City Youth Ministries needs your help

(Source: KAIT-TV)
(Source: KAIT-TV)

JONESBORO, AR (KAIT) - City Youth Ministries needs the public's help to keep their doors open.

Tickets are now available for their third annual Under the Sun Banquet honoring local athletes, coaches, and their families.

Director Denise Snider said this event is also important to the organization's future.

"All the money raised from the banquet goes directly to our operating costs," Snider said. "We keep our costs as low as we can, but it takes money to keep our doors open and to pick up the children from school and keep them fed. Not to mention, keeping our building in operating condition. So, any amount of money we make from the banquet goes directly to our operational funding."

Snider said how well the fundraiser goes will determine if fall classes will happen.

"The funding we receive from the banquet pretty much decides how well we're going to do for the next two to three months in the fall when the kids start coming back," Snider said.

Snider said fall is a pivotal time for both CYS and the students.

"The beginning of school is a big deal for everybody," Snider said. "It's very important for City Youth that we have the staffing we need, that we have the programming we need and that we have the snacks and food sources for the children. The programming and staffing is huge. If you don't have people to take care of the children well then you don't have a good program. So, the funding we receive from the banquet will determine all of that. And it will potentially determine the number of children we can even take. You know, we have an extensive waiting list. It's really sad when we have to turn children away."

Snider said they offer enriching opportunities that will help the overall child.

"We pick up students at all of the Jonesboro schools," Snider said. "We take the children home as well. We provide a snack for them and dinner. We do daily Bible lessons. Everything is no charge. No cost to the families. We do free literacy interventions for the children that are in the most need. We also provide tutoring for the children. And what you pay out of pocket to provide that as a parent is exorbitant. Especially if you have more than one child. Lots of language experience and physical activity."

Snider said there are also a number of opportunities available to the kids, including violin, art, athletics, yoga, and dance.

Snider said the tutoring they provide to their students for free is invaluable.

"If you put a minimal price tag on it, the least amount of money would be $400 a month for one child that we are offering for free that a lot of parents pay out of their pockets for the type of literacy interventions that we use," Snider said. "We use Connections, that is a science-based approved by the Arkansas State Board of Education. We use that literacy intervention program. We are very thankful we can offer that free of charge to the children."

The banquet will take place on July 31 at the First National Bank Arena in Jonesboro on the ASU campus.

Tickets are $35 per person or $500 for a table of eight.

If you are interested in purchasing a ticket, click here at

You can also call City Youth Ministries at (870) 932-9398.

There are currently 115 children enrolled in City Youth Ministries, with a list of children waiting to get in.

For more information about City Youth Ministries, click here.

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