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December 9, 2009 > For a more meaningful Christmas

For a more meaningful Christmas

By Meenu Gupta

There are many innocent children out there who do not have the affection and warmth of a family that most of us take for granted. Today's Youth Matter (TYM) provides a reason of hope and a better future to these neglected children. The non-profit organization believes in and positively mentors children who are victims of their circumstances, to bring out the best in them, so that they can too contribute constructively to society. You can help to put a smile on their faces this Christmas season and show that you care.

TYM serves children ages 8-18 years. "Our 8-12 year olds attend a 5-day camp in the Santa Cruz Mountains. Our teens participate in a 5-day backpacking trip, which take place in the Sierra Nevada Mountains," said Marilyn Siden, Executive Director. All camps and backpacking trips are gender specific. TYM operates a camp for kids 8-12 years old near Pescadero, California.

The Winter Snow Camps cost approximately $100 per camper, which includes transportation to the snow, all food and entrance fees into the snow park. "We also need drivers to and from the snow," said Siden. "TYM is also looking for office help one day per week, a CPA to do a limited audit and also a bookkeeper," said Siden. "The winter camps are open only to TYM children already involved with our program."

Kids are referred to the program through foster care agencies, group homes, low-performing schools, police departments and Children's Protective Services. "The entry point is during our summer camping outreach. Kids come to camp for six days, and then get involved with our year-round programs," said Siden.

On Saturday, December 19 there will be a Christmas Party for TYM kids, from noon until 3 p.m. A donation of $25 will buy a child a Christmas present. Gift cards at Walmart or Target are also great," said Siden. "The Christmas party will be held in our office in Milpitas." Call the TYM office at (408) 719-9125 for other Christmas party needs, and more information.

To get involved with the program, please contact Marilyn Siden at or call (408) 719-9125. All volunteers are fingerprinted prior to working and attend a volunteer training that prepares them to handle potential difficult situations. Volunteers should be 16 years of age or older if working at TYM camp. If you are interested in volunteering for TYM, complete a volunteer application and return it to the TYM office. You can support TYM by making a donation online at

TYM Christmas Party
Saturday, December 19
Today's Youth Matter Office
461 Valley Way, Milpitas
(408) 719-9125

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