Making a Difference – One Youth at a Time

In the now-familiar story, a man happens upon a boy on the beach, earnestly picking up starfish that have washed up with the tide and tossing them back into the ocean.

“Little boy,” says the man. “There are miles and miles of  beach and thousands of starfish that have washed up. You can’t possibly make that much difference.”

Undeterred, the boy picks up another starfish and throws it into the sea.

“It makes a difference to that one,” he says.

At Tidewater Youth Services Foundation—working hand-in-hand with our public partner, Tidewater Youth Services Commission, we are diligently picking up all the starfish we can – one by one – and tossing them back into the ocean!

About the TYS Foundation

Tidewater Youth Services Foundation is the charitable partner to a public agency,     Tidewater Youth Services Commission.

The Commission  works in close partnership with the Juvenile Courts and Departments of Social Services throughout Hampton Roads to provide a full range of community-based therapeutic services for youth and their  families.  For more information on Commission services, visit the website at

Established in 1991, the TYS Foundation exists to support and enhance all Commission services.  Through philanthropy and volunteerism, we can preserve programming that would otherwise be eliminated due to state budget cuts, we can develop new services, and we can ensure that the Commission has all of the tools needed to help the young people it serves.

In short, with community and corporate  support, we can touch the lives of youth in ways not possible through state support alone.

Look what’s possible with community support:

  • We can help struggling readers  improve their skills through our  Academic Support and Literacy Program.
  • We can help at-risk youth develop positive leisure activities and get involved in the arts and cultural enrichment — protective factors in the prevention of delinquency.
  • We can meet the basic needs of youth, providing clothing, medication, and other personal items.
  • We can help with family emergencies, including the loss of utilities or eviction – events that destabilize families and compound a child’s problems.
  • We can offer delinquency prevention services to help at-risk youth avoid involvement with the juvenile court.
  • We can teach important life and social skills that that will help at-risk and court involved youth grow into self-sufficient adults.

How you can make a difference

  • Join the Friends of the TYS Foundation and  help us promote our mission.
  • Sponsor, volunteer, or participate in our annual fundraiser, the Santa Claus Shuffle 5K Race and 1 Mile Fun/Run.
  • Invite us to speak at your church or civic group.
  • Facilitate the Junior Achievement curriculum at one of our group homes.
  • Contribute to our “wish list”, available on our organizational website.
  • Donate gift cards to help us provide basic needs for the youth we serve.
  • Make a gift through the mail or online at
  • Designate the TYS Foundation when you contribute through the United Way, the Combined Federal   Campaign, and the Commonwealth of Virginia campaign.
  • “Adopt” a group home and provide games, books, linens, and personal items for the residents.

For more information, visit or email [email protected]