The Meaning of Heart 2 Heart

The True Meaning of Heart 2 Heart

The Heart 2 Heart Gala is an evening of celebration inspired by the heart to heart connection that we make that gives life purpose and fulfills us in our hearts, minds and souls.

Sean and Leigh Anne Touhy were the speakers
at the first Heart 2 Heart Gala

Heart to heart connections come in many forms. It could be telling someone you love them. It can also be reaching out to someone in need or having a heart for kids. When you make a connection your life can change in a heartbeat.

When you attend the Heart 2 Heart Gala you are going to feel good. You will hear from a kid whose life has been changed by the good hearts of many people who have made that heart to heart connection. You will be inspired and have a wonderful evening. Join us!

There are inspiring and touching stories every day at Youth For Tomorrow. That is why so many people passionately support the good work that happens here. Here are a few stories about connections that have changed lives.

A Mother's Love
This is a story of a deep love of a mother for her daughter which is perhaps one of the very strongest connections. Our case worker said "..the deep love in this family is almost palpable." Here is their story.

"Youth for Tomorrow has treated my daughter, mind, body, and soul, and that is what has made her experience difference from other residential placements."  This was the feedback from the mother of Becca, who has been a participant of the Girls on a Journey program at Youth for Tomorrow. (Name changed for security purposes)  
Becca came to Youth for Tomorrow as a survivor of gang trafficking and has experienced every parent's nightmare. 

Becca and her family arrived at Youth for Tomorrow very anxious and still reeling from the trauma Becca experienced.  "As months went by after her admission to Youth for Tomorrow, our healing finally began."  By engaging in a therapeutic school environment and participating in individual therapy, as well as Girls on a Journey group, and multiple groups to address substance abuse, Becca learned to re-establish healthy boundaries and to better cope with the post-traumatic stress.  Family involvement, including family therapy, regular contact, and weekend visits provided opportunities for Becca and her family to learn to trust again and to establish deep communication with one another.  

"We have watched our daughter grow in confidence, leadership, and spirituality," Mom reports, "and now we see her eager to give back to the community to raise awareness about a terrible crime. She has learned about the patterns and tactics that gangs use to coerce their victims and now she wants to help others.  I am so thankful Youth for Tomorrow was there to help Becca to re-enter the community while our family continued to heal and prepare for Becca to come home."

Becca has since been discharged to the arms of a loving and supportive family with a discharge plan that includes Youth for Tomorrow's outpatient services for medication management.  According to her mom, "We can't let go completely yet!" 


Loving Kids Every Day

Many of the children that come to YFT are in desperate need of someone to love them and someone to guide them. Over the years our CEO, Dr Gary Jones, and our Director of Clinical Services, Dr Terry Tinsley have reached out to these children and connected with them on an individual basis and given them the love they need to overcome their struggles. Many of these children have formed lasting bonds with our staff.

Sammy's story is one that is heard often. He says "When I was at Youth For Tomorrow, I wanted someone to understand me, but I was so scared to let anyone in.  I was afraid that they would want me out of their life, like so many others had before.

I ran away many times and for some crazy reason Dr. Jones and Dr. Tinsley continued to take me back --- again and again.  I did not know who was crazier, me or them. Now, I know why. They saw value in the personal life of a young boy...even when I did not.  I have come to learn this is a remarkable “trademark” of these two men and the program at YFT."

Luis was so very proud to graduate from high school. In his remarks he said "I can proudly say that Youth For Tomorrow has helped re-build and re-strengthen the love, communication and passion my family and I has toward one another.

With the help from Dr. Tinsley, from being a man I have never met in my life, to a man that I can say I love, trust, and is now a part of my family."


A Congresswoman Reaches Out

Alexianna was sex trafficked as a 13 year old child. Her story is heart wrenching. She faced horrible abuse and feared for her life.  She says "Night after night, I would shower and cry, hoping the soap would wash away the filth I felt inside. I wanted to leave this life so bad, but I was told over and over the individual bones that would be broken in my body...The fear of being hurt or even killed by my pimp was there every single day, and it never left."

Once rescued by law enforcement, Congresswoman Linda Smith made a connection with her and convinced her to make the journey from Oregon to Virginia to Youth For Tomorrow. Alexianna credits former Congresswoman Linda Smith and the people at YFT with blessing her with hope, healing and a future.