Project 50, No. 5: Youth Villages

Project 50, No. 5: Youth Villages

Project 50 is a weekly feature on a Mid-South nonprofit that will go on through 2014. I hope that you decide to get involved with at least one organization you hear about this year and put your love for Memphis to work. For this week's Project 50 edition, we have a guest post by Channing Peeples from Youth Villages.

In 1986, two residential treatment centers for youth, Memphis Boys Town and Dogwood Village, merged to form Youth Villages. Now this Memphis-based nonprofit is a national organization that serves more than 22,000 children and families each year across 11 states and Washington, D.C.

Since its founding, Youth Villages has expanded to include a wide array of services to emotionally and behaviorally troubled children and their families, all with one goal – to help them live successfully. Some programs include intensive in-home services which allow children to remain at home at receive help at times convenient for their families, residential treatment, foster care and adoption, transitional living for youth aging out of foster care, mentoring and crisis services.

A favorite Memphis tradition is Youth Villages’ annual Soup Sunday. This year, Soup Sunday will celebrate 25 years of serving up some of the Mid-South’s best soups, breads, desserts and specialty items. Guests are invited to come sample delicious dishes from more than 50 of the area’s best restaurants, caterers and food trucks on Sunday, Feb. 23 from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Tickets are available at the door or at All proceeds from this year’s event will benefit Youth Villages’ mentoring program. (Ed. Note: Scroll down to the bottom of the post to learn more about the food!)

There are also several other ways you can help the children Youth Villages serves. Through the Youth Villages Chris Crye Mentoring Program, adults are matched with a child receiving help, Mentors serve as positive role models for youth by spending quality time with them and planning fun activities for them.

Groups of volunteers can also serve by adopting a cottage on one of Youth Villages’ residential campuses and planning fun events for the children on a regular basis. Like to run? Volunteer with Youth Villages’ Runners Club and help change a child’s life one mile at a time.

Through Youth Villages’ foster care program, caring adults provide safe, comfortable homes for children who may have suffered abuse, neglect or abandonment. If you have room in your heart and home, consider becoming a foster parent to a child in need.

No matter what your interests are, Youth Villages offers many ways to positively affect children and families right here in the Mid-South and across the country.

Official mission statement: Youth Villages helps children and families live successfully.

Biggest annual events: Soup Sunday, YV5K & 10miler

How you can help:
Attend one of Youth Villages’ fundraising events
- Volunteer one of Youth Villages’ residential campuses or at an event
- Donate
- Serve as a mentor to a child receiving help through Youth Villages

Learn more/follow:

Channing Peeples works in public relations at Youth Villages. She has a passion for helping others and loves having the opportunity to make a difference through my career. She's graduate of the University of Memphis with a Bachelor of Arts degree in journalism with a concentration in public relations.


Ed. Note: I (Holly) had the honor of going to a Soup Sunday Taste Testing Tour to get a preview of what types of delicious soup, speciality items, and desserts you'll be able to enjoy if you go to Soup Sunday this week. Clockwise from top left: Lobster and Shrimp Brushchette from The Half Shell, Greek Chicken Lemon Soup from Taziki's, Hot and Sour Soup from Mosa, Bundtinis from Nothing Bundt Cakes, Mr. Eddy's Favorite Noodles from Mosa, Chicken and Penne Balsmamic Pasta Salad from Taziki's.

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Todd Suliano
I have mentored with Youth Villages for the past two years and it has been amazingly fun. I've had two mentees who have been just a blast to hang out with. I encourage anyone that reads this to mentor, it's a great experience.
February 20, 2014 5:39pm