December 2023 Newsletter

TOGETHER! for Youth is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization providing prevention services to Chelan & Douglas County youth.

Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year! CLOSED Monday, December 25th and Tuesday, December 26th

A Year in Review

TOGETHER! for Youth has had a really great year! We started off the year ordering and putting together 200 Locking Medicine Bags for safe storage of cannabis and prescription medications. We distributed all 200 in partnership with a local business and the WIC offices, with a demand for more! We just purchased another 80 bags for a partnership with the Children’s Home Society of Washington.

In May, we had our first ever NCW Hope Squad Regional Conference! A total of 230 attendees that included students, advisors, and administrators, covering 20 different schools. Hope Squad also introduced an elementary program and currently has 7 school enrolled.

In June, our Executive Director and Administrative Assistant attended the Montana Summer Institute in Big Sky, MT, taking away a ton of information on The Science of the Positive, as well as meeting award-winning photographer, and found of A Peace of My Mind. His journey to tell stories through photography and connect one another is beautiful and profound. Additionally, our Hope Squad Coordinator attended the Hope Squad Master Trainer Conference in Provo, UT, allowing her to help grow and sustain NCW squads.

July brought the summer heat and our fearless Waterville Coalition to the annual Girls on the Run 5K. Carrie and her team of 3rd-5th grade girls came down to participate, promoting positive youth development through physical activity.

August – beginning collection of our 2023 Community Survey regarding youth substance use within our community. The data collected in this survey helps to inform and improve prevention programs within the community for our youth.

September kicked off our AmeriCorps year, expanding our AmeriCorps crew from 1 to 3! Together! for Youth has been a host site for AmeriCorps members for years, allowing members to learn new skills while providing much needed support to the organization.

October was our Waterville Coalition’s time to shine! Alyssa Polson began QPR trainings across NCW for current year Junior High and High School Hope Squad members and advisors. This year, we have a total of about 22 Junior High and High School squads.

Carrie and her BADD Club hosted the Shocker Fest and Haunted House on Halloween night. The event was a huge success, with a total of 150 Waterville residents in attendance.

November, we hosted our Fall Love & Logic class with a total of XX participants. 2023 was our first year back after COVID, and we are looking to expand with Spanish class and train more instructors. Stay tuned for more details!

“For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord.” ~ Luke 2:11

NEW! After School Program

The City of Wenatchee and Pinnacles Prep have partnered together to offer an After School Program for students in grades K-5. For more information, you can reach out by phone at 509-888-3284, email at, or by visiting

Prevention Summit 2023 Student Review: Waterville

This is what our Waterville students had to say about their Prevention Summit experiences!

“Going to the Prevention Summit was very enjoyable because the speakers were passionate about their sessions and work. They seemed very thoughtful about their time with our youth. They tried to share personal experiences while speaking. They also provided information about the topics and gave us ideas for the upcoming Spring Youth Forum next spring. “

~Emily Rojas

“The Prevention Summit in Spokane was definitely an amazing experience. I got the chance to meet new people from schools all around the state and learned ways in which we could bring new prevention skills to our school and community.”

~ Ruby Hernandez

Prevention Summit 2023 Student Review: The WAY – Wenatchee Alliance for Youth

Wenatchee Alliance for Youth was able to chaperone 14 students to the Prevention Summit. Following the summit, their teacher conducted a survey to review the student’s experience.

One question was: As teens, you have a large, empowering voice over your peers. What ideas do you have that might get teens to stop using or never start? Their answers ranged from getting kids involved in more sports and activities, eye catching ads explaining the effects of drugs in music and videos, and community events such as teen connect groups and drug awareness events.

Another question was: Explain how this summit has helped you be a better leader. The top two answers were – 1.) It pushed them out of their comfort zone and helped them interact with other students; and 2.) It helped them understand how to communicate better with their peers who are struggling with mental health and substance use.

We are so blessed to have been able to have these students join us at the Prevention Summit and we are excited to see how they take their newly learned skills and apply them in their day-to-day lives!

Waterville Haunted House

The Waterville School District hosted a Haunted House for their community, and it was very successful! It was comprised of all the high school clubs, and each of the clubs decorated a different part of the house. We had about 150 people come through and they said it was fantastic! We also had live actors in each of the sections. Additionally, the senior class hosted a carnival, and we had a face painter. All in all, a very successful night!

“She wrapped him in cloths and placed him in a manger because there was no guest room available for them.” ~ Luke 2:7

A Month of Gratitude

Our Hope Squads have been busy showing gratitude towards their peers, teachers and community. November was the Month of Gratitude and Hope Squads in the NCW region put together events and activities to get other students involved and thinking about gratitude.

Waterville Junior High Hope Squad asked students “What ways do you show gratitude towards others?” Not only does this make students think on a deeper level, but it is also a challenge to act on different ways to show gratitude for peers, teachers and families.

The photo below is the board in which students could place their notes of gratitude for their peers and teachers to read. A few of the answers included “Mom & Dad”, “food”, and “Jesus”.

“And the angel said to them, “Fear not, for behold, I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people.” ~ Luke 2:10

Merry Christmas! from you TOGETHER! For Youth Team

“My mom’s family and I get together and have a Christmas cookie baking party.”


“Blasting Christmas music and going crazy!” ~ Antonio

“Doing an advent calendar and drinking hot cocoa.” ~ Belinda

“Going to church Christmas Eve night.” ~ Carrie

“Shopping for Operation Christmas Child boxes with my daughter.”

~ Courtney

“Reading The Night Before Christmas with our kids and saying “Happy Birthday” to Jesus.”

~ Hailey

Office Christmas Decorations

A big thank you to our Administrative Assistant for sprucing up and getting our office ready for the holidays! She does an amazing job!

Butternut Crescent Ball Cookies

For as long as I can remember, these cookies have been my favorite Christmas cookie. My mom knows this and makes sure to bake plenty each year. They are a slight variation of the Russian Tea Cookie. I hope you enjoy them as much as I do.



1 Cup butter or margarine

1/4 Cup powdered sugar

1 Tbsp. Water

2 tsp. Vanilla

2 Cups flour

1 Cup chopped pecans

Powdered Sugar for coating


Preheat oven to 300 degrees

Melt butter in a small saucepan, then remove from heat. Stir in the 1/4 cup of powdered sugar, water and vanilla. Gradually blend in flour, then add pecans to make a pastry-like dough. Roll into roughly 2-inch sized balls and place on a cookie sheet.

Bake for 20 minutes. Remove from the cookie sheet and roll in the extra powdered sugar while cookies are still hot.

Place powdered cookies on a cooling rack and repeat until all cookies are coated.

“And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the Heavenly Host praising God and saying, “Glory to God in the Highest, and on earth peace among those with whom he is pleased!” ~ Luke 2:13-14

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