What We Do – and Why We Do It!

Do you believe, as we do, that every young person has value and potential?  For many, that value goes unnoticed. That potential is never reached.  These youth, once full of promise, can become lost and troubled.  They may end up on the streets, putting themselves in unsafe situations, or even committing delinquent acts.  Their families may seek help – or they may become overwhelmed and uncertain about what to do.  Sometimes their families give up.  Tidewater Youth Services Foundation is here to help.

At Tidewater Youth Services Foundation, we help youth reach their full potential.  We believe that even those who make mistakes have the capacity to change and become productive citizens.  And - we are committed to making that change happen.

The TYS Foundation is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization, established in 1991 to raise funds and find community resources to support a public agency, Tidewater Youth Services Commission, in its efforts to help at-risk and court involved youth grow into productive members of the community.  Our public partner, “the Commission”, serves the cities of Virginia Beach, Chesapeake, Portsmouth, Suffolk, and Franklin, as well as Isle of Wight and Southampton Counties. These seven localities formed the agency in 1977 in an effort to coordinate needed services for the juvenile population, thus avoiding a duplication of services in the region. In 34 years of operation, the Commission has developed a broad range of programs and services and is now the primary resource for juvenile justice services in the region.

When youth walk through the doors of our public partner, they will have caring counselors.   They will learn and practice new skills.  Their families will receive guidance and support.  But publicly funded programs can only go so far.  With philanthropic support, we can do so much more and touch the lives of youth in ways not possible through state support alone.  With community support we can:

  • Offer remedial education programs and provide the tools needed for vocational exploration;
  • Provide therapeutic recreation and positive activities, and expose children to the arts and cultural enrichment;
  • Improve the physical environments of group homes;
  • Support programming that would otherwise be eliminated or could not be developed due to a lack of, or loss of, public funding;
  • Provide personal items for needy youth, including clothing, medication, toiletries;
  • Help with family emergencies, including the loss of utilities or eviction, events that destabilize families and compound a child's problems.
  • Ensure that our public partner, Tidewater Youth Services Commission, has all the tools needed to help the youth it serves.

With 24 years under our belt, the Santa Claus Shuffle is a well-planned, fun and festive event for the entire family!  Get your December 8th holiday weekend off to a great start by joining the crowds of costumed runners through the beautiful historic streets of Olde Towne Portsmouth, Virginia and along the scenic seawall.  When you’ve finished your run, you’ll enjoy complimentary refreshments of Starbucks coffee, hot apple cider, hot chocolate, doughnuts, and bananas.  Running in the Santa Claus Shuffle will boost your holiday spirits PLUS, you will be helping young people in our community who need a little extra guidance and the help of caring adults. Please join us and register today!