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About us


What is youshare.org?
Locations
The youshare.org team
Who are the families in crisis?
What is poverty?
Terms and Conditions


What is youshare.org?

The idea for youshare.org began when we heard about a caring mom who simply needed two mattresses for her kids. Recently employed after a period of homelessness, she was trying to furnish her new apartment. Local social service agencies knew there must be extra mattresses out there somewhere — but found it difficult to hunt them down with their other responsibilities weighing on them as well. She eventually found the mattresses on her own, but it wasn’t easy.

Youshare.org was created to serve people in this very situation. It goes one step further than simply meeting immediate needs. Youshare.org helps foster personal relationships that will help families in crisis build a better life.

Our values include:

  • Relationship building — Relationships are key to moving families from vulnerability to self-sufficiency.
  • Compassion — Compassion is defined as a “deep awareness someone else’s suffering coupled with the wish to relieve it.” That is the heart of youshare.org!
  • Stewardship — All of us can use our time, talent and financial resources to encourage and serve others.

Locations

Youshare.org is a national organization based in Chicago. Regional partners administer the program in many areas of the country.

Click on the map below to see where youshare.org is active. We hope to expand to many cities. To do that, we need Regional Partners to implement youshare.org in a specific geographic region. If you know of a church or social service organization in your area that might be interested,in becoming a Regional partner, please refer them to our website.

The youshare.org team

Many people and organizations make youshare.org possible.

The youshare.org Central Office, located in Chicago, is an independent 501(c)(3) organization responsible for the program’s administration. Its main role is to screen, monitor and evaluate the organizations that are implementing youshare.org nationwide. These include Regional Partners and Field Partners.

Regional Partners are organizations responsible for implementing youshare.org in a specific geographic region, such as Chicagoland or Northern California.

Field Partners are churches, social service agencies and other non-profits that recruit and screen people who want to connect with families in need.

Advocates are the primary youshare.org contact for families with specific needs. These trained volunteers build a relationship with the family, identify legitimate needs, post the needs on youshare.org and ensure that the needs are met.

Neighbors are people who want to connect with families in need by sharing goods or services and, when possible, being open to an on-going relationship that will be mutually transformative.

Who are the families in crisis?

Families referred to youshare.org are generally experiencing some kind of crisis, usually in the context of poverty. They cannot always provide clothing or food for their children, and they lack the support of family and friends who can help. The stress of their situation can lead to depression, drug abuse and child neglect and abuse, making it impossible for families to break the cycle. Traditional interventions such as impersonal handouts and government assistance can lead to dependencies that make the problem worse, not better.

But there is good news. When families in need receive help in the context of a relationship with caring people, change is possible. Such a relationship begins with something tangible — a donated refrigerator, a car repair, babysitting. It can then develop into something more, providing mentoring, encouragement and guidance.

What is poverty?

Poverty is a complicated state of being that has been described using many different theories, frameworks and definitions. Like most complicated things, these explanations all reveal bits of truth and all suffer from a lack of complete understanding.

Poverty isn’t just about a lack of money. It has a lot to do with social isolation, something many of us don’t think about.

Ask yourself these questions:

  • “If I were to lose all my physical assets and money, how long would it take to get a meal?”
  • “How long would it take to find a place to sleep for the night? For a couple of weeks?”
  • “How long would it take to get a job?”

Another way of looking at poverty relies on the concept of shalom. The word shalom describes a world in which every person has a position where they are useful and fulfilled and we have good healthy relationships with God, ourselves, the world and other people.

Thus, poverty is the lack of these healthy relationships. People living in poverty do not feel like their lives have meaning. People living in poverty are insecure and make bad decisions to cover up or distract themselves from what they do not like about themselves. People living in poverty work very hard and are not successful; they must consume more than they produce. Finally, people in poverty make daily mistakes in their interactions with others and they find that the other people in their social circle are unreliable. They suffer for the mistakes they make or that others make.

Many people who live in poverty are poor, but their financial problems are more a symptom of poverty than a cause. Youshare.org is a way to address immediate needs — for clothing, furniture, car repair, or community — and, ultimately, develop thriving relationships that can lead to life transformation.



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