New : 89 kids received “stocking stuffers” through our Small Gifts program with Operation Homefront at the holidays.
  • Our Adopt-a-Family program, a partnership with the Jordan and Ashley Siegel Fund provided gifts to 30 low-income families, representing 108 individuals, valued at approximately $7325.
  • Our Holiday Feast program, a partnership between the Jordan and Ashley Siegel Fund and the RO Meijer, provided $200 worth of groceries to 37 low-income families to tide them over the winter break.  The Siegel fund provided another $100 in groceries at the end of January.  In a creative touch, families also received handknit scarves, hats, and mittens from a partner “charity knitting” group.
  • Our 7 mentors provided encouragement, fun and advice by Zoom, calls, and outdoor meetings with their mentees.
  • We provided 11 skillbuilding grants so kids could participate in organized activities for a total of $2590.
  • New: We are giving away $2000 worth of books and clothing at a drive-thru giveaway this March. Information about this event will be distributed soon.
  • Our Second Step teachers, Bill Van Fleteren and Cathy Reif  have moved to video lessons, and have provided 15 modules to Oakland and Upton Elementary. They have adapted beautifully to taking the important SEL lessons remote with continued value for schools and kids.
  • Information and referral cases:  We frequently take calls from individuals and families who do not qualify for our services, or who are looking for services we cannot provide.  An important part of our job is to guide them to services who can help them. (Some of these relationships span months and involve dozens of calls and e-mails.)  This year we guided 65 families to the help they needed.
  • Our increased communication with stakeholders has garnered $87,636 in donations from individuals, groups, and companies, which has allowed us to expand our programming in such a powerful fashion!

We hope that you will continue to refer families to us.  Attached to this document are our casework referral form, emergency needs application and explanation, and  skillbuilding application.

Whether you are a sponsor, referral source, volunteer, donor, or partnering community organization, we are so grateful for your interest and participation with ROYA. Whatever the “next phase” look like, we look forward to moving into to it with your collaboration!

Nancy Minckler

Caseworker

Royal Oak Youth Assistance

We are grateful to be of assistance during this difficult time and we can do even more if we have more.  To that end, we are accepting donations – and Thank You!

We Help Kids and Communities to Reach New Heights

Royal Oak Youth Assistance Can Help If You Are
Struggling Financially!

Every child under 18 who lives in Royal Oak or attends Royal Oak Schools whose family is low-income qualifies for a $200 emergency needs grants once per fiscal year.  We have copied the income guidelines here, but please don’t worry if your 2019 income puts your family over the limit. We understand that many families are facing a sudden loss of income and will work with each family on a case-by-case basis.

We do not write checks to individuals.  Our suggestion would be that you request help for rent/mortgage, utilities or another pressing bill in order to free up your own resources for groceries and immediate needs. We can pay many bills electronically.  If your request is specifically for groceries, we can get you a grocery gift card.  If you need gasoline for transportation, we can provide a Speedway gas-only card quickly.

You must fill out a separate application for each child.  Please e-mail mincklern@oakgov.com for an application.

Please be sure to call 248.219.6502 for more information. We will try to be nimble in providing help during these challenging times.

 

Bowl-A-Thon Sponsors

Mission Statement

The mission of Royal Oak Youth Assistance is to
strengthen youth and families, and to reduce the
incidence of delinquency, abuse and neglect through
community involvement.

Mission Statement

The mission of Royal Oak Youth Assistance is to strengthen youth and families, and to reduce the incidence of delinquency, abuse and neglect through community involvement.

Our Mission Purpose

Mobilization of community interest, skills and forces on behalf of children and families.

Mobilization of community interest, skills and forces on behalf of children and families.

Involvement of local citizens in developing/improving services designed to control, treat, eliminate, and prevent delinquency, abuse and neglect.

Involvement of local citizens in developing/improving services designed to control, treat, eliminate, and prevent delinquency, abuse and neglect.

Identification of social, psychological and environmental factors producing antisocial behavior.

Identification of social, psychological and environmental factors producing antisocial behavior.

Creation of programs to assist individuals in developing skills which will decrease the likelihood of delinquent, abuse and neglect behavior occurring.

Creation of programs to assist individuals in developing skills which will decrease the likelihood of delinquent, abuse and neglect behavior occurring.

Mentors Make a Difference

My name is Chelsea. My mentor Paula Dirkes and I have been “pals” since I was 12 years old. I had a single dad raising me along with the help of my grandmother. My mother was in and out of my life. I was so beyond blessed with Paula just at the right time; puberty, friendships, learning issues, bullies, BOYS! And she always – every single week on Mondays – stepped in to be that gal to guide me!
I am now 30 years old; sitting in my own home, thriving and being the strong-willed and confident “Chelsea” I was meant to be. Because of Paula’s love and true devotion; I am the woman I am today. Mentoring is a real thing, and you can’t get it without wanting to give back. Now I am a mentor. I mentor others at church, at my son’s day care, for my friends and peers who just want a listening ear, and an advocate. Thank you, Paula! – Chelsea M.

ROYA Works In Our Community

As a Royal Oak Schools educator, parent and graduate, being involved with a program that has no agenda other than directly helping our kids has not only impacted me professionally but also personally. Professionally – by proactively intervening with students that are struggling on a regular basis. Personally – by enriching my life as I have witnessed the positive impact that ROYA has had on families in our community. – Sam L.

They Were There When We Needed Them

I was first referred to Royal Oak Youth Assistance (ROYA) when my son was in 2nd grade. He had issues in class and was referred to ROYA by the principal. At first, I was sure the school was profiling my kid, but as it turns out, getting this referral was the best thing that could have happened to us. That counseling ran its course, and my son’s behavior vastly improved. Several years later, my husband was diagnosed with ALS. Those years were very, very difficult for our family, and we went back to ROYA and asked for help. We went back to ROYA counseling, and as a family, and ROYA service helped us through his illness, and ultimately through his passing.

ROYA has helped my children attend Camp. They have both attended Camp Copneconic, and my daughter has gone to the Tim Horton’s camp multiple years, all at no cost. I can tell you I would not have been able to send my kids to summer camp without ROYA’s help. My children were both assigned Mentors when my husband became ill. At first, it gave them a place to go to get away from the horror that was watching their father deteriorate, and then both mentors became amazing family friends. My children have gained confidence, and experiences that I could not have given them, via their mentors.

During my son’s senior year of high school he wanted to go on the Orchestra trip to Chicago. The SAME year, my daughter wanted to go on the Choir trip to New York City. I wanted to give my kids these experiences, but the cost was extreme. So, I applied for a Skill Building Grant for each of the children for their trips, and once again, ROYA came to our rescue at our time of need.

My kids are happy, and they are healthy, both physically and emotionally. They have common sense, and they are both doing their best to be their best. I can take some of the credit for this for sure. But I cannot take all of it. ROYA has stepped in when we needed them to – as I’ve said – whether I thought I needed them or not and have helped push us in the right direction along the way. This resource has been fundamental to our family, and has helped us build into stronger, healthier people than we would have been without their aid. – Amy C.

Copyright Royal Oak Youth Assistance 2020