A group of local organizations joined together Tuesday to form a new coalition dedicated to serving the county's young residents.
The York Youth Coalition, a group of youth advocates and related professionals, held its first meeting downtown to start fulfilling its goals for the year.
"We're not about chatting, we're about doing," said Tia Bess, organizer of the new group and urban 4-H educator for the York County Penn State Extension.
Current members of the coalition include the York City Bureau of Health and the Recreation and Parks Bureau, the Watershed Alliance of York, Martin Library, United Way, Salvation Army, YMCA, YWCA, York College and other youth advocate programs.
Their first order of business was to get on the same page -- literally.
The coalition created a collaborative calendar that will list every event in the county focused on youth, serving as a one-stop shop of information and preventing any overlap or deficits in programming, Bess said.
"This way our events won't compete, and it will show us if there are holes in youth programming," she said.
For example, the agencies may be spending too much time hosting events focusing on mentoring and not enough on fitness, she said.
The coalition will also create a sharing system among the member agencies.
"If one of us is having a huge event but only has two projectors, someone else might have five they can donate. We can borrow from each other while reducing costs and helping one another," Bess said.
The York Youth Coalition will first set goals to accomplish in the city, and it plans to set goals for the rest of the county next year.
"The city is a smaller area and is a great place to start," she said.
Meetings will rotate each month among the offices of coalition members.
"It will give each member a chance to host and showcase what their facility can be used for," Bess said.
The meetings, collaborative calendar and more information about the new group will be available on the York Youth Coalition Facebook page, which is set to go live Friday, Jan. 24.
"It will serve as a clearing house. If you want to know what's going on with youth, go right there. You will not have to contact different agencies anymore," she said.
The coalition is still seeking educators, professionals who work with youth, and members of churches and organizations that focus on youth and families. To get involved, contact Bess at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 891-2503.
--Reach Candy Woodall at email@example.com.