2017 held plenty of poignant moments of NRS’ family coming together to help keep kids safe and off the streets. Learn more about them now.

Happy 2018!  Before we get too much further into the new year, let’s revisit important 2017 moments that supported NRS in handling 59,134 calls and making online connections through 4,812 crisis emails, 3,215 live chats, and 3,404 forum postings, as well as connections with youth who participated in our Let’s Talk:  Runaway Prevention Curriculum (RPC). 

January: Throughout 2017, NRS’ staff and board of directors gathered to develop a new strategic plan to guide the agency from Fiscal Year 2018 through the Fiscal Year 2020. The results were the following priorities:

  1. Revenue Diversity: Raise $600,000 in sustainable, new money by 2020 to fund NRS’ top needs in services to youth and operations.
  2. Visibility/Positioning: Position NRS as a viable and visible national organization for investing in youth.
  3. Services to Youth: Provide the highest quality crisis prevention and intervention services to America’s runaway, homeless and at-risk youth and their families.
  4. Operations: Align the human, technological and financial resources with NRS’ prioritized programs and services.

February: Throughout the year, NRS hosted several visitors, including Loren Harris, staff member to Senator Tammy Duckworth and Illinois State Representative Ann M. Williams.

March:  NRS reported since the launch of “Let’s Talk: Runaway Prevention Curriculum” in 2007, over 74,983 (with some duplication) participated either in an individual activity, one or more modules, or in all 14 modules of the curriculum as evidenced by the demographic forms completed and received.  The curriculum is being used in 42 states and is available in English or Spanish for free by downloading or ordering at 1800RUNAWAY.org.

April:  NRS hosted the Volunteer and Community Appreciation event at the iconic Walnut Room in Macy’s department store in Chicago to recognize volunteers and donors that help NRS serve youth in crisis 24/7/365. During the evening, NRS honored Ken Lavelle, a frontline team member, board member, and board treasurer, as the 2017 Volunteer of the Year.

May: In May, NRS received significant donations from long-term supporters; Coldwell Banker Charitable Foundation and Cubs Care Charities.

June:  NRS was invited to share the success of its Home Free program, in conjunction with Greyhound Lines, Inc., at the company’s regional meeting. NRS and Greyhound have reunited over 16,000 youth with their family since 1995.

July: NRS responded to the federal opportunity announcement to continue serving as the national communication system for runaway, homeless and at-risk youth. NRS has served in that capacity since 1974 and is the only organization to hold that distinction.

August:  NRS’ Associate Board, a young professionals group, hosted a Bar Olympics at Beer on Clark to raise funding for critical services for youth and families served by NRS.

September:  NRS participated in several youth-focused events across the country in 2017, including; Interstate Commission for Juveniles (California), Going Out on a Limb: Protecting Children Conference (Wisconsin), Crimes Against Children Conference (Texas), Daniel Memorial Conference (Florida), National Forum on Dropout Prevention (Arizona), Runaway Homeless Youth Training and Technical Assistance Center Conference (Minnesota), National Youth Symposium (Washington, DC), National Conference on Bullying (Florida).

October: NRS entered into a three-year collaborative agreement with the Family & Youth Services Bureau to continue in service as the national communication system for runaway, homeless and at-risk youth.

November: National Runaway Prevention Month (NRPM) continued its’ 2016 theme Friends Helping Friends. NRPM canvassed the country to raise the visibility about the plight of runaways. On Twitter, the campaign hashtag #NRPM2017 reached 3.6 million potential impressions and 546,000 users.

December: Spirit of Youth 2017, honoring The Longest Day of Golf, raised over $177,000 to support runaway and at-risk youth.  The annual event continued its innovative street fair concept.  Guests enjoyed eating from food trucks and playing games as they supported NRS’ critical services.  

2017 held plenty of poignant moments of NRS’ family coming together to help keep kids safe and off the streets.  Thank YOU for your ongoing commitment and support of NRS!

In appreciation,

Maureen Blaha | Executive Director | NRS

Maureen Blaha, Executive Director



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