Thank you for taking a moment to read our June newsletter!  As you do, I would like to take a moment to express my deep gratitude for your support of JEMfriends.  Whether through financial giving, volunteering, mentoring or spreading awareness, you have helped us to grow and support more youth.  Just two years ago, we ran two homes and supported an average of only five youth.  So far in 2019, we have supported fifteen youth with housing, life skills classes, and community.  JEMfriends now runs three homes, allowing us to house ten youth at one time!  Each year, we have been able to support five more youth than the year before; and this growth is because of the increased support from people like you.  I can honestly say that we would not be able to do the work without you!  Thank you for your support, and please enjoy these highlights from the last few months!   

Graduations and job placements are some of the biggest highlights at JEMfriends. This May, we were able to celebrate with Lauren as she graduated high school!  Lauren has now gotten a job and bank account, and she has even done some inspirational speaking in the last few months!  Lauren’s future goals include getting a full-time job, buying a car using the JEMfriends vehicle-matching fund, and attending college in the future.  Recently, Lauren shared that without JEMfriends, she believes she would be homeless and on drugs.  We are thankful that we have had the opportunity to give Lauren healthy community and opportunities, and we are so proud and amazed at the young woman she has become. 

We would like to congratulate Travis, who joined the National Guard and is currently in boot camp!  Travis is looking forward to studying plumbing, following boot camp. Travis also shared that without JEMfriends, he would probably be homeless and on drugs.  How amazing that God has spared him that heartache!  You can hear more of Lauren and Travis’ stories by watching JEMfriends’ recently published video on our YouTube page. (Link)

JEMfriends’ third volleyball season was a big hit and another of our highlights!  As a team, we participate in the City of Meridian adult sports league, playing eight games in the spring. The team provides great community for the youth: it brings together current youth, alumni and the fans who come to cheer them on.  They have fun, work together, and learn from both their successes and failures.  This spring season, ten youth and alumni participated on the team.  Thank you, Gem State Gymnastics for sponsoring our team this year!

Aging out Awareness month was amazingly successful this year because of the many businesses and organizations that helped us spread awareness!  JEMfriends had the opportunity to share on television, in some local churches, and at conferences and community events. There were over thirty business and organizations who helped JEMfriends meet the goal of spreading awareness by passing out information related to Aging-out Awareness Month.  I encourage you to view the list of supporting organizations on our website! (link) We would like to give a special thanks to Thrive Chiropractic, Idahome Solar, Caffeina Roasting Company, Kaia Fit, and Coffee Studio (Meridian).  These businesses went above and beyond to support us, not only raising awareness, but also raising funds!  Thank you to Idaho Givers and everyone who so generously gave during the Idaho Gives event online, or by coming down to the Treasure Valley Givers After Hours Event.  We raised $2,000 during the event!  If you want to learn more about this amazing organization, you can do so through their website at treasurevalleygivers.com.  We would also like to take a moment to thank Bob and Tamera Wheeler with Cutting Edge Landscaping.  They chose JEMfriends to be the beneficiary charity of their annual golf tournament, giving us over $3,000.  They also nominated us to receive a $1,500 grant from the Enterprise Holdings Foundation!  Thank you, Bob and Tamera, and the Enterprise Holdings Foundation, for your support!  We so value and appreciate all the amazing supporters who make these events a success!  JEMfriends, and the JEMyouth specifically, are incredibly blessed by their generosity!