Community Gathering and Glass Pumpkin Patch

Sunday, October 2nd from 1-4pm

Join Us at Luther Burbank Park for apple cider and a kid friendly tour of the building!

  • Learn about its history and current use where many MIYFS services are offered, including Food Pantry, VOICE ‘Command Central” and Communities That Care Headquarters
  • Come meet MIYFS staff, including school counselors
  • Sneak preview of our hand-blown glass pumpkins made by local artists Joni Johnson and Roberta Wyde, also available for sale
  • Pumpkin carving demonstration with acclaimed Master Carver Russ Leno
  • Kids activities: mini pumpkin decorating, fact scavenger hunt and of course, play on the playground

MIYFS, established in 1973, is committed to providing, coordinating and advocating for affordable, high quality human services for all. The MIYFS Foundation was founded in 1989 to support and enhance the work of MIYFS through fundraising efforts.
Direct questions to Sari Weiss, or (206) 275-7756

Packing Bags for Start of School – For All!

NCL and Aljoya Backpack

NCL-Evergreen young women pictured above, not in order as pictured: Addi, Maria, Jillian, Hannah, Elakshi and Hannah.

School supplies are pricey! Some of our Mercer Island families don’t have the additional $50-$100 (per student) it takes to make sure their children have the essential supplies to start the school year off right. MIYFS is Here to Help!

Thank you Aljoya and NCL-Evergreen Chapter. Together with a few moms, these civic minded young women packed 75 backpacks for low-income students at all five of our Mercer Island public schools. Backpacks and supplies were provided by the great generosity of Aljoya and its residents – Thank You!

MIYFS has a Family & Emergency Services team dedicated to serving our residents who need temporary, or in some cases long term, help with utility assistance, holiday food and gift cards, rental assistance, emergency funds as well as back to school supplies and clothes. Resources to fund all of MIYFS services are gathered from across the spectrum including donations made to our Foundation, individual supporters, businesses, school district, City of Mercer Island and of course Thrift Shop proceeds.

275 Middle & High School Students – Worked Hard and Say THANK YOU!

VOICE Leaders

The 2015 VOICE & SVP summer volunteer season is complete! 275 middle and high school student volunteers gave 10,195 hours over the last eight weeks. Very nice job! And, our generous thanks to our fantastic leadership group this summer!! Josh, Caroline, Monica, Sarah, Laura, Olivia, Joanna and Erik… you are the BEST!!

Eager to sign up for Summer 2016 – registration information available in March. Or contact Tambi Cork at or 206-230-6155

Join the Pledge: Never Text & Drive!

Never Text & Drive

Many Islanders are pledging not to text while driving.

The Youth and Family Services Department’s Communities That Care (CTC) Coalition is promoting community safety by inviting residents to commit to driving without cell phone distraction. During the weekend of Summer Celebration, over 1,000 people pledged not to text and drive by signing a banner that can now be viewed at Mercerdale Park (and soon, City Hall).

The 2014 Healthy Youth Survey found that 66 percent of Mercer Island High School (MIHS) seniors reported riding in a vehicle driven by someone texting or emailing during a typical month. Although CTC’s primary focus is underage substance abuse prevention, the CTC-supported high school prevention club (“SAFE”) received a grant from the Traffic Safety Commission to address this risky behavior. These efforts led to the idea of collecting signatures of those pledging to “Never Text and Drive.”

Meanwhile, the CTC is encouraged that the number of MIHS 12th graders reporting having an alcoholic drink in a typical month has decreased over 20 percent since 2000. The Coalition hopes to see similar reductions of high risk behavior by bringing attention to the problem of distracted driving. For more information, contact CTC Project Director Derek Franklin at 206-275-7745.

Karen Beck – 2015 Flash Family Inspirational Award Winner

Karen Beck 2015 FFIA
The 2015 Flash Family Inspirational Award is bestowed upon Karen Beck, a Mercer Island resident and Group Fitness Instructor at the Stroum Jewish Community Center. As a Group Fitness Instructor Karen teaches, inspires and helps seniors continue to live active lives. Her senior classes attract a variety of ages and levels of fitness and her extensive fitness knowledge and sense of humor keep participants engaged. Karen’s students feel welcome by her consistent encouragement for them to connect with one another. Her classes are physically, emotionally and socially stimulating. Karen is their instructor and mentor as well as their friend. Karen host luncheons for students at her home, notices when participants miss classes and she follows up with notes and phone calls to make sure all is well. Karen is genuinely committed to her students’ functional and personal well-being.

Our gratitude goes out to Karen for all of the many MI seniors who have benefitted from her caring, energetic and supportive exercise classes and personal community. Thank you for all the years of goodness and teaching you have provided to so many seniors and the Mercer Island community.

Each spring Mercer Island Youth and Family Services awards the Flash Family Inspirational Award (FFIA) to honor a Mercer Island senior adult (55 and older) who exemplifies the spirit of good sportsmanship and/or community leadership, and who possesses an optimistic attitude and friendly demeanor while acting as a role model to others.

Phil Flash passed away on April 4 of this year at 96 years of age. He was one of many students touched by Karen’s kindness and care. Karen taught Phil for nine years and helped him celebrate his 90th birthday.

Congratulations Karen!

Remembering Phil Flash – Beloved Mercer Island “Fixture”

Phil FlashMercer Island Youth & Family Services extends our condolences to the entire Flash family. Phil Flash died on April 4 at 96.5 years of age! Phil was named Mercer Island Citizen of the Year in 1990. Phil will be missed and his legacy will live on through the creation of the Flash Family Inspiration Award in 2009 which annualy honors a Mercer Island senior adult (55+) who exemplifies the spirit of good sportsmanship or community leadership and who possesses an optimistic attitude and friendly demeanor while acting as a role model to others. Phil Flash also served as the Honorary Co-Chair of the 2014 MIYFS Foundation Giving from the Heart Breakfast.

Philip Nathan Flash
Sept. 19, 1918 to April 4, 2015
Contine reading

Thank You Mercer Island – $150,000 Raised and Still Counting!

Here to Help logo in red


You came out in record numbers. You donated in record numbers. You shopped in record numbers. THANK YOU!

On Wednesday, February 11 – you ‘Gave from the Heart’ – and made history!

Thank you for caring so deeply about our entire community – the young ones through to the elderly; the healthy and vibrant to those needing temporary or ongoing supports. MIYFS is Here to Help! Contine reading