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Funding Our Families and Youth

What are our youth worth? What are our families worth? We're all worried about the drug crisis. But what can we do to help? We can insist that funding for places like YES remain intact.

There isn’t a day that goes by that we don’t see a drug related issue in the news. If you ask your kids how many kids they know doing drugs, I’m sure, if they’re being honest, that they’ll say many. It may even be your kid.

For those who think no, not my kid, never, I’m not going to tell you differently, but I will tell you that your kid most likely knows some of those kids. It isn’t just pot and it isn’t just alcohol; its pills.

Maybe they came from your medicine cabinet. Maybe they bought them at school, but they are buying them and at some point that will have an impact on your family whether it is a rise in crime, someone you love who’s life it touches, tax dollars going towards jails or rehabs, or just the fact that your son or daughter could be going to a party where drugs and alcohol are being consumed.

Peer pressure doesn’t always come in the form of kids pressuring friends to do something they don’t want to do. Sometimes a kid doesn’t want to always be the only one not doing something.

Sometimes they think all those drug awareness lectures were just a bunch of boring words adults were throwing at them, those same adults who post on Facebook how much fun their time in Zappa’s woods was during high school or maybe it was Croon’s or Mary’s Hole.  Some of us still remember those glory days and then we lecture our kids on the danger of drugs and alcohol. Some of us lecture as we fill our prescriptions for Xanax, Valium, Vicodin, or whatever it is that eases the pain or takes off the edge.

For all of those who say not my kid, it is somebody’s kid, and maybe that somebody is your friend, your sister, your neighbor. Maybe somebody else’s kid plays with your kid or goes to school with your kid. We hear a story of an overdose and shed a tear, say a prayer, and then go back to our lives sure it could never happen to us. But it does.

is in danger of losing funding. While our local politicians make headlines with proposals to end the drug crisis, they consider cutting funding to a place that has helped thousands of families and our youth. While they speak about printing pamphlets and forming task forces, they let an agency that does something fall victim to politics.

YES is an agency that is there for our local community. This agency has many different programs that address the problems facing our families and our youth. They do it on a sliding-scale basis making it affordable and accessible. Isn’t that the kind of place we would like to continue serving our community?

As it stands now, there are kids who are lost. That’s nothing new. The teenage years are not easy. We could tell them what real problems are, but you’d be surprised at how real some of our local teens’ problems are. Do we want to be the community that stands behind our youth and supports them by being sure funding is secure for agencies like YES?

Or do we want to say not my kid and let funding get cut. Eventually it will affect your kid whether you want to believe it or not. And if it doesn’t, can you sleep at night knowing there are kids out there who need the help that yours is lucky enough not to need? Don’t we all make up this community?

Please contact your legislators. Don’t stop there. Contact all of your elected officials. Tell them our families are important. Our youth is important. We have great schools and great sports programs. Let’s also be the community with a great place that addresses the problems facing our local youth and families. Let’s be the community that realizes the importance of YES Community Counseling Center and insist that it remain intact.

 Please feel free to show your support on Monday, June 18 at 11 am at the Nassau County Executive Building. Let our elected officials know that funding our youth and families can only benefit all of us.

This post is contributed by a community member. The views expressed in this blog are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Patch Media Corporation. Everyone is welcome to submit a post to Patch. If you'd like to post a blog, go here to get started.

Kristen Ferrari June 16, 2012 at 11:45 PM
Hi Curlyhead, It is an important issue. I'm a fellow single mom and know exactly what you mean. I think you're right about people not contacting legislators. I feel ignorant about many of the issues and hesitate sometimes out of fear of looking ignorant. I've decided to stop hesitating and get involved. This vote will have a negative impact on all of the youth. I can't be satisfied with the "not my kid" mentality. They're all our kids as far as I'm concerned.
mel June 18, 2012 at 07:58 PM
Curlyhead, YES COMMUNITY COUNSELING CENTER has a draft letter printed with the names and addresses of local legislators. Just stop by and pick one up. They would appreciate your support!
MTR July 03, 2012 at 04:18 PM
No they are not all my kids, I care about my children and raise them properly. I am so sick and tired of you people wanting the "nanny" state!
Kristen Ferrari July 03, 2012 at 04:21 PM
Michael R, I can assure you I don't want a nanny state, but I've seen too many kids here in Massapequa falling through cracks. At some point whether you want to believe it or not, the kids who are failed by the adults will affect your life in some way. Housing an inmate in Nassau County costs 80 thousand a year. That comes from your tax dollars. So would you prefer to "adopt" an inmate or make sure that the kids of Nassau County are all taken care of and have a future that benefits all of us?
MTR July 03, 2012 at 05:06 PM
Kristen your talking a pipe dream!!!! Bad people will be bad people , Bad kids will be bad kids.

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